Great read: How to Choose the Right Business Intelligence Technology to Suit Your Style – Microsoft BI!

Great white paper published in January from Microsoft Business Intelligence team: Choose the right business intelligence technology to suit your style (white paper)

From the white paper’s introduction:

This white paper discusses five different styles of BI reporting:

  • Self-Service Analysis – Self-Service Analysis describes free-form reporting and analysis by users so that they can integrate data from disparate sources and drill-down and understand the root cause for data anomalies. These non-technical users value the ability to perform their own reporting and analysis without relying on IT or others.
  • Business Reporting – This style describes formatted reports that are created by advanced business users or analysts. Reports are typically based upon approved corporate data, and then shared more broadly with managers, teams, or departments. In this style, IT involvement is moderate, usually overseeing the distribution and monitoring of the reporting environment and building of the structured data layer upon which the reports are built.
  • Parameterized & Operational Reporting – Similar to the Business Reporting style, Parameterized &Operational Reporting is also characterized by fixed-format reports. The reports, however, are authored and managed by IT instead of business users and usually follow a pixel perfect format and rendering style. Consistency, scalability, manageability, and automated distribution are some of the key characteristics of this style.
  • Performance Monitoring – This style describes dashboard-style reports that allow users to quickly and easily monitor the performance of their business. This style is catered to executive level or department leadership who require at-a-glance visibility on the health of the business, but it often also permits further investigation via interactivity.
  • Scorecarding – Scorecarding is a style that describes highly summarized views with Key Performance Indicators (or KPIs) measured and scored against predefined targets such as a balanced scorecard. This style is generally a part of a performance management program, though it can also be used to measure operational performance.

This white paper provides readers a practical guide on how to identify both which BI style is being used as well as the tools that best fit each of the styles. The white paper outlines the following:

  • The key characteristic of the BI style in the Description section.
  • The Tool Options to consider along with the recommended “Best Fit” for the characteristics of the style
  • Infrastructure considerations
  • A Case Study highlighting how the “best fit” technology was used to support that style

Microsoft Business Intelligence