SharePoint moving BI to the next level

How social software is allowing CIOs to deep dive into data

Collaboration in programs such as SharePoint can allow business intelligence (BI) to move to the next level, claims BI solution architect, Clint Carr.

Speaking at the Australian SharePoint conference in Sydney, Unique World’s Carr said the popularity of BI has resulted in the increased takeup of PerformancePoint.

“BI is something that’s growing very fast...BI in the Microsoft world has a number of options now,” he said. “BI allows organisations to make better decisions. Organisations have a lot of data, and sometimes too much.”

Using SharePoint to foster discussion in the enterprise is vital, according to Carr, who said although BI takes data to a meaningful level, SharePoint adoption can drive discussion among employees about such data.

“I’m able to collaborate with SharePoint to drive these results,” he said. “...If complaints are affecting sales, you can collaborate and get a notification that someone has responded and work out what’s happening.”

The impact of such collaboration may allow CIOs to drill down into the next level of such data, Carr said.

“What I’m able to do is drill down and look at a number of dimensions,” he said. “What we’re able to see is a breakdown on the amount of sales...I can either expand from city or instead I could drill down to any of the other dimensions or attributes.”

Earlier this year, Gartner reported that increasing enterprise growth, cost reduction and attracting new customers to be the three areas CIOs are focusing their attention on in 2011. Carr said IT departments are beginning to allow more than just employees to access BI information.

“The most important trend is self-service,” he said. “No more the domain of the IT department developing complex information...instead it’s about providing the end user with the tools they need to derive context from this.”

Carr’s insights come as two SharePoint evangelists addressed the conference yesterday, saying that Twitter has been integral to the popularity and adoption of SharePoint.

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