Chapter 1Which Analysis and Reporting Tools Do You Need?

When embarking on a business intelligence (BI) project, you should consider several things. Should a centralized data warehouse be built or can the existing operational database act as the source for business intelligence? Once that hurdle has been leaped, the next question is: Should time be spent building a semantic model (cube) or again back to the original question: Can the existing operational database act as the source for business intelligence? Finally, once you've answered those questions, you need to decide how to deliver the data to end users. In other words, which reporting tool will be used? The focus throughout this book is on selecting, designing, and delivering a business intelligence solution based on the Microsoft business intelligence tools stack.

Regardless of the approach, you must make a decision concerning which tools to use to ultimately deliver the business intelligence solution. If a data warehouse is built, which Relational Database Management System (RDBMS) will store the data? Now that you have a data warehouse, is a cube or semantic model needed? If so, which type of model should you use: Power Pivot, tabular, or multidimensional? You then need to determine if the solution offers self-service reporting and/or operational reporting capabilities.

Selecting a SQL Server Database Engine

After all the politics have been hashed out, the first step in your business intelligence solution is identifying ...

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