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Business Intelligence

"Business intelligence (BI) refers to skills, technologies, applications and practices used to help a business acquire a better understanding of its commercial context."

BI services search piles of data and information for useful knowledge and significant information, enabling decision-makers at all levels to more easily access, understand, analyze, collaborate and act on information. This understanding and the ability to use it is at the heart of BI.

As a Microsoft Gold-Certified partner, QBurst offers clients a full stack of user-friendly Microsoft Business Intelligence capabilities. We combine our solutions and techniques with Microsoft's BI software to deliver analytical and reporting solutions that are powerful but easy to use.

Microsoft BI Consulting

As Microsoft BI consultants, we are focused on providing high value consulting, training and support services to configure, customize and implement a solution to suit your customer and domain needs.

Our consultants are experts in the installation, configuration, design, development and deployment of the following Microsoft Technologies:

  • SQL Server
  • SQL Server DTS and SSIS
  • Analysis Services
  • SQL Server Reporting Services
  • Advanced Excel
  • Office automation applications
  • Bespoke SharePoint Team Services and Portal Server solutions
  • Advanced .NET development
  • MOSS : Microsoft Office SharePoint Server

Microsoft BI & SQL Server Architecture

QBurst integrates seamlessly with Microsoft's BI to deliver an architecture that is robust, flexible and is practical for your business.

The proposed QBurst BI architecture will have three distinct layers as illustrated below:

Microsoft BI & SQL Server Architecture
  • The Data Services Layer contains the data and provides access to external systems such as databases. Data is not pre-aggregated before entering the Data Warehouse. Data source can be an OLTP database of ERPs or APIs provided by ERPs like Microsoft Dynamics, SAP, and Oracle Financials, etc. It can also be outputs from other systems like budget, project management, statistical data, Excel, etc.
  • The Data Warehouse Layer is built on the SQL server platform along with integration services. Data is gathered and kept to serve any reporting and analysis needs of the organization. There are three sub-layers recognized within this layer:
  • SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) is a platform for building enterprise-level data integration and data transformations solutions. SSIS can extract and transform data from a wide variety of sources.
  • SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) delivers online analytical processing (OLAP) and data mining functionality for business intelligence applications. It supports OLAP by letting you design, create, and visualize data mining models that are constructed from other data sources. Using analysis services we create Cubes, which is a data structure for the fast analysis of data.
  • SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) provides a full range of ready-to-use tools and services to create, deploy, and manage reports, as well as programming features that enable us to extend and customize your reporting functionality. Reporting Services tools work within the Microsoft Visual Studio environment and are fully integrated with SQL Server tools and components
  • Presentation Layer consists of a series of pages with which the user interacts. Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Server is the presentation layer. SharePoint Insights is one of the core features which address the BI requirements of an enterprise. It lets everyone access the business information they need to make informed and better decisions. It has powerful features like interactive dashboards and scorecards, the information in which can be used for databases, reports, and business applications to address specific needs. The PerformancePoint Services, Excel services, PowerPivot and Visio services are the core components of SharePoint Insights.

Performance Management – Microsoft's PerformancePoint Services

Microsoft PerformancePoint Services for SharePoint is a performance management service that provides a variety of ways for you to monitor and analyze the company data at a detailed level. It is designed to solve performance management and BI challenges using easy-to-use, flexible tools for building dashboards, scorecards, reports, and key performance indicators (KPIs). The tools will allow everyone across the organization to make informed business decisions that align with the company's objectives and handle competitive business environments without the need to purchase specialized applications.

Elements of the Proposed PerformancePoint Services

We take you through steps to create, configure and deploy dashboards. The dashboard elements may include scorecards, charts and reports.

  • Planning Your Data Source: Developing your data source is a fairly straight forward process. The data can be collected from various sources. PerformancePoint supports tabular data sources including SharePoint Lists, Excel Services, SQL Server tables and Excel workbooks; and multi-dimensional (Analysis Services and PowerPivot for Excel) data sources.
  • Dashboards: PerformancePoint Services is the easiest way to create and publish BI dashboards in SharePoint 2010. It enables you to create rich, context-driven dashboards that aggregate data to give a complete view of how your business is performing at all levels. The dashboard will contain various types of reports, including scorecards, analytic reports, and analytic charts. There might be one or more pages with more than one module, called Web Parts, on each page.
  • Key Performance Indicators: A KPI is a metric that is tied to a target. The KPI usually represents how far away a metric is from its pre-determined target. The KPI score and its indicator are designed to let a business user know at a glance if results are on target or off target. A collection of carefully designed KPIs can depict performance scores and provide a snapshot of the organization’s strategy, paving the way for changes in organizational behavior.
  • Scorecards: A scorecard measures performance against goals. Scorecards make it easy for you to drill down and quickly access more detailed information, offering an easy way to see how the business is doing. PerformancePoint scorecards offer flexible layout options, dynamic hierarchies, and calculated KPI features. Using the enhanced functionality, you can create custom metrics that use multiple data sources. You can also sort, filter, and view variances between actual and target values to help you identify concerns or risks.
  • Analytic Charts and Grids: Analytic charts & grids are interactive visualizations rendered by PerformancePoint Services for SharePoint 2010. They let users drill down, across, and through any hierarchy in the model, allowing users a high degree of freedom to slice and dice their data in a variety of ways.
  • The Decomposition Tree: It is a visualization report with an interactive arrangement of bar charts that makes it easy to explore contribution relationships. It can be used to quickly and visually break down higher-level data values from a multi-dimensional data set to understand the driving forces behind those values. The Decomposition Tree is available in scorecards and analytic reports and ultimately in dashboards.
  • Time Intelligence Formulas: Time Intelligence filtering capabilities allows you to create and use dynamic time filters that are always up to date. It allows time periods, sets of time periods and ranges to be specified using a simple, easy to understand syntax.

The Microsoft Business Intelligence Advantage

  • Employees at all levels seamlessly connect and collaborate with each other to make better informed and more agile business decisions.
  • The tools enable IT departments to pro-actively empower users with self-service capabilities to ensure the integrity of the data in the system, while retaining the ability to monitor, manage, and govern the data and solutions that users create.
  • The SQL Server can store huge amounts of data, support high query loads, high performance and clustering and scale to the largest enterprise needs.
  • You can seamlessly extend your BI solutions from existing in-house infrastructure to a dynamically scalable cloud-based platform and services with Microsoft SQL Azure.
  • The solution is built on familiar tools and platforms, enabling IT professionals and developers to quickly transfer their existing skills to quickly build up on the solutions.
  • The functionality is flexible and powerful, yet simple enough for the average user. Data is delivered through a familiar interface users work in everyday.

Why Choose QBurst?

Our experience spans all aspects of BI solutions provisioning. We have built up significant capability and our professionals are experts at building high-performance enterprise scale BI solutions. We optimize solutions to enable breakthrough organizational results. Our solutions let you focus more on planning, forecasting and other business priorities to help you make optimum use of your data assets. We take care of the entire implementation life cycle to assist you in making the powerful Microsoft tools work for your business. Our consultants’ expertise is available to you, when you need it. They will work with you to provide customized solutions, tailored to your environment, that are designed to be managed and supported by you.

If you would like to learn more about the Microsoft BI platform and how your organization could benefit, please contact us now.

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