REVIEWER: Mark Kinkade, CIO for the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT).

BACKGROUND: From building roads and bridges to executing advertising campaigns about traffic safety, IDOT is focused on providing safe, cost-effective transportation for the residents of Illinois.

PLATFORMS: Microsoft Office Performance-Point Server 2007; Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Enterprise: Integration Services, Monitoring Services, Analysis Services and Reporting Services; Microsoft Office Excel 2007; Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007; Microsoft SQL Server 2005 relational database management system.

PROBLEM SOLVED: Our employees at IDOT faced a significant obstacle to making the right decisions; they had limited access to data residing in many disconnected systems. Everyone - from the managers to front-line workers - had to request information from the IT team when they needed to make decisions. Our IT personnel had to manually run reports from the mainframe, and the reports often required numerous iterations and up to several weeks to perfect. Now, we’re able to provide data access to more users than ever before, allowing them to analyze and identify opportunities to improve programs that help save more lives.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Using Microsoft Business Intelligence (BI), we created several crucially important dashboards. These dashboards integrate data from many of our organization’s systems and provide employees with the tools they need to analyze information for decision-making. The fatalities dashboard we developed shows state-wide targets for decreasing traffic fatalities and highlights progress toward the goals. It also enables managers to easily assess where and why fatalities happen. Now they have the information needed to invest in programs that can reduce fatal accidents.

STRENGTHS: Delivering BI through the Microsoft Office system makes it easier to drive critical decisions and provides more users throughout our organization with the data and analysis they need to make quicker decisions. Reports now take just a few hours or less to produce, and our staff can run reports by themselves. Dashboards can also be developed and rolled out at a very efficient rate. Once you create a dashboard, a user can easily build off past work and become extremely productive.

WEAKNESSES: One weakness is that some of the BI capabilities cannot access relational data sources directly. You can source data from relational sources, but Analysis Services is often required to access the full set of BI capabilities.

SELECTION CRITERIA: Working with one vendor enabled a faster deployment at less of a cost. Microsoft Business Intelligence offered an end-to-end, cost-effective BI solution using the familiar Microsoft Office 2007 system.

DELIVERABLES: Ad hoc data analysis was simply nonexistent before. The Microsoft Business Intelligence solution is now driving critical decisions by providing our users with unprecedented data mining and analysis tools. With the Microsoft solution, we can allocate resources more effectively and quantify the decisions we’re making.

VENDOR SUPPORT: Overall, support was very good. Microsoft helped us troubleshoot and worked through several issues with us.

DOCUMENTATION: The documentation is complete and easy to understand. Users could rely on the documentation to use the product.

Microsoft Business Intelligence
Microsoft Corporation
One Microsoft Way
Redmond, WA 98052
(425) 882-8080

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