Chapter 15

Self-Service Business Intelligence and Introduction to PowerPivot

What's in this chapter?

  • Reviewing SQL Server 2012
  • Understanding self-service business intelligence
  • Getting to know PowerPivot
  • Looking at PowerPivot applications (Excel and SharePoint)
  • Understanding the VertiPaq engine

Released as part of SQL Server 2008 R2, PowerPivot is Microsoft's entry into self-service business intelligence (SSBI). Although PowerPivot was built specifically for SSBI (more on this later in this chapter), as you read in future chapters, it is the cornerstone for the ability to easily shift from self-service to IT-managed (or corporate) BI. This enables IT to focus on 70% of the users and gives power users the ability to explore and understand the data surrounding the analysis. By integrating with Microsoft Office (specifically Excel and SharePoint), it provides users with friendly and familiar tools for deeper data exploration.

This chapter provides you with a clear idea of the “what and why” of PowerPivot. It provides an overview of PowerPivot, but not an exhaustive list of PowerPivot features. Most of the features available in PowerPivot are available while creating Tabular BISM, which you learn about in detail in subsequent chapters. For more information about PowerPivot, read Professional Microsoft PowerPivot for Excel and SharePoint (Wrox, 2010. ISBN: 978-0-470-58737-9).

SQL Server 2012

PowerPivot was originally included in the R2 release of SQL Server 2008 and it has been enhanced ...

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