With the imminent release of SharePoint 2016 in the coming months, now is an excellent time to reflect on the current landscape of BI. Capabilities are changing and they vary depending on your version of SharePoint and what your options are whether you are using on-premise SharePoint 2010, SharePoint 2013, waiting for SharePoint 2016 or are in the cloud with SharePoint Online / Office 365. It can be very confusing to keep up with what works where and with what. This post will outline options and give guidance when you have SharePoint and are looking to enhance with graphs and charts to build dashboards.
Does this sound familiar?
“Hey Doug, how’s it going?”
“Pretty good Bob, I’m buried in requests for training folks how to use SharePoint, what can I do for you?”
“I need a cool dashboard for manager and other executives. Can SharePoint do that?”
“Well, ughhhhh yea kinda. I’m not entirely sure if our version of SharePoint can do that…”
So Doug sets off on a 3 hour googling adventure reading TechNet articles, forum posts and troll the Office 365 Network group in Yammer (because he is smart after all) but feels more confused than when he started.
That’s because it is confusing! The answer is typically “it depends” and “what do you mean by <finger quotes>dashboard</finger quotes>”. I mentioned earlier that it depends on various factors like the SharePoint platform, the version of SQL Services, licensing, data sources, etc.
So what are our options? Let’s first look at what all can be used, then I’ll show you what can be used where. For our purposes, let’s assume that by dashboard,
Depending on what systems you have, there might be additional options. For example, if you have a CRM system like Dynamics CRM or Salesforce, you can use them for charting/dashboarding depending on your requirements. If your source data is that system, it may make sense to keep charting and reporting in that system.
Now that we’ve seen WHAT is out there, I want to take a look at what can be used on the various platforms.
Not everything with SharePoint 2016 and Office Online Server has been finalized yet as it relates to Excel services so this is subject to change. And frankly so is SharePoint Online. Microsoft at any day could change the way things are implemented.
If you find any errors please contact us so I can make adjustments. I’ll do my best to keep this updated as plans change.
If you are still confused, please reach out to us to discuss your SharePoint BI needs!
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