9.4. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Key Performance Indicators, most often called KPIs, may also be referred to as Key Success Indicators (KSIs). Regardless of what you call them, they can help your organization define and measure quantitative progress toward organizational goals. Business users often manage organizational performance using KPIs. Many business application vendors now provide performance management tools (namely dashboard applications) that collect KPI data from source systems and present KPI results graphically to end business users. Microsoft Office Excel 2007 and Microsoft Office PerformancePoint Server 2007 are examples of applications that can leverage the KPI capabilities of Analysis Services 2008.

Analysis Services provides a framework for categorizing the KPI MDX expressions for use with the business data stored in cubes. Each KPI uses a predefined set of data roles — actual, goal, trend, status, and weight — to which MDX expressions are assigned. Only the metadata for the KPIs is stored by an Analysis Services instance, whereas a set of MDX functions is available that allows applications to easily retrieve KPI values from cubes using this metadata.

The Cube Designer provided in Business Intelligence Development Studio (BIDS) also lets cube developers easily create and test KPIs. You learn how to do this in the following section. Figure 9-25 shows the KPIs in the Adventure Works cube using the KPI browser in the Cube Designer. You can get to the KPI ...

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