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Self Service BI in Microsoft PowerPivot

Posted by Anahita | Posted in Business Intelligence | Posted on 15-05-2012

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Microsoft PowerPivot technology started with a simple aim: make business intelligence available for a large number of business and power users to eliminate the need to contact IT for new reporting and analytics requirements.

PowerPivot could be utilised via Excel Services as an  add-in to Excel 2010 and/or integration with  SharePoint. PowerPivot is a powerful Microsoft Self Service BI tool that allows users to connect to multi sources of data whilst giving the IT the opportunity to monitor the usage of shared workbooks and plan in getting ready for mission critical situations.

PowerPivot is an example of in-memory implementation of  data, using Analysis Services Vertipaq Engine to utilise the columnar based compressions. This will provide an incredibly fast query returns by removing the gap between the data and the processor compressing the data in column based manner.

PowerPivot provides visualisation features such as PivotTables and PivotCharts and data could be accessed as a data source from within Excel.

DAX (Database Analysis Expression) Language is also included in order to give the end user the ability to add custom measures and calculations as required. The PowerPivot data can be displayed as PivotTables, PivotCharts and also freeform reports.

PowerPivot can use reports that have been exposed as data feeds, while these reports themselves could use the lists in SharePoint as their data feeds!

The following pictures shows PowerPivot Architecture provided in Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2.