Business Intelligence in Microsoft SharePoint 2013

Microsoft SharePoint has various components that integrate with different tools and technologies in the Microsoft Business Intelligence Technology stack. These integrations allow businesses to easily manage and access their organizational data through dashboards, scorecards, reports etc. through Microsoft SharePoint.

In this blog we will introduce and explore these different business intelligence components and some of their features.

Excel Services in SharePoint 2013

Excel Services in SharePoint Server 2013 is a service application which helps publishing Excel 2013 workbooks in SharePoint Server. You can create reports, score cards and dashboards through Power Query, Power Pivot, Power View and Power Map in an Excel workbook and then publish it in a SharePoint document library. Users can then share it, view it and interact with it. Connections to data sources are kept live to deliver up to date information.

PerformancePoint Services in SharePoint 2013

PerformancePoint is one of the most used BI component in SharePoint 2013. It is used to show PerformancePoint reports in the form of interactive dashboards and scorecards that display key performance indicators (KPIs) and data visualizations with filters. You can integrate with SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) and Excel Services to create reports and scorecards.

Visio Services in SharePoint 2013

Visio Services is a new addition in SharePoint 2013. With Visio Services enabled, you can load and render Visio diagrams directly in your browser. Visio allows for live connections to data sources and supports high quality PNG(s). It has no dependency on Silverlight. Diagram consumers do not need a Visio client and it is included in both On-premises and in Online versions of Microsoft SharePoint.

SharePoint Business Intelligence Center

Microsoft SharePoint 2013 has a site template named “Business intelligence Center Site”. The BI Center site template contains elements like scorecards, dashboards, data connections, status lists, status indicators and so on. BI Center also contains prebuilt lists and libraries designed for BI content.

SharePoint Business Intelligence Center

BI Center Site Home Page

Functionality Available in BI Center Site

Dashboard Designer

Dashboard designer is a tool in SharePoint 2013 BI Center site designed to help users create attractive dashboards. With Dashboard designer, you can assemble and display information from disparate sources such as reports, charts, metrics and key performance indicators.

SharePoint 2013 Dashboards

SharePoint 2013 Dashboard

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

A Key Performance Indicator (KPI) represents the amount of progress made towards a goal or an industry standard. KPIs can be helpful to quickly evaluate the progress against goals. For example, sales professionals use KPIs to evaluate the number of sales made per months. By using Dashboard Designer, you can create a KPI by either importing it from a database, such as SQL Server Analysis Services, or by using the KPI wizard in the Dashboard Designer.

KPIs in Microsoft SharePoint

KPIs in Microsoft SharePoint

Prebuilt Lists and Libraries

SharePoint 2013 BI Center site contains some prebuilt lists and libraries:

Dashboards Library: The Dashboards library contains preconfigured dashboards. The different dashboards contain one or more reports and filters.

Data Connections Library:  The Data Connections library contains connections to external data sources that you can use to create reports, scorecards and dashboards. Administrators can create and manage data connections in this library.

PerformancePoint Content List: This list contains all the custom scorecards and dashboards available. When you create a custom report, scorecard or dashboard, they will be stored in the PerformancePoint content list.

I hope this blog gave you an overview of some of the many BI features available with Microsoft SharePoint.

Please contact FMT Consultants should you have any questions about Microsoft SharePoint.

Written by:
Bilal Amjad, Senior SharePoint Consultant
FMT Consultants

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