You have Microsoft SQL Server – Are you getting the most for your money? 2010-04-19 Craig McQueen Business Intelligence (0) Almost all companies have Microsoft SQL Server somewhere in their organization. It may have arrived there as part of a vendor application, Microsoft SharePoint deployment or custom web application. SQL Server does much more than just store data – at no additional cost! Other database tools often have additional license costs to do advanced database and reporting functionality. SQL Server has it built in. Are you doing the following? 1. Get clean – If you have a set of data but are unsure of the quality of it you can use SQL Server Data Profiling to get an understanding of the data distribution. After that you can take advantage of SQL Integration services to implement rules which you clean the data. 2. Integrate and warehouse – With SQL Server you can combine different sources of data into a central reporting database. Want to understand how sales funnel activity ultimately leads to revenue? With SQL Server Integration Services and Analysis Services you can combine Sales funnel data with Financial data into a Data Mart or Data Warehouse to get a true picture of what is happening in your organization. 3. See your data – You might have great data but no one will know without reports and dashboards. SQL Server has multiple options from ad-hoc reports to standard dashboards with SQL Reporting Services. 4. Market basket analysis – Do you have product orders and want to know which products people tend to buy together? If you are an IT shop, is there an indication which incidents happen together? Market basket analysis is just one example of the Data Mining algorithms built in to SQL Server. 5. Forecast - You know how a product has sold the past three year, but do you know what is will be in the next 3 months? With SQL Server you can use forecasting algorithms to predict what will happen next based on past data? These are just some of the examples of features SQL Server has beyond storing data. If you want to see some of these features in action, drop me a line.