BI-NSIGHT – Power BI (Embedded Preview, Data Insights Summit Day two, Desktop Update, Power BI Publisher for Excel, KPI App for Apple Watch, R in Power BI Webinar, Content Packs Intelliboard & Ziosk) – Azure Data Catalog (Generally Available)

So after my last blog post the Data Insights Summit came to a close with a whole host of new features and future things to look forward to. As well as then Microsoft already releasing what they had promised in the typical Power BI fast paced manner. So here are this week’s updates in the world of Business Intelligence

Power BI – Embedded Preview

I literally saw this just before I was about to publish by blog post.

And what you can see from above is that they now are providing the ability to enable application developers to add interactive Power BI reports into their own applications.

I think that this is a great option to have if you already have existing Power BI reports or data sets. It means that you can leverage this into your own application. Which makes it another option on how to integrate Power BI.

You can find out the details here: What is Microsoft Power BI Embedded

Power BI – Data Insights Summit

No doubt one of the highlights of the Data Insights Summit was Nate Silver delivering a great overview around the future of the so called “Big Data”. I have not had time to watch the video yet, but I do plan to very soon.

The second day I found was more around how the new features which were explained in my previous post can be used and integrated into Power BI and leveraged by both the users and customers.

It is great to see that you did have the ability to stream some of the sessions live, which is great for people who could not make it to the actual summit. As well as them providing the ability to watch them later (which I plan on doing)

You can find all the sessions to watch on demand here: Microsoft Data Insights Summit

And if you want to read about the second day of the Data Insights Summit you can read it here: Microsoft Data Insights Summit Livestream: day two

Power BI – Monthly Desktop Update

After the past week’s excitement around Power BI, it was great to see that it did not stop them from releasing the Power BI Desktop update.

It is good to see that they made some improvements in the Report View area with regards to the ability of where to publish your Power BI report, as well as respecting the model settings from SSAS MD.

They are always improving the data modeling experience and it is great to see the focus on direct query with regards to changing the data type of a column in your Power BI Desktop. As well as referential integrity on relationships. And finally the ability to direct query for Oracle and Teradata (Interesting to see how Microsoft have leveraged the offer to Oracle customers!)

And finally they had quite a few data connectivity improvements, most noticeably the R Scripts connector.

You can read up all about the updates here: Power BI Desktop March update feature summary

Power BI – Analyze Power BI in Excel

As it was announced last week I will not go overly into too much detail, but more along how important I think that this update is.

What this means and it is what I have been alluding to and waiting for in anticipation is that we are now starting to see in my opinion SSAS Tabular as a Software as a Service offering. Yes, this is just the start of it, but I have no doubt in my mind that soon you will be able to have SSAS Tabular as you do with the Azure SQL Database or Azure SQL Data Warehouse.

By enabling the people to connect directly to your SSAS Tabular Model via Excel you are connecting to your SSAS Tabular Cloud database.

I also think that as they have mentioned before there are so many people who use Excel and will want to continue using Excel that this gives them the ability to continue using their favorite tool.

I also think that is really great because you can have one source of the truth, which you can then leverage for Power BI and for the Excel Users. Which can also mean that it gives the user the ability to look at a Power BI report and then do their own custom drill down to understand what the Power BI report is saying.

You can find all the details here: Analyze in Excel

Power BI – Publisher for Excel Generally Available

Even though this was released a while ago, it is great to see that it is now Generally Available.

So now you can quickly and easily take your work that you have done in Excel and Pin it directly to your Power BI Dashboard.

Here are the details: Announcing General Availability of Power BI publisher for Excel

Power BI – KPI App for Apple Watch

It is great to see that they have created an app for the Apple watch so that for the people who want to have the KPIs always on hand, it is almost literally on their hand.

You can find out the details here: Always have your KPIs on hand with the Power BI for Apple Watch

Power BI – R in Power BI Webinar

This is just a quick note if you are interested in how you can leverage R in Power BI then there is a demo session happening on 14 April 2016

You can find all the details here: [Webinar] – The Power Of R In Power BI

Power BI – Content Pack Intelliboard

In this content pack from Intelliboard it gives you access to Moodle learning management system.

Which will enable the people to understand how to track and analyze their learning performance.

If you are an Intelliboard customer then you can find the details here: Explore your IntelliBoard data with Power BI

Power BI – Ziosk Content Pack

This is another great content pack from Ziosk which provide an unique dining experience. By using the Ziosk Survey Analytics the restaurants that use Ziosk tablets can gain valuable insight into the survey data. And I am sure that they will also be able to understand who ordered what, when and at what times. Which can provide some amazing insights.

You can find out all about Ziosk Content Pack here: Analyze your Ziosk® data with Power BI

Azure Data Catalog – Generally Available

It is great to see that the Azure Data Catalog is now Generally available. I have no doubt that this can be a key driver in enabling users to find the data that they need quickly and easily without having to send an email or go and ask someone.

It is great to see that they have added additional features and functionality, which will only be improved over time.

You can read up about it here: Announcing the General Availability of Azure Data Catalog

BI-NSIGHT – Power BI – (Pin to Dashboard, Extending Power BI Pro Trial, Mobile App Update, All About Dashboards, comScore Content Pack) – Cortana Analytics (Azure Data Catalog) – SQL Server 2016 (SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) Tabular Parallel Partition Processing) – Office 2016 (Official Release Date 22 Sep 2015) – Project Prajna

Once again there was a lot of updates from Microsoft, as well as some other really interesting information within the BI Space. So let’s get going!

Power BI – Weekly Service Update (Pin to Dashboard, Extending Power BI Pro Trial)

I have to say that they are rolling out service updates almost every week now. Which is great to see and shows the commitment from Microsoft to roll out changes and requirements from users.

In this week’s update it is good to see that there are now some additional options when creating new items to Pin to the dashboard. I do know in the past that I have often found it a little difficult to get the right dashboard item on the correct dashboard.

Also it is good to see that in some cases Microsoft will extend the trial by a further 60 days. As I have experienced in the past, you either do not have the dedicated time to try out a service when you sign up. Or you have not tested out all the features to make an informed decision. And I am pretty sure that after 120 days it will become clear that Power BI is fantastic and a great investment.

You can read all about the Weekly Service Update here: Power BI Weekly Service Update

Power BI – Mobile App Update

It is great to see yet another update with the Mobile App for Power BI. They have made some great additions and improvements. I am looking forward to trying out the collaboration. As I often see that this is a feature that when used can really lead to some great conversations or a great way to promote some great work.

It is also great having the Single Sign On. As even though it does not take a lot of effort. We all enjoy not having to put in our username and password one additional time.

You can read about the additional details, updates and fixes here: What’s new on the Power BI Mobile apps?

Power BI – All About the Dashboards

The Power BI Dashboards provide a great platform for showing valuable information which can very quickly show you information that is important. As well as the dashboards can give you some insights into the underlying data.

And I do think that if you design a great dashboard, you are almost inviting the user to have a look around and interact with your data.

The blog post listed below, explains, shows and gives some great advice on how to build the ideal dashboard depending on what you are trying to display.

You can find out more details here: All About Dashboards

Power BI – Content Pack comScore

This week’s Power BI Content pack is comScore. It is another great content pack for customers and users who use comScore.

I do think that due to it being available on many different platforms there is the potential to provide some great insights into their data.

You can read all about it here: Visualize your comScore Digital Analytix data with Power BI

Cortana Analytics – Azure Data Catalog Overview

Even though Azure Data Catalog is currently available in preview, I do think that this is something that will be integrated into Cortana Analytics.

This is really a great and informative blog post by SQLChick (Melissa Coates) in terms of seeing and understanding how Azure Data Catalog works. This is something that I am interested in, as well as going to look into and see how we can leverage this within my work organization.

I have to say that it looks really good, simple to use, but at the same time making it really powerful at the same time. I also think that once this has been implemented it can really enable an organization to leverage off all their data investments, and allow the users to consume this data. Which in turn can lead to the business gaining more insights, which in turn will lead to better results!

You can find out more information here: Overview of Azure Data Catalog in the Cortana Analytics Suite

SQL Server 2016 – Tabular Model Parallel Partition Processing

Looking ahead to SQL 2016 they are putting in a lot of effort into the different BI components.

This is yet another great update and something that I am sure a lot of people have been asking for and hoping for it to be completed. As well know when we can do things in parallel it means that everything runs that much faster. And who does not like things going faster?

The great thing is that in SQL Server Analysis Services Tabular, there is nothing extra that you have to do in order to run it in parallel. As long as you have created your partitions you are good to go.

You can read all about it here: Parallel partition processing available for Tabular Models in SQL Server 2016 Preview

Office 2016 – Official Release Date 22 September 2015

I have to say that I cannot wait for Office 2016, in particular Excel 2016.

They have done some amazing updates and new additions specifically in Excel. I do know that as soon as I can get my hands on it, I will get it installed and working. And then try and get as many people as I can to also upgrade.

It is great to see that it is being released so soon, and I am sure that a lot of people have provided a lot of feedback and details for Microsoft.

So I am eagerly waiting for 22 September 2015.

You can find out more details here: Microsoft’s Office 2016: The new rules for the rollout, starting September 22

Project Prajna – Big Data Analytics Framework

The final thing to chat about today is Project Prajna.

It is good to see that the Microsoft Research’s Cloud Computing and Storage (CCS) group is working on getting the best out of the big data analytics as well as leveraging the big data storage all within one system.

This in my mind will make it easier and faster to gain really good insights into your big data investments.

It is interesting that they are building a platform where people can accesses it and develop using any .NET programming language. Which I am sure that there are a lot of developers who have experience in .NET, which means that they can leverage their existing experience directly into Project Prajna.

You can read more details about it here: Microsoft forges ahead with ‘Prajna’ big-data analytics framework for cloud services