Traditional business intelligence (BI) has several shortcomings that require IT to play a huge role in the creation and deployment of reports and other analytic applications. Often times, business users will work around IT by creating Excel applications that live on their computers or in a network folder. These applications often become mission-critical for the business users. Unfortunately, IT often doesn’t know about these applications, and when they go down (and they always do at some point) or are accidentally deleted, IT is asked to step in and help recover them. This is where managed self-service provides the advantage. Although business users can create reports themselves using PowerPivot for Excel and share them with other users with PowerPivot for SharePoint, IT has the ability to manage and monitor the applications.
However, like any new SQL Server technology, managed self-service BI raises some questions for BI pros, DBAs, and developers. Is managed self-service going to replace traditional BI? What does it mean for SQL Server professionals? SQL Server Magazine author and BI expert Stacia Misner answers these questions and more regarding managed self-service BI in the video “Managed Self-Service BI.” I highly recommend viewing this video if your company is looking for a better way to manage user-generated BI applications or is considering moving to SQL Server 2008 R2 in the future.