The PerformancePoint Blog’s design refresh is not a coincidence. A lot has been going on with PerformancePoint as we gear up to release Office 2010, specifically SharePoint 2010. Before we go into what is exciting about PerformancePoint Services for SharePoint 2010, let’s level set by taking a quick tour of what PerformancePoint is and why it’s important to you.

In Definition

The definition would be that it enables you to create rich, context-driven dashboards that aggregate data and content to provide a complete view of how your business is performing at all levels.

The quick elevator pitch would be that PerformancePoint Services is the easiest way to create and publish Business Intelligence Dashboards in SharePoint 2010.

The concept of a dashboard takes root where you might assume. It’s the pilot’s cockpit display, the driver’s car dashboard…basically how you gauge and monitor the success of any activity from driving a Formula 1 race car to running a Fortune 500 company.

In any business enterprise, monitoring that success means access to data. SharePoint 2010 is able to use many technologies to view data, but PerformancePoint lives and breathes data. We replace the fuel gauge and speedometer with KPIs, Scorecards and Data Visualizations that are connected to the data in a that allows you to dive in and answer questions.

In Practice

Now that you have heard the marketing lingo, what is PerformancePoint Services made of, and how can you get value out of it? PerformancePoint Services is part of SharePoint 2010 and surfaces itself in a web part page like a SharePoint savvy user might expect. The unique part is two fold.

PerformancePoint Services starts with it’s authoring experience. The Dashboard Designer application is your toolbox to create from the bottom up: Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), Scorecards, Analytic Charts and Grids, Reports, Filters and Dashboards. Each of these components are unique to PerformancePoint Services and provide functionality that interacts with a server component that handles the hard parts like data connectivity and security.

The Dashboard Designer is a WYSIWYG experience, the pieces you build will appear in the browser exactly how you created them. That brings us to the second part, the end-user experience. PerformancePoint Services is designed with sharing in mind. The pieces you build are bundled into a dashboard and presented in a SharePoint page that understands who is viewing it and what they are allowed to see. That means you design, you publish and they consume…no IT involvement, no complicated workflows.