Power BI

The world of data is changing

Big Data – the size, type, shape of data that business are analyze is changing.

Data from sensors: RFID tags in manufacturing, or location data for company’s with large fleets.
Data from social media like facebook, twitter, Linked-In – for analyzing the success of a marketing campaign or to assess customer sentiment or to gather feedback to help shape products or services.
Public data – traffic or weather feeds, or data published from data.gov initiatives etc

Being able to easily tap into these data sources from smarter analytics to drive business insight is a prevalent theme.

Consumerization of IT – this is about choice. I as an individual want to work on the device of my choice. From wherever I want to work. This extends beyond devices to include apps and user experiences. I search for information all the time at home on the web, I want to have that same experience at the office. I’ll talk today about how we’re bringing these experiences to the world of data as well.

Our Vision:

Today only about 10% of an organization’s business users can do business analytics. We believe everyone should have easy access to the data they need to make informed decisions. That’s our goal.

The challenge is that accessing and analyzing data can be a daunting task. Where does the data live? How do I access it and get it into the right format so that I can analyze it?

To solve this problem we need to make data of all types much easier to find, access, analyze, and share. This is the path we’re on.

A powerful new way to work with data

Self-service business intelligence and analytics with Excel and the power of the cloud

Our Approach:

  • Excel is the most commonly used analytical tool for business users – it truly is accessible to anyone. No other vendor has the ability to reach a billion users through tools they already know and use. Today Excel delivers end-to-end self-service BI functionality through capabilities such as Power Query, Power Pivot, Power View and Power Map. With the accessibility of Excel and proliferation of Office 365, we can lower the barrier of entry for businesses who want to take advantage of the benefits of business intelligence by putting the right analytics tools in everyone’s hands with no friction.
  • Ease of deployment through Office 365.. Power BI dramatically simplifies and reduces the time it takes for IT to setup and manage the complex infrastructure needed for an enterprise wide BI platform. Power BI enables businesses to balance between the needs of business users working in Excel and an IT department’s requirements for agility, monitoring and governance. IT can also provide business users the ability to search and access IT sanctioned corporate data sources both on premises and in the cloud while monitoring query usage against their data.

Power BI for Office 365 is a complete self-service BI solution delivered through Excel and Office 365 that provides data discovery, analysis, and visualization capabilities to identify deeper business insights from data in Excel. The Power BI for Office 365 service is a cloud-based solution that enable collaboration and reduces the barriers to deploying a BI environment for sharing reports and accessing information.

Collaborate and stay connected with Office 365: Extends Self-Service BI with ease of collaboration and sharing of reports and data sets which reducing friction from deployment and adoption.

Power BI Sites – quickly create collaborative BI sites for your team to share reports. Larger workbook viewing is now supported (up to 250MB) so that users can view and interact with larger workbooks through the browser. Power BI sites provide a highly visual experience for sharing reports including live report tiles to ease in locate the right report quickly.

Manage data queries for the team

With Power BI people can share not only workbooks but also the queries they create using Power Query in Excel. This allows members of the team to build and manage data queries for others to use when creating their own reports.

Once published to Power BI users can define who they want to share their data queries with and track who’s accessing which queries. Data queries are registered with the Data Catalog so that they can be easily discovered through data search in Excel. If a user tries to access a query but they do not have access to the underlying data source, a workflow will allow them to request access from the DBA responsible for the data.

reports up to date with data refresh

A cloud based Business Intelligence solution must enable you to keep your reports connected to your on-premises data to keep their data fresh.

Keep your reports up to date by scheduling when the data should refresh. The Data Management Gateway allows reports that have been saved to the cloud to connect back to on-premises data sources to refresh data.

  • Scheduled data refresh for your reports
  • Connect cloud based report to on-premises data

The data management gateway is installed and configured by IT on-premises, and enables reports to connect through the firewall back to their underlying data sources.

Maintain a Data Catalog of searchable data

IT departments can now use the Data Catalog feature of Power BI to make it easier for everyone to find and connect to corporate data.

The Data Catalog is a feature of Power BI  which serves as a search engine for data, the IT department can register data from across the organization with the Data Catalog. This data is then searchable from within Power Query in Excel so that users can easily find and connect to corporate data they need without having to call IT with one off data requests.

When searching for data from Excel, users will now receive results from public data sources, corporate data sources managed by IT, as well as data queries that colleagues are publishing into Power BI. Making it easier to discover what connect exists and reducing duplicative efforts across the organization.

The Data Catalog also tracks data access and usage across the organization, providing IT with better telemetry for data governance and resource allocation.

Stay connected with mobile access to your reports

Mobile BI access to reports in Office 365 is provided through two mechanisms. First, Excel and Power View reports now render in HTML5 so that you can access these reports from any HTML5 compatible browser, on any device. The second, is through native mobile BI apps connect to the Power BI service to keep users connected to their favorite reports, which they can view and explore from their tablet devices. Windows 8.1 tablet devices will be supported are currently supported and iOS will be supported in H2 of CY2014.

Power BI enables business users to interact with their data in natural language. The natural language query capability allows users to ask questions of their corporate data and get instant and visual results. The experience is instantaneous and uses natural language query. Q&A interprets the semantics of the question the user is asking and serves up the correct interactive chart or graph.

It’s as easy as going to a colleague to ask a question. This dramatically increases how many business users can get more value from their existing BI solutions.