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Enhance Business Intelligence with SharePoint 2016

Author: Jason Wong | 5 min read | January 29, 2019

In addition to the speed, volume, and accuracy offered by today’s sophisticated cloud computing applications, perhaps their most valuable asset is the capacity to dish up business intelligence (BI) with the stroke of a key.

SharePoint 16 harnesses that capacity by connecting you with Office 365’s Excel Power Pivot, Power Pivot Gallery and Power View, giving your corporate leadership even deeper, more granular insights into organizational data pools.

BI Investments are on the Rise

According to one study, up to 60 percent of all CIO’s upped their BI spending in calendar year 2018, betting on the enhanced analytics capabilities to further their business goals. Research shows that BI applications can add new perspectives on corporate realities that you can use to capture and utilize previously unstructured data, improve employee performance, and enhance customer service.

Power Pivot Technology Enhances Those Investments

With SharePoint’s SQL Community Technology Preview, you gain an add-in that accesses Power Pivot for SharePoint, Excel’s powerful data modeling and analysis programming. Power Pivot facilitates the same and more enhanced data manipulation capabilities of Excel workbooks but offers a wider variety of uses for it than the typical spreadsheet can generate:

  • While both Excel and Power Pivot import data, Power Pivot also filters it and renames columns and tables while they import over from their source.
  • Advanced formulas for calculations are created using the Data Analysis Expressions (DAX) language, while Excel workbooks use only Excel formulas.
  • Power Pivot also provides options for a variety of functions not available in Excel. Users can generate hierarchies, Key Performance Indicators, and even perspectives that limit viewer access.

With Power Pivot now an add-in through SharePoint 16, your C-Suite has better control over the data it captures and the decisions that data drives.

Power Pivot Gallery Offers Improved Document Management

Even the most informative data is useless if it loses its relevance in a poor reporting format. Power Pivot Gallery prevents that situation by providing a rich document and preview management program for use with Excel workbooks and reports that contain Power Pivot data.

The Power Pivot Gallery is a library that contains a representation of the file contents, including facts about their origins and authors. Knowing who created the file and when it was last updated ensures that no reports going ahead will contain obsolete or unnecessary information. Once a workbook is published in Power Pivot gallery, users can schedule automatic data refreshing at regular intervals, eliminating that chore for users and maintaining the currency of the document, regardless of its publication date.

Power View Enhances Presentations

Old-style spreadsheets are giving way to interactive charts, maps, graphs and other creative visuals, allowing you to better share your data and enhancing the engagement of your audience.

Also an add-in for Excel, Power View pulls data from that program to populate its visual presentations. While you’re adding tables and relationships within Excel, Excel is generating the data model based on those inputs, and from these sources, Power View creates the pie charts, bar graphs and data bubbles that distribute your information as a visual, not a text document. Users can also sort data in columns, tables, and charts to ‘see’ it from different perspectives.

Once you’ve created your table, you can view it in several visualization options to determine which present your data in the most relevant way for your purpose.

Additionally, slicers (filters) provide even more control over how viewers experience your data. In SharePoint, you can elect to display the filter pane as you work, or hide it to see your work in full-screen mode.

Access to the Power Pivot tools through SharePoint 16 gives business leaders the opportunity to experience their corporate data to understand it better and make better decisions for their enterprise. And isn’t that the purpose of ‘business intelligence’ in the first place?

Don’t forget that Power Pivot is free for desktop, can we help get you started with a data analysis?

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