PerformancePoint Server 2007 Monitoring: Using SharePoint Custom Lists as a Data Source

I wrote the following article because I have a need where we can’t always build data warehouses and cubes for our scorecard solutions.  With the introduction of PerformancePoint Server Monitoring, I can now source my data directly from a SharePoint list which makes development a heck of a lot easier…    Enjoy.   Patrick

PerformancePoint Server Monitoring: Using SharePoint Custom Lists as a Data Source

Overview

When building Performance Managements solutions you will most likely experience the main issue of data not being available or available only from a manual data source.  The reasons are numerous, but one of the most common is Targets and Goals are only set or changed a once a month and there is absolutely no reason to create a I.T. system to capture and maintain those values.  Targets are not really maintained in any automated source other than an Excel spreadsheet stored in someone’s My Documents folder for budgeting and planning purposes.  You will also run into scenarios where your data might be taken from an Excel spreadsheet, meaning the values are entered in Excel and that spreadsheet is passed from one person to another as people use that spreadsheet for the base of their analytics.  Hence, another manual data store that needs to be accounted for when building a Performance Management scorecard.

What are my Options?

Being software engineers, our first thoughts are, “let’s design a database and forms based solution that will allow the end-user to enter data once or twice a quarter.”   This should only take hours of meetings, we need to develop requirement specifications and have several people review and signoff, software and hardware purchases, developers need to start writing code, testers need to test for every hour of development, we need to develop change management strategy.   Or even better, lets go out and purchase this $100k or more planning solution to capture our simple target.  You present the plan to management and immediately management says your nuts.  They say you are nuts and that we are not investing $50,000 to $100,000 to build a solution to capture targets that are only entered a couple times a quarter that can be entered by some lackey.  Sounds familiar doesn’t it… 

In the past, we build some very simple data source management solutions that would take that data and ETL (extract, translate and load) into a small data mart that just housed Targets.  We would associate this with the appropriate time and associated dimensions to allow us to align our Targets to our Facts.  It worked very well, it wasn’t to expensive, but we still had to build this complex structure to be able to do this.

Using Office PerformancePoint Server 2007 Monitoring

Microsoft steps up to the plate with Office PerformancePoint Server Monitoring and a better solution for your Performance Management projects.  With this up and coming release of software, you will be able to build simple Target data marts utilizing Excel spreadsheets and SharePoint Custom Lists as the data entry points and Scorecard consumption.   This new and exciting feature will allow you to simply and quickly build scorecards and leverage a data capture model that your end-users do not need to be afraid of.   Leveraging Windows SharePoint Services or Office SharePoint Services, you can easily design, development and deploy these custom data entry screens for  end-users to maintain their target data.

In this article, we’ll take you through the steps of designing a Custom SharePoint List to host your Actuals and Targets so that you can present them in dashboard component leveraging SharePoint Services and PerformancePoint Server Monitoring.  We’ll even show you how easy it is to create dimensions, your aggregations like time and geography, utilizing the PerformancePoint Server Monitoring builder.   You do not even need to development and OLAP (online analytical processing) database to development and deploy a PerformancePoint Server Monitoring dashboard.

Continued in the attached PDF below….

Download the whole article here.

 

Happy Scorecarding!

Patrick

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