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Self Service BI - Where the Rubber Met the Road in 2010 for Microsoft Dynamics

by Brandon George
Microsoft MVP, President - America’s Region, Hillstar Business Intelligence, Sunrise Technologies, Inc.
December 14 2010

A hot topic this year for the Microsoft Dynamics ecosystem, and specifically for Dynamics AX customers, has been the shift in thinking about successful business intelligence solutions. The lessons learned from past BI projects have led customers and implementers alike to look to a new ideal in tearing down information silos, liberating report development capabilities, and empowering information workers with what is often described today as self service BI.

The ideal of self service BI takes into consideration operational, functional, analytical concerns of good BI, and it is now forcing customers, implementers, and software vendors to re-think the most challenging facets of business intelligence.

Microsoft started us on this path a few years back after taking a close look at the BI landscape. They knew that in any traditional BI implementation there were inevitably a handful of producers and consumers of the reporting.  In looking at this approach, which created information silos and information voids at companies, Microsoft saw a huge gap.

The gap was seen in how information workers for companies, large and small, dealt with BI elements, and interacted with the underlying data.

What they saw at the top level was a pretty good toolset that was fairly robust but rigid in its approach and restricted to a few top employees. It took time to dissect information and deliver reports and elements, and those consumers often times would be looking at information that was "rear view" in orientation. Kind of like driving a car in reverse through the rear view mirror.

With this type of limited BI deployment, a majority of the company that could have used information was left in the dark. And in this environment, we saw companies taking and using tools like ...

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About Brandon George

Brandon George is a Microsoft Dynamics AX MVP, and President, America's Region, for Hillstar Business Intelligence. You may recognize him from his retired blog or his new BI focused blog Brandon brings hands-on implementation and customization experience in Software Development, Database Design, and SQL Server and leads a team that is charged with helping clients put their data to work.

He has extensive experience in information systems including X++ programming, systems analysis, systems design, configuration, and project deployment. His diverse background in information and business systems gives him a great capacity to interact with people from various business areas and levels. He has outstanding analytical, problem solving, and communication skills as well as proven ability to help people understand complex issues. 

Brandon has worked on numerous large scale implementation projects for Microsoft Dynamics AX and MicroStrategy BI.

His commonly used skills include, but are not limited to:

  • Microsoft Business Solutions and .NET Framework knowledge
  • Microsoft Dynamics AX and MicroStrategy BI hands-on implementation experience
  • Systems architecture and design
  • Applications development
  • Database design
  • Project Management
  • User Training

You can always feel free to email directly at:

More about Brandon George
Submitted by ngeary on Fri, 01/21/2011 - 20:30 Permalink

An excellent summary of the technology Brandon. One Dynamics ISV has already solved the challenge of self-service BI for Dynamics AX and Dynamics NAV without the silos. See this white paper: Dr Nigel Geary | Founder & President. PrecisionPoint Software, San Mateo, CA, USA Web: http://www.precision-point

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)