If you missed SharePoint Saturday this past weekend, the organizers are posting the speaker decks here on the front page of the site and as meeting resources to each of the individual sessions. We had great turnout for the event and I want to sum up the experience with just these three words: learning, connecting, fun!
In the last session of the day, I had the privilege of co-presenting with Chris McNulty of KMA on Data Visualization in SharePoint 2010. You can view the presentation here on Slideshare. I talk about this subject because I truly believe in the value of using an enterprise intranet or portal as more than just a document repository - it should be a dynamic system that pulls together content and data from the entire organization, and presents it in ways that make the business not only more efficient but more innovative and insightful.
The session just prior to ours, presented by Mark Miller and Derek Weeks, provided some excellent data on SharePoint use within the organization. The session was entitled "Survey Results: How is your company using SharePoint?" They presented the answers to seventeen questions (you can read more about the genesis of the survey here, see the Slideshare presentation here, and download the full report here) and asked for an audience show of hands before each reveal of the survey data, which made for a really fun and interactive session.
One of the questions in particular highlighted how little companies are currently leveraging their business data in SharePoint. Here's the question and the responses:
How do you expose legacy or other application data to your SharePoint users?
Access data through separate native legacy / application interface - 31%
SharePoint Data is integrated into a different system and pulled by users from that system (i.e. data lives in sharepoint, is consumed by other systems) - 9%
Access all legacy and new data through a single, integrated user interface within SharePoint - 11.33%
External data currently not available - 41.00%
Other - 7.67%
Let's just take a look at that graphically, shall we?
See that large purple area on the left? That is one big missed opportunity, where end users can't access business data at all. And if I understand the question correctly, the large blue area represents a similar opportunity to make end users' lives easier and expose or integrate that data in SharePoint rather than making them use two separate systems.
I'd love to hear more from folks on either:
1. how they are currently visualizing data within SharePoint, or
2. how they aren't but would like to be.
Please feel free to leave a comment here, or contact Chris or me directly if you have any questions about the presentation, or about bringing business data into SharePoint in general. We'd love to help!