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September 25 2008

Microsoft’s PerformancePoint Server and Proclarity Analytics

It’s often we have requests from customers on Proclarity, but few know that it is part of a much more complete Business Intelligence (BI) package from Microsoft called Microsoft PerformancePoint Server. This solution encompasses more than just traditional charts and graphs. It provides modules that integrate with the applications you use on a daily basis. Microsoft PerformancePoint Server 2007 is built from Microsoft’s Proclarity Analytics product.

Traditionally we think of BI as just the reports we run off of our database. While this model works, it is a limited view of what it can provide your organization. This is why Microsoft has invested heavily in this space and came up with PerformancePoint. Their goal was to provide a tool that can become a framework for delivering reporting across your organization. Without a standard tool it is difficult to see trends in your data outside of your group.

How many excel reports do you get? Do you use more than 1 tool to perform reports within your company? Do you have Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft Reporting Services but only have a few reports to show for it? PerformancePoint is a solution that can give you a consistent, common data model to work from for monitoring, analytics and planning.

Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) are tools you can use to make quick decisions. The challenges are getting all of this information in a format that can be used for reporting. The other challenge is how to disseminate this information to the masses in a way that is secure, easy to understand and highlights the right information. This is one of the many features such as dashboards and scorecarding built into PerformancePoint. You can deliver this information via SharePoint Web Services to your employees, also incorporating security from the various sources such as Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft Reporting Services.

Finally, if your business has to do financial reporting, this is a tool that can help you with the planning and delivering of these reports.

ISInc has recently put together a number of PerformancePoint courses that will help you get up to speed on all of the available features in this application. We have courses on just the planning modules, or on the end-to-end solution.  This is a great compliment to SharePoint Training.