If you're reading this, you've probably heard about Project Gemini, the Self Service Analysis capabilities to be delivered as part of SQL Server Kilimanjaro. It's great to be able to finally share some details about what we've been working so hard on. We're extremely proud of the engine that enables this experience and can't wait to talk about the details, but that'll have to wait for a little bit more.
I was walking the exhibition floor today and had a profound experience. Looking over the shoulder of someone else, I was eavesdropping on a demo of a BI tool. It was a cool looking dashboard with impressive visualizations, and in the past few years, this would have been considered great technology, immediately applicable. However, what this customer asked next was worth the last couple years of hard work for me: "Will it take my colleague and I to build this or can users do it themselves?"
Realize what has just happened. Our users now expect a lot more from the BI industry, to go beyond allowing customizations of pre-built solutions and instead enable more people to participate earlier in the food chain. This shift in the conversation is the best example of the inflection point we've now crossed. In my (biased) opinion, having a mainstream player not only enter the self service BI space but redefine what users expect from tools in this space is revolutionary. I don't use that word lightly: did anything else in the last decade move the dial as much to help realize the "BI for the masses" vision?
I hope you can appreciate the vigor and intensity we've been working with, and get some understanding for the focus. These are truly very exciting times!