Tuesday, April 5, 2016

DataZen Style KPIs in a Reporting Services 2012 Report

Last weekend I attended SQL Saturday in Orange County where I sat in on a number of sessions regarding how Microsoft's acquisition of DataZen is being incorporated into SQL Server 2016 Reporting Services and Power BI. I had seen the DataZen visualizations in the past and had really liked how they displayed KPIs.

DataZen KPIs

There is now an option to create these DataZen KPIs in the SQL Server 2016 Reporting Services web portal (however, not necessarily in a "paginated" report). 

SQL Server 2016 Reporting Services Web Portal

I like the KPIs because they display information in a very concise manner with the ability to show, for example, volume, a comparison to a target, whether performance is good or bad via color and some form of trend line. 

In fact, I liked them so much, I decided to try to replicate them in a Reporting Services report using SQL Server 2012. The DataZen KPI style ended up being fairly simple to reproduce by using a List with some Rectangles, Text Boxes and Sparklines. Add a couple of MDX queries with some business logic, and I was able produce the report below (note that this isn't really AdventureWorks data).

DataZen Style KPIs in a Reporting Services Report

There's nothing groundbreaking here, just an idea for implementing an effective visualization in a Reporting Services report.

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