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Part V: Business Intelligence

Part V: Business Intelligence

In This Part

Chapter 42

ETL with Integration Services

Chapter 43

Business Intelligence with Analysis Services

Chapter 44

Data Mining with Analysis Services

Chapter 45

Programming MDX Queries

Chapter 46

Authoring Reports with Reporting Services

Chapter 47

Administering Reports with Reporting Services

Chapter 48

Analyzing Data with Excel and Data Analyzer

If the Information Architecture Principle stated in Chapter 1 is true, then information is useful not only for daily operations, but also for current and future analysis. Hence, extract, transform, and load (ETL) processes collect data from the daily operations and store it in data warehouses using patterns organized for analysis, rather than daily operations. Cubes, MDX queries, and Reporting Services pull from the data warehouse and present the data for analysis.

This whole process of analyzing historical and current data both today and in the future is the proactive side of IT and is collectively called business intelligence (BI).

In the past three releases of SQL Server, Microsoft has been steadily growing SQL Server's BI services, and SQL Server 2005 brings to fruition years of planning and development. From the enterprise-grade ETL tool and the rich and easy to build cubes to the slick reporting interface, SQL Server 2005 is more than ready to help you conquer your BI requirements.

However, BI, by definition, does not exist in a vacuum. Not only is the data warehouse dependent on numerous operational databases, but the BI toolset frequently includes multiple tools from multiple vendors. While non-SQL Server tools are beyond the scope of this book, this part covers using Excel, the most popular data analysis tool on the planet, as a front end for SQL Server's BI suite.

If you're an old hand at BI, then welcome to SQL Server 2005's sweet BI suite. If you've been around operational data for a while but never had the chance to work on the analysis side, you're in for a treat.

If SQL Server is the box, then Part V is about coaxing every secret out of the box.


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