Friday, February 06, 2009

How Many Departments Does It Take

Sounds like the beginning of a music hall gag and when you think about it, it could well be.

Discussing the the merits of the Microsoft BI strategy in the wake of that PPS announcement with Mark (so as not to show any type of favouritism more comment can be found…)

  • here (Chris Webb)
  • here (Adatis)
  • and here (SSAS Info)
  • but surprisingly little here (Microsoft PPS blog)

… the conversation moved towards things as simple as charting. Now as I see it charts, graphs and the general graphical representation of data is pretty important for what we do in business intelligence and some companies understand this and specialise in providing just that. Looking at what Microsoft do with charting from the top of my head we have;

  • Reporting Services (Licensed from Dundas?)
  • Excel
  • PerformancePoint
  • ProClarity

All of this sitting under one group and three of them focussed on BI. So I again ask the question / present the gag, how many departments does it take? Do I really need to fudge my ProClarity chart to look like a PPS chart because I can’t set the colours in the PPS chart? Should it really be necessary to mock up excel micro charts in reporting services?

The overall scattergun approach here does net lend itself to a cohesive strategy and if the PPS announcement and this simple example of charting is anything to go by we can’t expect anything soon. Come on Microsoft, SQL Server and Analysis Services are bloody fantastic pieces of software. Lets get the front end strategy working as well as the back end does.

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