News: Microsoft launches PowerBI as a self-service tool for simplified data analysis and visualizations

Feb 10, 2014


If users are looking at a better way to analyze data and present it in a visually appealing manner without having to go back to the IT, Microsoft’s PowerBI has come as an answer to these needs. This is a kind of self-sufficient and self-service suite and doesn’t require the expertise of a business analyst.

Key Highlights of Microsoft Power BI:-

Microsoft PowerBI App allows the user to view and stay connected to multiple live reports from Office 365 suit from the user’s windows tablet and is available for all users free of cost. The PowerBI is a part of the Office 365 ProPlus service and the cost is $52 per user per month. As far as the organizations with licensed copies of office are concerned, the PowerBI and SharePoint online can be purchased for an additional $40 per user per month. There is a promotion until June 2014 for users of the Office 365 Enterprise E3/E4 packages because they would have to pay $20 per user per month for getting the additional PowerBI. The data storage is at 25GB per user and the workbooks have a limit of 250GB in size each.

The Microsoft PowerBI works by running workbooks created by the users in a hosted version of Microsoft SQL Server. One can interact with one’s live reports by filtering, sorting and highlighting data. There is a Q&A interface available which helps the user to query the data and the Power Query tool provides a set of merging and filtering options. Apart from this there is an option of quickly tagging reports as one’s favorites and then accessing them later with a tap. The icing on the cake is the manner in which Microsoft has made use of the comfort that people have with excel. And this is why Excel is the interface for PowerBI.

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Some other features that have come with the formal release of Power BI are the ability of it to get connected to data formats like table storage in the Microsoft Windows Azure cloud service. There is more public data available for the PowerBI users which include Wikipedia data and Dun and Bradstreet financial data.

But Microsoft PowerBI is not available as a part of the Microsoft Office Software Package. Moreover IT still has control over what data is shared and can also set up the data sources for their users.

Power BI for Office 365 Overview

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