In January 2015 Microsoft set out to “fundamentally transform the business of business intelligence.” The basis of that bold claim was the release of a new version of Microsoft’s business intelligence tool, Power BI.
Power BI made its debut in 2014. It is a cloud-based business analytics service for non-technical business users. It provides interactive visualisations with self-service business analytics capabilities. End users can create reports and dashboards by themselves, without having to depend on any IT and database administration.
With a browser, or a Power BI mobile app, customers can keep a pulse on their business via live operational dashboards. “They can deeply explore their business data, through interactive visual reports, and enrich it with additional data sources,” Microsoft claims.
The new version of Power BI launched in January 2015 that prompted Microsoft’s claim that it would fundamentally transform the business of business intelligence gained the ability to take in data from a wide variety of sources including GitHub, Marketo, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Salesforce, SendGrid and Zendesk. These were followed by Inkling Markets, Intuit, Microsoft Dynamics Marketing, Sage, Sumo Logic, Visual Studio Application Insights, Visual Studio Online and many more.
It was launched as free service with additional functionality available in the Pro version for a monthly fee. Microsoft hailed the event as “an incredibly exciting day as we help every company adopt a data culture with easy-to-use, accessible tools and innovative technology that lowers the barrier to entry, for all.”
Over the course of last year Microsoft launched Power BI apps for Windows, iOS and Android and in March 2016 Power BI achieved a significant milestone: five million users. Microsoft also announced further enhancements: the ability to easily ‘pin’ live-updating data from the Excel desktop app to a Power BI dashboard and to analyse data from Power BI in Excel.
Another March announcement, of Microsoft Power BI Embedded, is likely to further boost user numbers significantly. Power BI Embedded allows developers to embed Power BI functionality into their applications enabling user to display interactive reports and visualisations in any customer-facing application, on any device, according to Microsoft.
Jodie Korber, Managing Director for Lanrex , says most businesses are sitting on a goldmine of data right in their own organisations. Microsoft Power BI enables businesses to effectively manage and quickly analyse any type of data. This means they can get insights relatively quickly to make better and faster decisions.
You can sign up to use the free or pro version of Power BI at powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/pricing/.
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