In the first six months of Microsoft Power BI’s preview, over a half a million unique users from over 45,000 companies across 185 countries signed up to experience modern self-service business intelligence dashboarding in the cloud. Microsoft has once again changed the game for cloud BI with the July 24th release of the new Power BI stand-alone application. James Phillips, Corporate VP of Microsoft Business Intelligence Products Group, described the update as “evidence of our commitment to relentless execution to delivering value to our customers with unmatched speed and agility.”
Phillips goes on to explain that while in the past, BI solutions involved the installation and maintenance of servers, software, and a suite of configuration tools to explore data and publish reports, modern business data is increasingly being delivered via SaaS applications, public informatics, and non-traditional ETL (Extract/Transform/Load) mechanisms. Microsoft Power BI is leading the market in cloud based tools that allow for both traditional and transformative business intelligence activities. Power BI’s strength lies in its ability to provide complete, curated “out of the box” dashboards and reports that update in real-time and provide relevant and valuable business insights.
Phillips explains, “The result is that more people can connect with and gain insight from their data, faster and more simply than ever before. What used to take days, weeks, months or even years of complex coordinated work now happens quickly.”
The new features in the updated version of Power BI takes this idea even further:
Below is an overview of the most valuable updates:
Enhanced Report Design and Web Authoring: Increased web-based authoring makes it easier to create and format visualizations for dashboards and reports through your browser. Additional data visualizations have been added: tree map, combo chart, funnel, gauge, waterfall, donut, area chart, and more. You can also customize reports to add charts, colors, logos, images and rich text.
Power BI Desktop: Previously known as the Power BI Designer, Power BI Desktop is a free data visualization and reporting tool that acts as a free-form canvas for drag-and-drop data exploration. Including additional visualizations, new data sources, collaboration and publishing, Power BI Desktop is both user-friendly and more powerful than ever.
Collaboration and Excel Support: New opportunities for collaboration are made possible with Office 365 Groups and Excel, which have recently been integrated into the Power BI Experience. Groups can work together on the same datasets, reports, or dashboards, and full Excel support allows you to import Excel files to build reports or view workbooks through Excel Online.
Data Sources: Direct connectivity to SQL Server Analysis Services and a vast variety of SaaS data sources allows you to get a full, real-time picture of your performance. Also, Power BI now supports Apache Spark, allowing you to leverage the power of the cloud to directly access interactive visualizations on big data.
Open Source: With Power BI visuals now available as an open source project, customers are no longer limited by the visualizations provided by their vendor – customers and partners can easily build custom visuals tailored to their business needs.
Mobile App: Watch the video below for an overview of the new Power BI mobile app:
SADA Systems, a Microsoft National Solutions Provider, was honored to showcase some of our innovative Power BI solutions and customer success on the stage of Microsoft’s World Partner Conference (WPC) last month.
Watch SADA Systems CEO Tony Safoian‘s keynote demonstration of how we helped our customer WASH Multifamily Laundry Services gain valuable insights across their 500,000 washers and dryers in 70,000 locations in the United States with Microsoft Power BI:
To learn more about Microsoft Power BI updates or features, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website.