SharePoint How-To Series: Business Intelligence Dashboards

SharePoint How-To Series: Business Intelligence Dashboards

Here's how to use PerformancePoint to up your SharePoint chart ante.

In the last post, we focused on some of the basic Power Pivot and Excel capabilities for creating simple dashboards. SharePoint, however, provides tools that take charts up a notch--or 10--including Performance Point.

To use PerformancePoint, we first need to enable the site collection and site features.

When navigating to the Site Contents page of your site, you should now see the following two options available.

Here, we need to create a new Data Connection. Click on Data Connections Library and create an instance of this list.

Once this library is created the ribbon bar will display a PerformancePoint tab that can be clicked to display the core options.

The core tool for PerformancePoint is the Dashboard Designer. When Dashboard Designer is launched you are presented with an Office-type application ready to configure.

In this example we will create a new connection by right-clicking on the Demo Data Connections node and choosing New Data Source. SharePoint then presents the options that PerformancePoint supports and can use.

We will use a SharePoint List that contains the spreadsheet we imported previously. I set mine using these settings.

Now we can test the data source and see if it connects. If you get errors when retrieving the lists from the picker, it is normally due to permission issues.

Selecting the tab for View will retrieve the data and then render the results.

Now the data is accessible and ready to use. We can save this so PerformancePoint can use it. Once we have saved the connection it can be seen within the connection list we created earlier.

We now need to create another list from the Add App screen--this time, selecting the PerformancePoint Content List. Once that has been created, we can access the list and choose the Dashboard Designer ribbon option again.

This time a different menu item will appear above the connections item in the workspace browser.

To create a dashboard, right-click and choose New Dashboard. Then select a layout.

Once you have chosen your dashboard type, you can then name the file and start to add items to the zones. However, at this point the picker does not contain anything because we have not created any items for it.

Save the page and right-click once again to add Scorecards, Reports and Filters. We can then come back and add them to the overall dashboard. The easiest sample data to use is Adventure Works from Microsoft, which you can download here.

For the Dashboard we use standard databases. We will create a new connection as we did before, but this time using the SQL Analytics option. We will then choose a new report using the Analytic Chart option.

Once connected to the OLAP Cube you can create a report that look like this:

We can now save this report and add it to the dashboard we created as an object, or we could create a new dashboard with a single column and layer the report there. As an example, my demonstration dashboard has one column and is configured with the following:

Notice it is configured to publish a page to the SitePages library in SharePoint when we select the Deploy option from the file menu.

Once these are done you will end up with a page in SharePoint that displays the dashboard and its associated components, such as reports.

Thought a static report is great to look at, what is nice about PerformancePoint is the ability to interact with the chart. Right clicking on the chart or the key brings up different options

As you can see, PerformancePoint offers an easy way to produce reports, KPIs and dashboards from your existing data.

Join me for a webinar on Business Intelligence within SharePoint On-Premises and SharePoint Online to learn more.

Use this link to register.


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