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June 17
20 Ways Datazen will Power Up Your BI

In my first post on Datazen, I shared the following news: 

On April 14th, Microsoft announced that they had acquired Datazen Software.  This acquisition will change the game for Microsoft and its current BI offering.  If you do Dashboards, mobile, have on-premise data, and want a new, free component to create electric and sexy touch data visualizations – Datazen is for you.​ Continue reading the original post. ​​​

As George Bernard Shaw once wrote “Progress is Impossible without Change.”  If you’re at all familiar with Microsoft and are aware of the announcements from the recent Ignite conference, you know this is often Microsoft’s mantra (much to our chagrin).  At Ignite, the Business Intelligence focused sessions revealed the continuing evolution of the Stack, including Power BI moving to stand on its own and the ability to pin SSRS reports in Power BI.  In one session Microsoft introduced their newest BI product, Datazen (bought in April 2015), which represents more than an evolution to the MS BI DNA.   

I am currently working on a project in which we are employing Datazen.  Although there has been much written about Datazen in recent months, I thought it would be helpful to present the top 20 most compelling reasons why you should consider implementing this technology.  

      1.       Datazen = Mobile BI.  This platform was built with a mobile first mentality.

      2.       Datazen is built to work with touch – Touch Analytics.  Does this represent a new category?  No.  Steve Jobs said it best a few years ago, “We are going to use the best pointing device in the world.  You were born with ten of them.”

      3.       Datazen is free if you have the SQL Server Enterprise Edition 2008 or later AND software assurance.

      4.       Datazen comes with a Publisher App to create the dashboards.  You can obtain this in the Windows 8 store.

      5.       Datazen has a server component for security, data sources, and for publishing the dashboards for others to consume.

      6.       You can start from a dashboard template.

      7.       As you extend and move the components in your layout, Datazen determines what looks best.

      8.       Datazen supports contextual parameter driven drill through, it can pass parameters to any Datazen dashboard or URL.  So you can go from Datazen dashboard to SSRS.

      9.       Datazen always generates sample data.

      10.   Datazen supports custom branding including items like logos and colors.

      11.   Datazen has multiple preview layouts BUT you can decide what each looks like in a layout.  Datazen does its best to scale to the environment like a phone.  But if you choose to create the layout for a device you can present the optimal view.

      12.   You can color code the performance of a target.

      13.   You can participate in a conversation about a KPI.

      14.   Custom Shape files are supported via ESRI files.  This gives you the ability to create almost any type of dashboard you want.

      15.   Visualizations with an icon in the upper right hand corner indicate that it is enabled for touch.

      16.   To work with dashboards you do not need the Datazen server installed.

      17.   Datazen Hubs – Data Governance anybody? This is logically organized data.  This can be organizational units, customers, etc.  Each hub can have its own data, its own brand, security, and dashboard.  This gives a unique experience per hub.

      18.   Users do not need to concern themselves with setting refresh rates.  This is set when creating the data source.

      19.   Datazen supports up to 100K records offline cached.  You could be detached now and have a significant record set with which to analyze data.

      20.   KPI Tiles are created on the Server NOT in the designer.    

Change is a constant but change without progress is running to stand still.  Implementing change requires a compelling vision and positive rationale.  Companies that resist change are in danger of falling behind.  Blackberry is an example of not changing quickly enough.  Conversely, Ford was able to rebound without a bailout in 2007 because data was used to support a vision. 

Datazen is a tool worthy of investing your time in.  With very few barriers to entry, your organization will benefit from mobile touch data analytics. 

If you are interested in learning more about how Datazen will power up your BI, consider registering for our 30 minute webinar on August 13th.  Learn more here.​ 

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