While enhancements to Visio 2010 make it a compelling business intelligence (BI) solution, I have seen it continue to be perceived primarily as a simple diagramming application. To display the power of Visio 2010 as BI solution, this blog highlights a series of 5 FREE online labs that will help you save money, by teaching you how to build BI dashboards using your company’s existing investments in Visio 2010 and SharePoint 2010.

If you are a SharePoint developer, or any developer who is interested in learning how to develop visual BI and visual Collaboration solutions, I strongly encourage you to attend these labs. Besides learning how to develop BI solutions, you will also learn how to:

  • Create, parameterize, publish, and visualize a SharePoint workflow using Visio 2010
  • Develop custom mash-ups, and “living” data-connected diagrams which evolve with data-changes
  • Showcase process libraries’ abilities around business process modeling, collaboration, notation and recording

Lab 1 - Publishing Data Connected Diagrams ( Lab Link )

  • Connect Visio diagrams to external data sources
  • Link data to shapes
  • Depict changes in data, through changing visuals
  • Publish data connected diagrams to browser to Visio Services

Lab 2 - Building a simple dashboard using Web Part Connections ( Lab Link )

  • Create a web part page
  • Configure the Visio Web Access web part
  • Configure web part connections supported by Visio Web Access web part

Lab 3 - Building mash ups using with Visio Services ( Lab Link )

  • Experiment with the ECMAScript object model and examine the role it plays with Visio Services
  • Add Shape Overlays and Highlights to a Visio Web Access web part using the ECMAScript object model
  • Use the ECMAScript object model to retrieve shape data based on the selected shape in a Visio Web Access part
  • Combine it with other SharePoint data to create a convenient user browsing experience

Lab 4 - Building Data Graphics ( Lab Link )

  • Create a custom Icon Set Data Graphic
  • Configure a custom Icon Set for use with a template
  • Configure a custom Icon Set as a Data Graphic item for a data connected shape

Lab 5 - Using Visio with SharePoint Workflow ( Lab Link )

  • Create a SharePoint workflow diagram using the SharePoint Workflow template in Visio 2010 Premium.
  • Validate a SharePoint workflow diagram and fix any validation issues
  • Export a SharePoint workflow diagram to SharePoint Designer
  • Use SharePoint Designer to parameterize and publish a workflow including the ability to enable the Workflow Visualization option