This course is designed to empower the students to effectively design web-based dashboards by utilizing the three main tools for dashboard building in the Microsoft tool set. Report Builder 3.0 from SQL Reporting Services, Dashboard Designer from PerformancePoint Services and SharePoint Designer. In using each of these tools you gain the best of breed to combine features and develop dashboards that are highly effective for monitoring, analyzing and managing your business. 

Audience profile

The goal of creating effective dashboards is a collaborative team effort. This course is targeted at that team.

  • The Project Manager to gain an understanding of best practices, follow a design methodology and gain an understanding of ineffective dashboard designs. 

  • The Business Managers so they can understand the input that they will need to provide to the project team and what they should expect back from these dashboards. 

  • IT as they manage the infrastructure. 

  • Report Builders' so their designs can be effectively presented to the report consumer. 

  • Business Intelligence/SQL Personnel as it is their data that is displayed and analyzed.

This course utilizes the tools in such a manner that we do not expect the students to have developer level skills.

Before attending this course, students should have: 

  • An understanding of the state of the data repository in their environment.




3 days


Module 1: Course overview

This module explains how the class will be structured and introduces course materials and additional administrative information.


  • Introduction

  • Course materials

  • Facilities

  • Prerequisites

  • What we'll be discussing


Module 2: The Microsoft Business Intelligence Stack tools


  • SQL Analysis Services

  • SQL Reporting Services

  • SharePoint 2010 PerformancePoint Services

  • SharePoint Business Intelligence Center

  • Understanding the terminology of dashboards

  • Report Builder 3.0

  • Dashboard Designer

  • SharePoint Designer

Lab : The Business Intelligence Stack


Module 3: Dashboard design principles


  • Dashboard taxonomies

  • Visual perception

  • Dashboard design flaws

  • An effective dashboard design process

  • Dashboard hierarchy

  • Dashboard variance

  • Dynamic dashboards

  • Dashboard interactivity

  • Develop multiple dashboards

  • Change deployed dashboards

  • Provide interactive help for your dashboards

  • Monitor dashboard utilization

  • Control dashboard updates

Lab : PerformancePoint Services 2010


Module 4: Report Builder 3.0


  • Report Builder interface

  • Data connections

  • Graphs

  • Gauges

  • Parameterized reports

  • Report parts

  • Mapping reports

Lab : Report Builder 3.0


Module 5: Dashboard Designer


  • Dashboard Designer interface

  • Key performance indicators (KPIs)

  • Multivalued KPIs

  • Objective KPIs

  • Leaf KPIs

  • Indicators

  • Filters

  • Scorecards (as containers)

  • Connections

  • Visual reports (Called graphs in Report Builder)

  • Dashboards (Here we mean the web page)

Lab : Dashboard Designer


Module 6: SharePoint Designer


  • SharePoint Designer interface

  • Business Connectivity Services

  • SharePoint Web Parts

  • Using SharePoint Designer for dashboard refinement

Lab : SharePoint Designer


Module 7: Dashboards that monitor


  • Guidance through monitoring dashboards

  • Characteristics of monitoring dashboards

  • Real-time monitoring

  • Best practices

  • Instructor guided project as preparation for the lab

Lab : Dashboards that monitor


Module 8: Dashboards that analyze


  • Guidance through analytical dashboards

  • Characteristics of analytical dashboards

  • Best practices

  • Instructor guided project as preparation for the lab

Lab : Dashboards that analyze


Module 9: Dashboards for management strategy


  • Guidance through management dashboards

  • Characteristics of management dashboards

  • Best practices

  • Instructor guided project as preparation for the lab

Lab : Dashboards for management strategy


Module 10: Custom reports and graphs using MDX (Optional module)


  • What is MDX?

  • MDX Query Editor

  • Select statement

  • Key concepts

  • Sets

  • Functions

  • Time intelligence

Lab : MDX reporting (Optional module)


Additional Reading

To help you prepare for this class, review the following resources:

Larson, Brian. Delivering Business Intelligence with Microsoft SQL Server 2012. Third ed. The McGraw-Hill Companies, 2012.



After completing this course, students will be able to:

  • Utilize the dashboard development methodology 

  • Optimize visual design of dashboards 

  • Structure dashboards hierarchies 

  • Understand the basics of data visualizations 

  • List the thirteen crucial errors in dashboard design 

  • Implement user menus in scorecards 

  • Understand how to connect into multiple data sources 

  • Gain familiarity with the definitions of common Business Intelligence terms 

  • Learn the methodology for connecting into and displaying near-real-time data 

  • Create parameterized reports 

  • Create sub reports 

  • Create map based reports 

  • Use the Decomposition Tree in PerformancePoint Services 

  • Connect together SharePoint components into PerformancePoint components 

  • Use report parts as a library 

  • Know when to use Report Builder, Dashboard Designer and SharePoint Designer 

  • Use and understand Report Builder 3.0 

  • Use and understand Dashboard Designer from PerformancePoint Services 

  • Use and understand SharePoint Designer for working with dashboards 

  • Utilize Excel Services to share Excel workbooks 

  • Design and implement KPIs 

  • Understand the scoring methodologies used with indicators to change visual displays 

  • Be able to develop proper filters for easy end-user click to detail on dashboards 

  • Group scorecards into dashboards and link them together 

  • Modify the web page hosting the dashboards for branding 

  • Implement master pages in dashboards for consistency with company standards. 

  • Develop multiple-valued KPIs. For example this year actual and target and last year actual and target at the same relative point in time 

  • Implement time intelligence features to query such as Year-To-Date, Last 6 Months etc. 

  • Develop filters for scorecards 

  • Understand the implications of where a filter is applied 

  • Create effective graphs 

  • Create visual reports 

  • Create effective gauges 

  • Utilize sparklines in reports 

  • Understand how to secure dashboards 

  • Use dynamic hierarchies in dashboards 

  • Implement user menus in dashboards 

  • Create monitoring dashboards 

  • Create analytical dashboards 

  • Create management dashboards


At the end of this course every learner will receive a certificate of attendance.


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