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Über dieses Buch

Business intelligence (BI) software allows you to view different components of a business using a single visual platform, which makes comprehending mountains of data easier. BI is everywhere. Applications that include reports, analytics, statistics, and historical and predictive modeling are all examples of business intelligence. Currently, we are in the second generation of business intelligence software—called BI 2.0—which is focused on writing business intelligence software that is predictive, adaptive, simple, and interactive.

As computers and software have evolved, more data can be presented to end users with increasingly visually rich techniques. Rich Internet application (RIA) technologies such as Microsoft Silverlight can be used to transform traditional user-interfaces filled with boring data into fully interactive analytical applications that quickly deliver insight from large data sets. Furthermore, RIAs now include 3D spatial-design capabilities that move beyond a simple list or grid and allow for interesting layouts of aggregated data. BI 2.0 implemented via an RIA technology can truly bring out the power of business intelligence and deliver it to an average user on the Web.

Silverlight 4 Business Intelligence Software provides developers, designers, and architects with a solid foundation in business intelligence design and architecture concepts for Microsoft Silverlight. This book covers key business intelligence design concepts and how they can be applied without an existing BI infrastructure. Author Bart Czernicki provides you with examples of how to build small BI applications that are interactive, highly visual, statistical, predictive—and most importantly—intuitive to the end-user.

Business intelligence isn’t just for the executive branch of a Fortune 500 company—it is for the masses. Let Silverlight 4 Business Intelligence Software show you how to unlock the rich intelligence you already have.



Chapter 1. Business Intelligence 2.0 Defined

What is business intelligence 2.0? This is the question this chapter aims to answer definitively. Before you dive into implementing the different concepts associated with business intelligence (BI), you need to understand it. This chapter is dedicated to demystifying what constitutes BI. As you will soon see, the term BI is very loose in that it can be attributed to a series of technologies, data, and practices, which makes its raw definition very ambiguous. Therefore, the sections of this chapter are designed to build on each other, fluidly progressing with details about BI. After you complete this chapter, the components of BI will become clear and you will have enough knowledge to understand what we will be implementing in the following chapters.
Bart Czernicki

Chapter 2. Advantages of Applying Business Intelligence 2.0 Using Microsoft Silverlight

This chapter will focus on Microsoft Silverlight technology, which is an RIA (rich interactive application) technology based on the .NET platform. In this chapter, you will learn the fundamental advantages this new technology can bring to BI software.
Bart Czernicki

Chapter 3. Silverlight as a Business Intelligence Client

This chapter introduces Silverlight as a potential world-class BI client. In the first two chapters, you learned about BI 2.0 concepts and Silverlight RIA technology. It is time to see how the combination of BI 2.0 and Silverlight can form very powerful applications.
Bart Czernicki

Chapter 4. Adding Interactivity to Business Intelligence Data

This chapter goes over various design techniques that can make interacting with vast amounts of data simpler, more intuitive, and more performant.
Bart Czernicki

Chapter 5. Introduction to Data Visualizations

This chapter is the first chapter in a three-part series about data visualizations.
Bart Czernicki

Chapter 6. Creating Data Visualizations for Analysis

In this chapter, we continue our conversation about data visualizations. The previous chapter introduced you to the fundamentals of using infographics to present data visually. However, we did not cover the required steps and best practices to design visualizations as good analytical tools for business intelligence.
Bart Czernicki

Chapter 7. Enhancing Visual Intelligence in Silverlight

The previous data visualization chapters showed some of the fundamental data visualization features and highlighted the rich customizability of the presentation from a charting perspective. In this chapter, you will learn how visual intelligence can be enhanced using unique characteristics of Silverlight technology to visualize almost any type of analytical data assets for different environments.
Bart Czernicki

Chapter 8. Applying Collective Intelligence

In this chapter, we will introduce collective intelligence as a form of BI 2.0. Collective intelligence is a form of knowledge that allows applications to be dynamically shaped by the respective users. It is a paramount feature for BI 2.0 applications that you want to tailor to a larger audience (beyond business analysts).
Bart Czernicki

Chapter 9. Predictive Analytics (What-If Modeling)

This chapter covers creating and applying BI models that are forward looking. In the past chapters, we focused on business intelligence concepts that applied to past or current data. However, BI 2.0 applications can extend the functionality of that data by injecting analytical models that can leverage historical data in order to predict future outcomes. Because of the incredible value that predictive analytics brings to business intelligence software, it is one of the hottest implemented convention in BI 2.0.
Bart Czernicki

Chapter 10. Improving Performance with Concurrent Programming

In this chapter, you will learn how to get the most performance from Silverlight BI deployments by using concurrent programming techniques. This will allow you to deliver visual intelligence, predictive analytics, and other BI 2.0 topics with real-time performance on the end user’s workstation.
Bart Czernicki

Chapter 11. Integrating with Business Intelligence Systems

Over the past ten chapters, you have learned that Silverlight is a powerful technology that can deliver BI 2.0 concepts. Hopefully, the past content has made a compelling argument that Silverlight can successfully surface BI 2.0 modules. It is time to cover how to design Silverlight applications so they can be successfully integrated and deployed across BI systems. In this chapter, you will learn what enterprise components are required to be able to deploy Silverlight effectively. Furthermore, you will learn the various architecture options associated with Silverlight.
Bart Czernicki

Chapter 12. Mobile Intelligence

This chapter is dedicated to applying the business intelligence 2.0 concepts you learned earlier to mobile devices. The popularity of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets has exploded. As a result, software that has been traditionally distributed via desktops or laptops now has a new audience of mobile consumers, leaving many software companies scrambling to deliver their content to mobile devices. Business Intelligence software is no different: we are starting to see many business intelligence implementations on smartphones and tablets. (Business intelligence software implemented on a mobile device is calledmobile intelligence.)
Bart Czernicki

Chapter 13. Surfacing Silverlight Business Intelligence in SharePoint

This chapter covers how to surface Silverlight business intelligence modules in SharePoint 2007 and SharePoint 2010. It will not introduce new business intelligence or specific Silverlight topics. Instead, it’s dedicated to showing you how to use SharePoint server to deploy your existing Silverlight business intelligence investments. This chapter is broken down into two main sections. The first section will cover how to integrate with SharePoint Server 2007 and the second section will cover SharePoint 2010.
Bart Czernicki

Chapter 14. Using the Silverlight PivotViewer

The PivotViewer is a Silverlight 4 control that allows you to interact with a great deal of data in a visual and interactive manner. This chapter is dedicated to understanding the PivotViewer control and how it can be used to implement Silverlight business intelligence 2.0 scenarios.
Bart Czernicki


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