PerformancePoint is a great tool for monitoring and analyzing the performance of your business at a high level but also has the ability to dig into the details. It makes it simple to create quick dashboards using KPIs, scorecards, charts and graphs. PerformancePoint 2010 has also added a very impressive feature called a Decomposition Tree (shown below), which makes it possible to see what is driving your company’s numbers. PerformancePoint has come a long way since its origin. You can learn a little about those origins from Mark Stacey who has a great post on the timeline of how PerformancePoint came to its current existence.
When talking with BI specialists I find that more often than not they think PerformancePoint is a very intimidating tool to pick up. Fortunately, it is not a difficult tool to understand but I think the reason it is so daunting to many people is because of the integration with SharePoint. SharePoint seems to be the Achilles heel of BI developers but has become more necessary than ever to understand with the release of SharePoint 2010.
The easiest way to get started with PerformancePoint is to create a new SharePoint site using the Business Intelligence Center template. This site template already has a PerformancePoint content list built in so all you have to do is select PerformancePoint content from the navigation pane and then hit Add new item.
When you hit Add new item it will take a few moments but will automatically download and open the PerformancePoint Dashboard Designer. You’ll notice that PerformancePoint has the same looks and feel of other Office tools. The Office ribbon is utilized here just like it would be in Excel or Word.
In this post on getting started with PerformancePoint I just wanted to introduce you to tool. Look for my next post that will walk you through creating your first objects in PerformancePoint. For more information on PerformancePoint make sure to pre order my latest book that focuses on the whole BI stack including SharePoint BI.