#ISCLondon – Case Study: From Excel Spread Sheets to Enterprise SharePoint BI

Tips for BI Projects

#0. Data is King!

#1. Dont under-estimate – it is very difficult to make an estimation for BI Projects!

Estimation Considerations

  • Domain Knowledge
  • Data Sources
  • Infrastructure
  • Scope
  • Users (Roles, Methods of working, IT Experience)
  • BI Tool Choices
  • Authentication

#2. Be Iterative – Deliver!

#3. Pick the Right Team – more than one person needed, more than “just” SharePoint People!

Skills needed in the Team

  • Data Expert
  • SQL Developer
  • OLAP Cupe Developer
  • SharePoint Developer
  • Dashboard Developer
  • SharePoint/Network Admin

#4. Use Excel as starting Point – creates User Adoption

Start with Pivot Tablets to design Data
then use “convert to formulas” to break it free from Pivot (Data Connection will stay) and finish it up with Excel functionality, like
– sums
– trendlines
– slicers
– charts
– …

#5. Things to avoid

  • Don’t let the team get too big
  • Don’t have more non-tech than tech positions
  • Don’t employ contractors for core roles (they miss the care for the business)
  • Don’t work remote for majority of the week
  • Don’t communicate solely on IM – Speak!
  • Don’t use cut-back agile methodologies

#6. Understand the BI Toolset

– Chart WebPart – no sum or rull up functionality, not really adviced
– Status Indicator Lists – simple to build, only flat data sources, limited options

Operational Tools
– Excel Services – popular, feature rich, lot of data sources, allows fine control over charts

Advanced Tools
– Performance Point – Best for OLAP Browsing, feature rich, interactive, limited customization possibilities, requires training, powerful dashboard capabilities
– Report Builder – Print Quality Reports, Unique Visualization, Geospatial Mapping, required training, can be used with SharePoint Foundation
– Power Pivot – multiple data sources, for Excel (Free), for SharePoint (requires additional licences), version 2012 comes with SSRS
– Analysis Services

#7. Know your Users!

  • Who are they?
  • What are their roles? (Analysists: browse data, Knowledge Workers: write queries, Consumers)
  • Where are they? (at home, in the office, mobile)
  • Security? Per user authentication on data?
  • Client Capabilities? (OS Bersion, .net, Browser Version, Silverlight, Excel Version)

#8. Plan Authentication upfront – Depends on Users!

#9. Collaborate on Dashboards – there are a lot of opinions!

Don’t rely on IT to design it.

#10. Don’t stand stil!

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