A New Day for Business Intelligence: SharePoint Insights

With SharePoint 2010 on the horizon Microsoft released more information about SharePoint 2010 and the integration with BI at the SharePoint conference last week.
They are so serious about BI and SharePoint they even released a name for the subject calling it “SharePoint Insights”:

SharePoint Insights enables users to find the information they need across unstructured assets (blogs, wikis, presentations, documents) and structured assets (reports, spreadsheets, analytical systems). Empower users to discover the right people and expertise to make better informed and more agile business decisions.

They released a blog specific to the subject: http://blogs.msdn.com/sharepointbi where you can find more information about SharePoint Insights. You can also check out the official SharePoint Insights page and download the new datasheet and whitepaper to help you start thinking about what SharePoint 2010 can help your organizations use Business Intelligence.

The new SharePoint Insights will also incorporate PerformancePoint dashboards now called PerformancePoint Services:

and of course the new self service BI project formerly called Gemini, now named PowerPivot:

Something called Visio services (also from PPS) in which you can dynamicly show Visio documents:

In SP 2010 they have a successor for the SharePoint 2007 Business Data Catalog (BDC) called the Business Connectivity Services (BCS), It provides out-of-box features, services and tools that streamline development to deeply integrate external data and services. What the direct added value for us BI’er is i’m not sure, but surely these will be new sources to extract data from.

And there is even good news for your server admin: they made the installation a walk in the park (according to a Donald Farmer interview)

Also, we provide a really nice setup. You run a SQL Server 2008 R2 setup and if you don’t have a SharePoint farm we’ll say “Insert your SharePoint disc and we’ll go ahead and install the farm for you and configure it with all the defaults that you need for Gemini.” So it’s actually very cool. Even if you’re not a SharePoint administrator, the setup will walk you through the process of setting up the SharePoint farm and configuring it, which we know could be a challenge if you’re not familiar with it.

I really hope they can back this up, installing Reporting services with SharePoint 2007 is NOT easy.

Microsoft is really putting more and more into SharePoint and want a tighter integration with BI, whether you like it or not. I think as MS Partner it opens a lot of new doors so i suggest to keep an eye on SharePoint the following months.

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