Happy Holidays!

As another year is winding down, it’s time to review and plan ahead. 2012 was a great year for both Prologika and BI. On the business side of things, we achieved Microsoft Gold BI and Silver Data Platform competencies. We added new customers and consultants. We completed several important projects with Microsoft acknowledging two of them.

2012 was an eventful year for Microsoft BI. SQL Server 2012 was released in March. It added important BI enhancements, including Power View, PowerPivot v2, Reporting Services End-User Alerting, Analysis Services in Tabular mode, Data Quality Services, Integration Services enhancements, MDS Add-In for Excel, Reporting in the Cloud, and self-service BI for Big Data with the Excel Hive add-in. The next BI wave came with Office 2013 and added important organizational and self-service BI features, including PowerPivot Integration in Excel 2013, Power View Integration in Excel 2013, Excel updatable web reports in SharePoint, productivity enhancements (Flash Fill, Quick Explore, Quick Analysis, and so on), PerformancePoint theming support and enhanced filtering, better mobile BI support, and self-service BI in Office 365.

Microsoft added support for Big Data and Hadoop both on cloud with HDInsight Service and on-premises with the CTP release of HDInsight Server. Finally, we got the public prerelease bits of DAXMD to connect Power View to multidimensional cubes.

As we witnessed, BI is a very important part of the Microsoft data strategy. Although overwhelming in times, I hope the trend will continue in 2013 and beyond. In the spirit of the season, here is my top 5 wish list:

  1. Continuing focus on integration and simplification – Fast-paced in nature, Microsoft BI has grown in complexity and redundancy through evolution and product acquisitions. Personally, I’d like to see further unification of the Multidimensional and Tabular models, so BI pros don’t have to choose which path to take and what compromise to make. Integration opportunities exist in other areas, such DQS and MDS, as well Tabular native support in the client tools (Excel and SSRS).
  2. Extending mobile BI reach – Customers are asking for it.
  3. Easier and simpler self-service BI – Excel 2013 has started the path but I think we can do a better job to simplify the user experience and compete more successfully with other self-service BI vendors.
  4. BI in the cloud – This will enable interesting scenarios and extend the reach of BI products and services.
  5. Enterprise lineage and change impact analysis – I think it’s about time to have this.

Most importantly, I hope to see Microsoft B having a renewed focus on customers in 2013. We should be listening more to our customers as sometimes as geeks we tend to be too much caught up in technology and we learn our lesson the hard way.

Stay happy and healthy in 2013!