Reporting and Analytics Dogfood – Intro

Well I have to apologize for my long absence.  I'm just not a very consistent blogger.  I'll just have to do better.  Here's the good news: you won't see any smarmy posts from me about my personal life, I prefer to be a nameless / faceless Microsoft automaton ;-). 

Now that SQL Server 2005 has shipped, I'm moving on to focus on some BI evangelism through a program we are creating called Microsoft BI Voyage (more on that later).  I'm going to start a series of posts related to a dogfood project we are working on internally to add some reporting and analytics to a production web application known as Airframe. 

Airframe is a sort of evangelism engine we use to work with partners in the various Ascend and Touchdown programs, and a variety of different teams within Microsoft need good visibility into the data we're collecting in that system.  I'm going to use the Microsoft Business Intelligence stack end-to-end starting with SQL Server and ending with PerformancePoint Server, and hopefully share some useful tidbits with folks who are working on similar projects.

The name of the project is Airframe Reporting & Analytics (Airframe RA).  We've decided to build it in two stages.  The first stage we're calling Airframe Operational Reports, and we'll build some stop-gap relational reports in SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services (SSRS) to help the folks who administer and work with Airframe on a daily basis do their job a little more smoothly. 

The second stage is called Airframe Performance Management, which will involve the creation of some scorecards that will help the folks who manage these programs keep track of some key performance indicators.  I think these two stages represent a pretty good example of how the data assets in an existing production system can be cracked open and leveraged to provide more value to the organizations that use them.

In my next post I'll talk about the first stage of the project where I set up log shipping to create a data source for the operational reports.

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