14 Ways Microsoft Has Business Intelligence Aced: Pt. 1

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Microsoft's Business Intelligence Marked As Leader by Gartner

In the selection of BI or business analytics software, don’t you want to know that your chosen solution for business intelligence and analytics has the ability to execute its mission and can execute its vision completely?  Gartner, the world's leading information technology research and advisory company, has developed a categorical list that ranks business intelligence solutions called the Magic Quadrant.

Microsoft’s Power BI leads in Gartner's Survey

According to Gartner’s 2016 study, Microsoft’s Power BI leads the pack in both dimensions: ability to execute its mission and maintains its completeness of vision. Gartner’s Magic Quadrant report focuses on products that meet the criteria of modern BI and analytics focusing on the rapidly evolving buyer and seller dynamics. Products that are not included in the Magic Quadrant report do not meet upfront requirements for IT or because they are enterprise-reporting centric.
Microsoft’s Power BI was assessed by these main categories: infrastructure, data management, analysis and content creation, and ability to share findings.

Below find a checklist that Gartner uses for their evaluation of business intelligence solutions and one that your business should use in implementing Business Intelligence Software, as well.  As indicated by the check marks, Microsoft's solution covers all the bases, and I offer the specifics of how Microsoft accomplishes the specified requirements.

Business Intelligence Infrastructure
1. BI Platform Administration. Does the BI solution include capabilities that enable scaling the platform, optimizing performance and ensuring high availability and disaster recovery.
Microsoft Dynamics AX has it! Microsoft’s SQL Server 2016, adds enormously fast and scalable in-database analytics.

2. Cloud BI. Is the service available in the cloud? Can your BI have the capabilities for building, deploying and managing analytics and analytic applications in the cloud, based on data both in the cloud and on-premises whether it be platform-as-a-service and analytic-application-as-a-service.
Microsoft Dynamics AX has it! Microsoft’s BI and analytics can be deployed in your datacenter, on Azure or in a hybrid combination.

3. Security and User Administration. Does your business analytics enable platform security, administering users, and auditing platform access and utilization.
Microsoft Dynamics AX has it! Power BI uses Azure Active Directory (AAD) to authenticate users who login to the Power BI service, and in turn, uses the Power BI login credentials whenever a user attempt to resources that require authentication.

4. Data Source Connectivity. Is your BI just happenstance Business Intelligence or a BIDW (Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing) allowing users to connect to the structured and unstructured data contained within various types of storage platforms or data warehouses, both on-premises and in the cloud?
Microsoft Dynamics AX has it! With Power BI Desktop, you can connect to data from many different sources: Files: Excel, CSV, XML, Text, Folder, and Files: Databases from data warehouses, Azure, and Other.

Microsoft's Business Intelligence Marked As Leader by Gartner

Data Management

5. Governance and Metadata Management. Can your solution enable users to share the same systems-of-record semantic model and metadata?  A best practices BI should provide a robust and centralized way for administrators to search, capture, store, re-use and publish metadata objects, such as dimensions, hierarchies, measures, performance metrics/key performance indicators (KPIs) and report layout objects, parameters and so on. Administrators should have the ability to promote a business-user-defined data model to a system-of-record metadata object.

Microsoft Dynamics AX has it! Microsoft’s Power BI lays out a long term foundation for data governance.  This allows for centralized control but giving holistic decentralized empowerment.  The governance is needed to minimize fear and resistance of new technologies by users and assures increased adoption.

6. Self-Contained Extraction, Transformation and Loading (ETL) and Data Storage.  Does your fact-based support system or BI have Platform capabilities for accessing, integrating, transforming and loading data into a self-contained storage layer, with the ability to index data and manage data loads and refresh scheduling?

Microsoft Dynamics AX has it!Check out the 2016 Power BI Whitepaper with all the details here.

7.  Self-Service Data Preparation. Does your analytics software allow for drag-and-drop, user-driven data combination of different sources, and the creation of analytic models such as user-defined measures, sets, groups and hierarchies? Advanced capabilities of BI include semantic auto-discovery, intelligent joins, intelligent profiling, hierarchy generation, data lineage and data blending on varied data sources, including multi-structured data.

Microsoft Dynamics AX has it! With Power BI Desktop, you can connect to many different types of data sources, then shape the data to meet your needs even using drag and drop.

And Best of All: Microsoft’s Power BI Is Free!  

As of now, Microsoft’s power BI service is free unless you want more functionality allowing for more storage, past 1 GB, and BI tools by being a Pro User.  Read more next week as Power BI is built into the new Dynamics AX and requires virtually no set up on the client end.  Be a part of the launch event on March 6th or 7th with us, and explore the new Dynamics AX.

If we can help your organization explore the benefits of Power BI and Dynamics AX, give Clients First a call at 800-331-8382 or call our Minnesota office.  Another option is to reach us by email.  Clients First is in the top 1% of VARS, and a Gold Certified Dynamics Partner that specializes in implementing Dynamics AX ERP to the medium to large manufacturer and MRO across the United States and in 11 countries and counting.

AX7 & the cloud fits manufactureings needs


by Clients First South Central






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