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Interactive self-service business intelligence

There are a few solutions to create reports about the state of a business, dashboards, KPI evolution, etc. Among them, come from the hand of Microsoft 3 BI reporting tools. The old well-known ReportDesigner (aimed at developers and IT staff) , Report Builder (business user-oriented), and with the release of the new version of SQL, PowerView.

It could be defined to the latter as an add-in for Sharepoint Server 2010 (atention not available for free edition), which allows an interactive experience of creation, distribution, display, presentation, and data exploration. Covered by Sharepoint, it runs under a web browser with Silverlight, so that could be defined as a lightweight interactive Reporting Services report web client.

The add-in is available for Business Intelligence and SQL Server 2012 Enterprise editions. Its main difference for the creation of reports lies in their ability to design reports ad-hoc, that facilitates the creation of quick and easy analysis that can be distributed as an Office document using the enterprise Sharepoint portal. Its possibilities grows thanks to Silverlight through animation of views of data and the generation of evolutionary and predictions with movement.

Each PowerView ‘s document or report is linked to a document in PowerPivot data model (for an example of how to create a PowerPivot model go to Introduction to PowerPivot or about all the power in the hands of Excel) or a SQL Server Tabular data model. In both cases there is no need to download anything and the two models serve as bridge between the server and your browser isolating us from the more technical, complex and cumbersome part. In addition,it further consolidates the road begun years ago to put at the disposal of the end user the ability and the power to make business intelligence with only knowledge of their business and expertise in analysis and data mining.

Some of the most noteworthy features are:

–          Visual design Office style.

–         Quick different views with different statistics and data analysis.

–          Interactive and Animated graphics with motion and all kinds of views, tables, matrix, pie and bubble charts.

–          Individual filtering of views or visualizations by its metadata of the underlying model that known relations between tables and objects.

–          High performance due to taking only the data you need to create a view.

–          Exportable to Excel and PowerPoint (each view becomes a new slide in this case).

In the picture below you can see an example of the PowerView view in design mode.

Different visualizations which can be used with PowerView can be seen in the image. It Shows picnic supplies with the different categories and products as images and establishing different measures according to the quantity, color, use and its evolution in time. When we set the view in full size we can see that the data is displayed with great simplicity and clarity. To view a description of the different displays query Data Visualizations in Power View.

And of course, this tool is not intended as a substitute for Report builder or Report Designer, but a complement rather than maximize potential for exploitation of data for advanced users and analysts. Enables as well the continuous flow of the ideas of the end user to projects of the Department of IT and of Enterprise BI applications to these same users talking to each other in your language.

Some resources to start can be found in the following links.


Tutorial: Create a Sample Report in Power View

  updated for SQL Server 2012 RTM

Tutorial: Optimize a Sample PowerPivot Model for Power View Reports

  updated for SQL Server 2012 RTM


Power View and PowerPivot HelloWorldPicnic Samples for SQL Server 2012 RTM

Power View samples you can try yourself: Oil and gas, schools, toy sales, car and auto, and yes, picnic

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