Microsoft BI Conference – Day 3 Review

A highlight of day 3 for me was seeing Roberta Vork & Alyson Powell Erwin presenting a session titled ‘Integrating Microsoft Dynamics Data for Planning, Analysis and Reporting in Office PerformancePoint Server 2007‘. This started off with a demo of how to create PPS M&A dashboards on top of the AS cubes that come with a the various Dynamics products. Alyson mentioned that there are currently some sample M&A Dynamics dashboards available here, with more to come in the near future. Check the PerformancePoint Downloads page to get hold of them.

Roberta’s part of the presentation focused on how to get data into PerformancePoint via the Data Import Wizard. Roberta demoed importing data from AX, before discussing a few of the issues that you’re likely to encounter when importing data from Dynamics. One of those issues may be that your PPS models are at a higher level than the data coming in, meaning that you will have to carry out a many to one mapping in some way before the data is usable in PPS. Another interesting point from the presentation is that PPS will be able to connect to Dynamics SL in mid 2009.

The final session that I made it to was ‘Mastering Data Cleansing in SQL Server Integration Services‘ by Rushabh Mehta. This was well presented, explaining why data cleansing is an important part of ETL. Although some of the techniques & SSIS tasks covered weren’t all that new, Rushabh did show the new Data Profiling Task, which will allow you to carry out a detailed analysis of your source data, which is then viewable in the XML output or the Data Profile Viewer tool.

Both presentations are available for download:

So that’s it for another year, although the date has already been set for the next conference – 6th-8th October again. Overall the conference was a success in my opinion, so I’ll be doing my best to get out again next year.