Back last year, Microsoft launched a preview of Power BI, a cloud-based business analytics quite which helped companies gained insights into their business. An acronym for Business Intelligence, Power BI was aimed to be a suite of tools to help explain the huge chunks of data that a company collects. Since that preview state, the service has gone on to be very popular, and Microsoft announced at their Microsoft Data Insight Summit that Power BI is now more than 5 million subscribers strong.
At the summit, which is targeted to helping business analysts use Power BI to convert data into meaningful information, Microsoft also announced several new features for the Power BI service. These features ultimately aim to make it even easier to analyze data and share insights while using Power BI, and also deliver capabilities which bring enterprise readiness, integration with Excel, and intelligent data exploration.
The new features are primarily the results of the original launch goals of Power BI, as well as the weekly and monthly service updates which are driven by community feedback. Enterprise readiness, Deepened integration with Excel, and Intelligent data exploration are the three areas in which the new features touch on.
On the Enterprise side, role level security for cloud models are being introduced, available by the end of March, . This means that users can now better understand their overall Power BI usage, and author and manage a single dashboard with customized views of the data unique to individuals.
Also now Generally Available is the ability to pin from Excel. This enables access to data what was loaded and modeled in Power PI, and means that insights can be taken directly from the Excel desktop to Power BI Dashboard.
As part of the new features, in April, a new natural Q & A language interface will also be available to make the service easier to use. New Query capabilities that help users find data and create visuals on the fly can now be used with direct query data sources is also set to go live at this time.
Overall, services such as Power BI are nonetheless important. The IDC and other organizations estimate that data could reach 50 zettabytes or more by 2020.