What on earth is consumerisation and what has it got to do with Business Intelligence?  Consumerisation is the recognition that our users are tech savvy and want to have access to the tools and way of working that they have outside of work.  Self Service is the result of applying these ideas to BI:

Our users know what they want

  • They want it now;
  • they don’t want the IT department getting in the way, and they want to see the results of their work as quickly as possible
  • They want to share there work in the way they share their digital lives with their friends and family

My way of looking at the end user BI tools look today is …

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the users thinks it’s all green and only the BI IT community worry about the red stuff.  On the other hand the more traditional approach to BI might be summed up as..

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It’s strategic but can be hard to change and while no one can deny that the MDX query language is very powerful it isn’t easy for business users or for IT (outside the BI industry) to understand.   So a third way is need and that would look like this..

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i.e. Take the work done in the self service tools and then scale it up put in control and security.  Having done that we then want to put it into production and then hook up all the end users familiar tools to interrogate it. 

In Denali ctp3 this is now doable using the BI Sematic Model (BISM):

  • Your users create PowerPivots in Excel
  • You can then open that in the new BI Development Studio in Denali as a .. project
  • Add in the security roles and if necessary partition it clean it and refine it.  The original business user who designed the PowerPivot can be involved in this process and they will recognise what’s going on as the designer is virtually the same as it is in Excel.
  • Deploy to a table based instance of analysis services

I would stress that this approach is in addition to the traditional approach that has been in SQL Server with analysis services since 2005, and you can verify that and try this approach by pulling down SQL Server Denali ctp 3 , SharePoint 2010 with sp1  and the matching sample databases, reports and tutorials for BISM on codeplex.