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Northwinds BI Data Cube Demonstration

Description  Software Version Requirements
  Demo Download and Installation Instructions
  Data Answers to Business Questions
  Real Life Data Issues Solved
 Excel Pivot Tables Using the Northwind BI Excel Data Cube

Software Version Requirements

This demo requires either:

  • Microsoft Excel version 2010 or 2012 with PowerPivot OR
  • Microsoft Access version 2000 or higher. Yes, I mean 2000. The business part is hard but the database technology required is pretty basic.

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Demo Download and Installation Instructions

  1. Download Northwind_BI.zip.
  2. Instructions are in the .zip file in Northwind_BI_ReadMe.doc

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Data Answers to Business Questions

Northwind BI is a Business Intelligence (BI) star schema detailing shipments from the Microsoft Access Northwind database. It is designed to produce consistent answers to questions like:

  • Do we make a profit on each product after you factor in costs?
  • What are our sales by Sales Territory?
  • What are our shipments by Month? Are there any seasonal trends?
  • What are our sales by Marketing Family?
  • Are discounts consistent across territories?

It is possible, but not easy, to create queries against the operational Northwind database to answer these questions. Each person writing a report may employ different algorithms for calculating values and create entirely different results from the same data.

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Real Life Data Issues Solved

When you create a database to answer business questions, you run into real life problems.

  • The Sales Territories, crucial to the analysis, are not in the production database but are instead on a spreadsheet kept on the Sales Manager's PC.
  • The Marketing Families are stored on a spreadsheet available only to the Marketing Manager.
  • What is included in product cost?

The "correct" answers to all of these questions will vary from business to business. The BI database ensures that all organizations in your business will have consistent answers.

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Using the Northwind BI Excel Data Cube

Search for "Excel pivot table tutorial" or "Excel PowerPivot tutorial" for detailed instructions on using Excel Pivot Tables.

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Copyright 2012, Pine Tree Data Systems

For more information contact Bill Moore, President, Pine Tree Data Systems
at 207.200.7023 or bill@pinetreedata.com