TechNet is publishing a series of four articles introducing readers to business intelligence. I have written two of these articles while a friend of mine, Derek Comingore of BI Voyage, has written one of them. The fourth article is not yet written, but I’ll post a link here when it becomes available. A lot of people refrain from using the BI components in Microsoft SQL Server because they don’t want to undertake building a data warehouse. There are lots of good reasons to build a data warehouse, but if you are the only consumer of data, you obviously don’t need a data warehouse, but I think you ought to be able to use these tools anyway to help you do your job better. If only you knew how. This article series should help get you started.

Business Intelligence: Planning Your First Microsoft BI Solution
August 2009
Even BI novices can learn what goes into creating a BI solution, from planning and designing a data mart to preparing data. An Adventure Works example illustrates the first steps a company can take to ensure that its BI solution supports the strategic decisions it needs to make.

Business Intelligence: Building a Data Foundation for a BI Solution
August 2009 – Derek Comingore
See how you can design and build a data mart that uses SQL Server 2008 Integration Services to perform the extract, transform and load (ETL) processes for the Adventure Works BI solution introduced in “Planning Your First Microsoft BI Solution.”

Business Intelligence:Building Your First Cube
November 2009
There’s lots more to your data than you can see at first glance. Learn what a cube can do for you — and how to build one. We show you how.