Dear blog, it’s been five years. If to be more exact, it’s been five years on May 15th. And I did remember the anniversary. But I didn’t know what I had to say. I wanted to tell you something meaningful. Make it special. And I didn’t know what I had to say or do that would be anything like that.
I thought to myself I’d do something with the number five in it. Found nothing that felt like it could be good enough. So I thought of something different. My favorite song from David Bowie is Thursday’s Child. And as it’s the fifth day in the week, so I thought I’ll make that our song for this anniversary.
Thursday’s Child speaks of how a good change comes into your life and gives you hope, after a long time of struggling through difficulties. For me, I felt a turn in my life two years ago. And having you blog, through the good and the bad, has strengthened me.
To all the readers of this blog, me and the blog would be very happy to meet you so please leave a comment telling us about yourself :)
And now blog, David Bowie!
I have recently finished MOC 50429 SharePoint 2010 Business Intelligence with Lior Cohen Amikam which I found very enlightening. I thought I’d share with you some of the excerpts from my summaries throughout the course. It’s a mix of ideas of what to do with SharePoint BI abilities and a short description of what they are. This is the second post in a series of posts that I am making from the material of the course.
PerformancePoint Dashboard Designer is the place where we connect the different parts of the dashboard one to another. We build the different reports, (scorecard, filter), and then use the designer to connect them all in one dashboard. The dashboard is only a place to link content which was saved in the different PerformancePoint folder (be it for reports, scorecards etc.)
The minute we save a change to the content (the report or the scorecard saved in the dashboard for instance), we needn’t update anything in the dashboard – the change will show automatically in it.
If we change something in the dashboard itself (adding a new filter to the dashboard for instance), the user will see it only after the deploy of the dashboard.
After deploying the dashboard, we’ll get an .aspx page with web parts with PerformancePoint content type.
Each deploy of the dashboard will overwrite definitions we may have made in between deploys in the SharePoint itself (which is why we should keep them in the definitions to the CSS or Master Page that the dashboard is connected to).
We can use the filter even to let the user decide which columns to show in the report.
We’ll show in each Dashboard a different issue (a separate one for HR, Finance etc.). In each Dashboard we can use a different tab for a different level of granularity and detail.
When we work with the Dashboard Designer, we can save a workspace locally. We can use that as a backup of our dashboard design, or to help us move the dashboard between environments.
I can open a workspace from my local PC and then chose to mark the difference between workspaces to see the difference between my copy and the one on the server. I can also choose compare item to see in more detail the difference. If I want I can save my version over the one on the server or I can click on the added item and choose to remove it from the workspace on my PC and add to it the item from the server. If we keep versioning on the server then we can always go back to an earlier version.
PerformancePoint runs a query for each value it needs to calculate. The query, isn't necessarily the optimal query (a bit like the report builder 1.0 query isn't the best T-SQL you could write). That means that usually calculating a scorecard with a KPI would be very pricey performance wise (a lot of values to calculate). So if you're cube is big and not built by all the best practices + the query of the scorecard isn't optimal, then you would find the scorecard taking a long time to load or refresh.
When we create a scorecard, we can create a few goals for each row – how we stand in comparison to last year, how much did we sell in comparison to our forecast, how much did this department sell in comparison to a fellow department etc.
We can also base one target on the calculation of another target.
If we name a column in a table as: filter, key, index etc. then SharePoint won't prevent us from building a filter on it, but the filter won't work. Avoid using reserved words in your column names (a column called country_key on the other hand won't be a problem).
We can also define a filter on any other tabular data source like a SharePoint list, an Excel file etc.
Using a Time Intelligence filter will give us a calendar. Connecting a filter to a time dimension will give us a tree view instead.
If we deploy from PerformancePoint to a "regular" page, we'll delete whatever content there was on that page. That means that if I had a text filter on that page – it'll be deleted. Maintenance of a page which has Dashboard content and regular content can be problematic and we should consider adding PerformancePoint web part manually to the page along with other web parts.
I have recently finished MOC 50429 SharePoint 2010 Business Intelligence with Lior Cohen Amikam which I found very enlightening. I thought I’d share with you some of the excerpts from my summaries throughout the course. It’s a mix of ideas of what to do with SharePoint BI abilities and a short description of what they are. This will be the first post in a series of posts that I am making from the material of the course.
We can leverage the user’s personal page to show his photo (a personal touch), his history of reports and his documents (for easy access).
A site with readymade BI parts bundled to one site. We can also add to this site web parts and libraries from other types.
In the very same way, we can put a KPI and a graph outside of a PerformancePoint page.
Excel Services enables us to manage one Excel file that will be shared between all the users on the SharePoint without a specific place in the NAS.
We can upload an Excel 2010 file and the user can edit it in Excel Webb App without having Excel 2010 on his own PC.
If I downloaded an Excel file from the SharePoint, changed something in it and saved it, it’s automatically saved to SharePoint.
We can define a name for each part of the report in Excel and use just that part. For instance, when we create a report in Excel with a table, a chart and a parameter – we can give a name for each one of them. Then, we can choose in SharePoint which part to expose from all of those parts (just the parameter and the chart for instance) and not necessarily all the Excel sheet.
A 3-D graph in Excel will look like a 2-D graph in SharePoint.
You cannot use a Macro in Excel in SharePoint. You have to turn it into a UDF.
We can define in the site level the amount of time a query can run in Excel and that way limit the resources it can take.
We can use the new REST API in Excel in SharePoint 2010 to insert a “live” chart to either Word or PowerPoint.