Microsoft's Power tools are designed to be Self-service BI as anybody who is familiar with MS Excel can start using it right from day one and can use it with little or no dependence on system administrators, DBAs and skilled BI analysts. Microsoft's Power BI also brings the power of the cloud to the end users so that users can remain in the familiar SharePoint platform to exploit its features.
There are currently over 1 billion MS Office Excel users who can now put to use the capability of Excel to discover, analyze and visualize data using Power BI. Already feature-rich Excel that has been catering to the needs of business through its data import capabilities and various analytical features like pivot tables, "What if "analysis has been enriched today with add-ins like Power Pivot, Power Query, Power View and Power Maps all available for free for those who want to enhance their analytical experience using Power BI.
Also, 1 in every 4 enterprise customers is a user of Office 365 online services from Microsoft. What this means is that they are already using the SharePoint platform to collaborate. So, Power BI will be a natural extension of this experience in the cloud for these users. They can now share BI info, search and find relevant information that can be of vital importance to them. What more, they can access these info from anywhere using their mobile devices so that real-time information that is critical to their business can be put to use at the right time to win a deal or avoid a loss of revenue or opportunity.
Power BI by Microsoft is also a highly scalable feature that can help people to begin small but move up to complex data models that will require higher computing power and space to store data and the resulting information.
As this also has cloud integration, it can be managed by the enterprise. Enterprises can provide a secure atmosphere for their users to work on critical data that would remain confidential but still enable them to access data from various data stores in a secure way and share info only with the stake-holders form who the BI info is crucial.
Microsoft, being a trusted technology for decades and having established itself as a dependable online service provider for even a major chunk of the Fortune 500 companies worldwide, todays corporates and business houses can jump into this bandwagon of cutting edge Power BI technology and start capitalizing on its offerings.
More about Power BI in later posts…