Microsoft® SQL Server® PowerPivot is an innovative data analysis technology that redefines how organizations of all kinds deliver and succeed with business intelligence (BI). The focus shifts from IT delivering corporate BI solutions toa managed BI collaboration environment that gives users the power to get timely and reliable information to make more relevant decisions. PowerPivot does not replace corporate BI, but complements it with managed, self-service solutions.
Providing business insights to all employees means giving producers of intelligence access to the best data analysis tools and reliable access to trustworthy data, as well as facilitating knowledge-sharing and collaboration within teamsof producers and consumers of intelligence and across departmental boundaries. It means leveraging the network of power users in each department, the ones who create departmental and team solutions, assist colleagues in ad-hoc analysis, and, when a centralized solution is best, communicate BI requirements back to the IT department. It also means implementing reliable BI monitoring and management processes to ensure availability and performance for mission-critical, self-service BI applications. PowerPivot enables organizations to extend the reach of BI in the enterprise from corporate to team and individual spaces, while at the same time increasing IT management and operations efficiency.
PowerPivot integrates with Microsoft Office Excel® 2010 to give users unmatched computational power for advanced data analysis with a familiar user interface. PowerPivot also integrates with Microsoft SharePoint® Server 2010 to establish a managed, self-service BI environment that takes advantage of all the standard SharePoint features, such as role-based security, compliance policies, workflows, and versioning, and introduces new features and capabilities, such as PowerPivot Gallery and automatic data refreshing for shared workbook applications. And PowerPivot features a management dashboard that lets users monitor shared applications, track usage patterns over time, drill down to reveal hidden details, discover mission-critical solutions, and make sure appropriate server resources are provisioned.
Establishing a managed, self-service BI environment entails deploying the PowerPivot for Excel add-in on workstations running Microsoft Office 2010 and PowerPivot for SharePoint on SharePoint application servers. These deployments can be performed independently. The PowerPivot for Excel add-in does not require a SharePoint environment and the SharePoint environment does not require PowerPivot for Excel on all workstations. The Excel add-in is a requirement only for those creating and publishing workbook applications. Other users can access published workbook applications in SharePoint via a Web browser, with the same performance and most of the features as the Excel client. However, planning and coordination are required to determine the best deployment sequence and configuration options, provision adequate storage capacities and system resources, and optimize the managed BI collaboration environment for high availability and performance.
This white paper contains information for technical decision makers, IT administrators, and system architects who are planning to deploy PowerPivot technology in an enterprise environment. This paper assumes the audience is already familiar with the Windows Server® operating system, Microsoft Office, SharePoint, SQL Server, online analytical processing (OLAP), and self-service BI. A high-level understanding of the new features and technologies in Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 is also helpful.
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