Fortunately this week, the Microsoft machine was a little quieter, but still as expected new updated in the Power BI Space.
Power BI Designer Update
I have read quite a few blog posts, downloaded and viewed the Power BI Designer update. And I have to say they are some welcome changes.
In my mind I see that over time, they are porting some of the functionality within Power Pivot into Power BI Designer. Which is a great welcome, and whilst they are doing this, they are also making additions, such as the DAX intelli-sense, which is amazing. As well as giving the user to create a column within the Report screen. It makes the report authoring experience that much quicker and better.
I do think that the product is moving along in leaps and bounds. Especially for customers and users who do not have access to Excel 2013 and potentially Excel 2016!
You can read all about the updates here: Power BI Designer May Update
Power BI – Twilio Connector
Just a quick note, that there is yet another great connector for Power BI. I personally have not come across this before, but in my mind it is starting to show how Power BI is starting to gain momentum from other companies, which can leverage their reporting and product exposure by utilizing Power BI. As well as a great benefit for existing customers, to have a great easy to use as well as informative reporting platform.
I am certain that the Twilio connector, will show some companies a great insight into their data and real-time communications.
You can read more about it here: Visualize and analyze your Twilio data in Power BI
Excel 2016 Visualisations (Charts)
Example Treemap Visualisation below
There are some great new visualisations or new charts coming in Excel 2016. I did watch the Channel 9 video from Ignite which had more details and it did showcase the new charts and how they can enable you to view your data in a totally different way. I think that this is really welcome.
Here is a link to the video: What’s Next for Visualizations in Microsoft Office
As well as a great blog post by Clint Huijbers, in which he does a great job to show examples of the new visualisations (charts): New visualizations in Excel 2016
Azure Data Lake
I once again have to say that this is another smart move by Microsoft. In my mind this is a great product. The reason for that is now you could have the potential to run your entire organisations data within the cloud.
You could start by storing all your data, within the Azure Data Lake, thereafter if you require a data warehouse you could then leverage the Azure SQL Data Warehouse, from which you could then visualise your data using Power BI. This is a great story to be able to tell and to explain to potential customers as to why they should potentially choose Microsoft Azure.
In terms of the Azure Data Lake, from what I have read it is not to be confused with just storing your data in the cloud. It gives you the ability to quickly and efficiently get your required data out of your data lake. The great benefit is that you can store as much data as is required. You do not have to worry about the structure of your data, you can just store it in the Azure Data Lake, and then when there is a requirement to gain insights into your data, it is immediately available.
I also see that if you had to put as much data as you won, or could get your hands on, into your Azure Data Lake, when you start looking at gaining insights, it just means that you will have a whole stack of information at your fingertips. Which then means that you could potentially cross relate data, where previously you did not have it, or it was stored in another system that was hard to access, or to extract data. If you then have to couple this with Azure SQL Data Warehouse as the extraction layer, and run that through Machine Learning, you could potentially be onto something that competitors have not even begun to realize the benefits!
You can read about it here: Introducing Azure Data Lake