Speaking the language of business intelligence with an Australian accent

Thursday, November 5, 2009

PerformancePoint Services - What’s New

Now that the NDA has been lifted it’s time to start talking about PerformancePoint Services. I plan to expand on many of these points in upcoming posts. For now I’ve put together a series of summary posts on some of the things that are

There is plenty to talk about in the new release, these lists are by no means comprehensive in their coverage of PerformancePoint Services. I also expect that the PPS team has a whole stack of useful posts loaded and ready to go, so keep and eye on their blog for a lot of new information in the near future.

UPDATE: Here is a detailed post from the PPS team (including screenshots) about all the new stuff

I wish I could provide screenshots of all that is contained in these posts but I am unable to post shots of Beta 1. More visuals will come as Beta 2 is released.

SharePoint Integration

OK, we all know this one, PerformancePoint Services is now part of the Enterprise CAL of MOSS 2010, it is no longer a separate product. Element definitions are stored and managed within SharePoint lists and libraries and will be recognized as first class citizens in the MOSS world. This is going to bring a number of advantages in the MOSS 2010 world and will be the subject of quite a few posts in the future. Lots to talk about here.

Unfortunately, the MOSS integration strategy that was announced in January this year seems to have taken a big slice of the dev team’s time and hence the amount of new and changed features in PPS are not huge in number. That being said I do not want to trivialize the time and effort that went into the MOSS integration of PPS. The benefits of this re-architecture effort will make themselves known as we all begin to explore the new MOSS platform and all the other BI goodness (outside of PPS) that is baked into it.

The 7th Element: Filters

Filters are now an element unto themselves. In PPS 2007 filters were part of dashboard element definitions and therefore could not be shared. In PPS 2010, if you’ve built a useful filter you can share it with all of your dashboards just as you would any of the other elements. This is a welcome architectural change that many were hoping for (not sure whether this really falls under the “new” category…).

The filter types that are available to us and their functionality have not changed very much in this release, they’re just a separate element now. With this new architectural change many will ask whether this means that we can pass values from one filter to another i.e. cascading filters. The answer: no, not yet. I wouldn’t be surprised if this feature was one that got cut in lieu of time required for the MOSS integration work.

Decomposition Tree Drilldown

I’ve always liked the ProClarity’s decomp tree and am really glad to see this new Silverlight-based version as part of drilldown interactivity within analytic reports. The decomp is not a report type unto itself but a “Analyze > Decomposition Tree” option from the right-click menu within the analytic chart and grid reports. Unfortunately the decomp tree is about the only recognizable ProClarity bit that made it into this release.

New Chart Type: Pie Charts (groan)

One of the things I liked about PPS 2007 was the fact that Analytic reports didn’t support pie charts. I think this was a feature that the MS sales team had a hand in. If you, or anyone you know, still believe that pie chart has any real analytical value please refer yourself (or the people you know) to Stephen Few’s excellent Save the Pies for Dessert whitepaper. If after reading it you still think pie charts are worth using on a dashboard then there is no hope for you.

KPI Details Report

As its name suggests this report supplies all the details about a particular KPI. This is a welcome addition. It’s a simple display of KPI metadata that can be hooked to any scorecard. Clicking on a KPI within the related scorecard will display its information in this report. When configuring the report you can choose which pieces of KPI metadata to display.

The lack of this feature in PPS 2007 was one of the driving reasons behind why I built the MAUDF project a while back; to provide simpler access to this kind of data. My customers wanted to see banding thresholds, descriptions and other metadata pertaining to a KPI. The new report does all of this.


Ruchi Trivedi said...

could you please let me know how can I create bar graph type of report from KPI details?

Nick Barclay said...

what kind of data do you want to display?

Femi George said...

Hello Nick,
Is their any value in the MAUDF Project that shows the weight applied to each KPI?


Nick Barclay said...

Hi Femi,

At present MAUDF does not have that value. I must admit that I haven't touched the code in quite some time now. You could pull down the source and try adding that value to the ScorecardKPIs function...