Part 5. Business intelligence
Edited by Greg Low
The introduction of OLAP Services in SQL Server 7 started a revolution within the product. While SQL Server has for a long time been a great store for relational data and still is a great relational store, organizations are realizing more than ever that what really counts is the ability to derive information from their data.
The key contribution of business intelligence (BI) systems has been to convert mountains of data, often transactional in nature, into actionable information. In the end, it’s all about making better business decisions and in ever-shorter timeframes.
The Microsoft BI toolkit has often been regarded as comprising SQL Server Integration Services, SQL Server Reporting Services, and SQL Server Analysis Services. Now an even-richer ecosystem has been created, and we need to expand that definition to include other tools, including Excel Services, PerformancePoint Services, and dashboards in SharePoint.