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Microsoft Acquires Datazen

Exciting news in the Microsoft Analytics space. On 14th April 2015 Microsoft announced they are acquiring Datazen – what does this mean, and is it a good or a bad thing?

For all of PowerView’s good points, it’s still a very immature product. I’ve still not had a single customer take it seriously, aside from a few proof of concept implementations. It’s a good ‘personal analytics’ tool, but in my opinion it doesn’t yet hit the mark when it comes to an enterprise grade analytics front end.

PerformancePoint is still the only MS tool that offers a traditional dashboarding interface, and quite frankly it’s well past its best before date. With almost zero development in recent years it has been left behind as a clunky relic of days gone by. Although one that is still in surprisingly widespread use through no reason other than lack of alternative MS options.

With great 3rd party tools like Pyramid Analytics and Tableau out there, Microsoft have really dropped the ball on this. We’ve all been waiting for PowerView to mature and grow, but now Microsoft has announced that they’re acquiring Datazen, which could be a game changer.

I’ve not used the tool before, but I’ll be downloading it asap and will report back with findings in due course. It ticks a number of boxes; multiple data sources including OLAP, SQL, etc, mobile friendly (apparently), interactivity, KPIs, maps, etc.

The key question for me is how will Microsoft approach SSAS cube development with Datazen. Will they maintain and develop full support for multidimensional cubes, or will they prioritise tabular cube functionality. Time will tell.

One Response to Microsoft Acquires Datazen

  • I played with DataZEN a little, and while I like the presentation layer of the tool, it appears that everything is built on the concept of isolated data views.

    If you want to see something, write a view for it (MDX/SQL query in tool) and return the two or three columns that the dashboard widget requires (gauge widget, return actual and target values and map to that).

    It does NOT appear to offer any sort of drill down or drill through (at least in my initial interactions).

    That said, it is still offering more than PowerView, but if they could get it mapped to an SSAS Tabular model and allow drag/drop /drill down that would be wonderful!

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The Frog Blog

I'm Alex Whittles.

I specialise in designing and implementing SQL Server business intelligence solutions, and this is my blog! Just a collection of thoughts, techniques and ramblings on SQL Server, Cubes, Data Warehouses, MDX, DAX and whatever else comes to mind.

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