Like many IT Professionals, I love my gadgets but what really matters is what you do with them – so which games do you play  on your gamer PC what did you photograph with that monster lens you bought for your DSLR and  who did you hook up with on Facebook at the weekend?  The same is true of Business Intelligence (BI) – it’s what you to with the stuff , not how much RAM you have in your servers or even what BI tools you have – it’s all about how these tools are providing value to the business. 

What is unusual about Microsoft BI is that many organisations have most or all of the capabilities sitting on the shelf , so SQL Server, SharePoint and Office and possibly also have some Project and Visio too.  What is very common is that businesses don’t usually openly share what they are doing with BI as if it’s done right then this gives them a real edge over the competition.  So on the one hand you have the kit on the other it can be difficult to know where to apply it.

So I am quite pleased Microsoft have put together this BI scenarios portal, to give you some ideas about how to expand your use of BI.   One of these scenarios make use of BI to make the IT team more effective by providing sophisticated analysis of how SharePoint is preforming by picking up telemetry from Systems Center Operations Manager and I know this should be popular as this is exactly the kind of thing that my good friend Gordon McKenna at Inframon does all the time.   I also see there are plans for more scenarios and I have a few ideas I think this is a great way of helping to deliver BI to wider audiences in the businesses.

These scenarios are also a great training resource for an IT professional wanting to break into BI possibly from a DBA SharePoint admin background as they have deeper worked examples than you might get studying the worked examples in MS Learning and I think if BI is to be used more widely then there need to be more of us BI Professionals with some awareness of it.

So have a look and as they say in your local supermarket “Try something different”.