New self-service features with Power BI for Office 365 #WPC13 #BI

Yesterday, we talked about the bundled and rebranded suite of Power BI Office 365 and Excel 2013 tools that was announced at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2013. This suite provides self-service Business Intelligence in the Enterprise. Today, we’ll discuss some of the new features that further simplify self-service Data Mining.

The most exciting new Power BI feature is the new Q&A query functionality, which enables natural language processing.  Any non-technical, non-power user can ask simple questions and get immediate results in the form of easy-to-understand charts or graphs.  Non-technical users don’t have to learn structured SQL (T-SQL), chase down an analyst or data scientist, or even require knowledge of the great new Power BI tools, Power Query or Power Pivot to get their results. They can simply ask, “What was my sales volume this year?”  or, “How did my sales do last quarter?” A table or chart pops up showing the data they need to see to get their questions answered.

Power BI

Mobile is all the RAGE!!  Another new Power BI feature that we’re really excited about is the Connected (Mobile) BI experience.  Until now, Power View created very dynamic and rich visualizations using Silverlight, which was only available on Intel-based Windows and Mac OS platforms. With Power BI on Office 365 and SharePoint, Power View now renders charts, graphs and visualizations with HTML5. That means where ever you go, as long as you have a smartphone, tablet or any of the variety of other mobile devices, you can get to your enterprise KPIs.  On vacation in Maui without your laptop? Not a problem with Power BI!

Source: http://blogs.office.com/b/office-news/archive/2013/07/08/announcing-power-bi-for-office-365.aspx

And last, but not least, featuring Business Intelligence in the cloud!  Power BI Sites is a new Business Intelligence collaboration platform in the cloud, which utilizes Office 365 and SharePoint.  With Power BI Sites, you’ll get workspaces in Office 365 that enable sharing and collaboration of data and insights with your customers, colleagues and employees.  Easily keep your team up to date with the latest charts and graphs as data refreshes from multiple data sources.

To learn more about Power BI for Office 365, register for the preview at Microsoft: http://www.office.com/powerbi

Microsoft Announces Power BI for Office 365 at #WPC13

wpc

Big Data and self-service Business Intelligence are all the rage at the Microsoft 2013 Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC).  The big announcement to come out of the WPC is a suite of self-service Business Intelligence tools for Office 365 and Excel 2013 called Power BI. The suite of tools includes the following:

  • Power Pivot – rapid deployment of reporting data models.
  • Power View – enables interactive and dynamic visualization of data through charts and graphics.
  • Power Map (formerly “GeoFlow”) – a tool for rich visualization of geographical location data on a map.
  • Power Query (formerly “Data Explorer”) – enables the quick import of data into Excel for transformation, analyzing and reporting.

Working together, these tools further enhance Excel to be one of the best and easiest to use self-service Business Intelligence tools in the marketplace today.

With Power Pivot, users can quickly build reporting data models without having to understand the deep intricacies of building data warehouses or KPI cubes. Power Pivot does it all for the user with a just few clicks of the mouse. Love that!

Power Pivot

Similarly, Power View enables users to create rapid and quick visualizations of data using charts and graphs that are cohesively linked and tied together.

Power View

With the increased use of smartphones and GPS data, more and more data points are geographic location-centric. Want to plot counts and metrics against a map? Not a problem with Power Map. Select your Excel table, identify your latitude and longitudinal data (or address, city, state, zip) and let Power Map do the heavy lifting.

Power Map

Do you have organization data that needs to be transformed and manipulated? Or do you not have data at all to chart or map? Not a problem with Power Query, which enables you to do quick online searches for publicly available data sets to load into Excel for transforming, analyzing and/or reporting.

Power Query

To learn more about this great Microsoft Power BI Suite, go here: http://www.office.com/powerbi

Get the gist of it–Excel 2013 Power View

microsoft, excel, office, 2013, power view, business intelligence

Like nearly every business in the world, we rely on Microsoft Excel to help us take care of business.  As with every new release of Microsoft Office, Excel 2013 brings us new features which just make the upgrade worth it. 

At Extended Results, we help companies around the world get more out of their Microsoft platform of Office products, we are going to give some insights into a new feature called Power View found in Excel 2013.   Power View can be utilized in Excel and published to SharePoint to make a truly cool and interactive dashboard.  Here’s a quick look at the most impactful changes:

What’s new –

  • New report themes
  • Add backgrounds and background image
  • Add drill up/drill down
  • Dynamic pie charts
  • Add hyperlinks
  • Use or create hierarchies
  • Add KPIs
  • Bing maps

Limitations –

  • Power View reports in SharePoint are RDLX files; Power View sheets in Excel are part of an Excel XLSX workbook – you cannot open one within the other.
  • Power View sheets can’t be viewed on SkyDrive.
  • Power View sheets saves to an Excel workbook are not displayed within the Gallery, however they are in the file.
  • The RT version (Surface) of Office doesn’t support Power View.

Need help? Every customer has unique needs and Extended Results can help. We offer a comprehensive, customizable suite of services to help you plan and migrate your existing Microsoft platform of SharePoint and Excel to the latest versions. Read more about our Office 2013 Readiness Services to help your organization get migrated.

Enjoy, Patrick

Excel 2010 to Excel 2013–A full-fledged self-service bi tool!

Microsoft has made major investments in BI for Excel 2013 with the goal to make Excel a full-fledged self-service BI tool. PowerPivot and Power View now come integrated within the Excel experience in the client and Web App via SharePoint and Excel Services. Now you can extend Excel to include Web services content by creating and embedding the new Office Apps right into Excel, which will allow them to work in the client and in the Web App. You can also access your data when you’re on the go with increased touch input experiences as well as sharing options.

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A few things to consider before migrating:

  • Once you convert to 2013, you cannot open in 2010, nor can you revert back.
  • Some calculations do not work in 2013 and can break the book (only found when you convert).
  • All calculations must be verified as some (change) and give bad results. Must do full land through testing.
  • Some calculations take excessively longer in 2013 for the same calculation
  • Must have 2013 SharePoint to host the files if you want to download, however user with 2010 can use the Web site to view, etc.
  • Third party tools and plugins, like Visual Studio may not yet be compatible with Office 2013.

Need help? Every customer has unique needs and Extended Results can help. We offer a comprehensive, customizable suite of services to help you plan and migrate your existing Microsoft platform of SharePoint and Excel to the latest versions. Read more about our Office 2013 Readiness Services to help your organization get migrated.

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Enjoy, Patrick