Reporting has always been important for software development, simply put the ability to know what has been done, and what remains to be done. For many teams the out the box reporting within TFS/VSTS dashboards has been enough e.g. sprint burndowns and kanban charts etc. Also TFS has always had SQL Reporting Services (SSRS) to provide rich reporting on a whole host of areas; though in my experience few clients use the out the box reports or customise their own reports.
The lack of SSRS based reporting on VSTS has been a blocking limitation for some clients, preventing their move to VSTS. Also irrespective of peoples past use of custom reports, most people would like an easier way, than SSRS, to produce custom reports and charts.
So enter VSTS Analytics Microsoft’s new free reporting option for VSTS that provide a host of reporting options for dashboards, Power BI and OData.
For a great introduction have a look at Gregg Boer’s Channel9 video Visual Studio Team Services Reporting: Dashboards, Power BI, and OData