by C&E Blogger

Today, Microsoft announced the general availability of Power BI for Office 365, a cloud-based business intelligence service that gives people a powerful new way to work with data in the tools they use every day, Excel and Office 365. Power BI for Office 365 brings together Microsoft’s strengths in cloud, productivity and business intelligence to enable people to easily analyze and visualize data in Excel, discover valuable insights, and share and collaborate on those insights from anywhere with Office 365.

Power BI for Office 365 with Excel allows business users to easily create reports and discover insights in Excel and share and collaborate on those insights in Office 365. Excel includes powerful data modeling and visualization capabilities which enables customer to easily discover, access, and combine their data. Customers also have the ability to create rich 3D geospatial visualizations in Excel.

With Office 365, customers have access to cloud-based capabilities to share visualizations and reports with their colleagues in real time and on mobile devices, interact with their data in new ways to gain faster insights and manage their work more effectively. These key cloud-based capabilities include:

  • A Data Management Gateway which enables IT to build connections to on-premise data sources and schedule refreshes. Business users always have the most up to date reports, whether on their desktop or over their device.
  • BI Sites, dedicated workspaces optimized for BI projects, which allow business users to quickly find and share data and reports with colleagues and collaborate over BI results.
  • Real-time access to BI Sites and data no matter where a user is located via mobile devices. Customers can access their data through the browser in HTML5 or through touch-optimized mobile application, available on the Windows Store.
  • A natural language query experienced called Q&A which allows users to ask questions of their data and receive immediate answers in the form of an interactive table, chart or graph.

Power BI for Office 365 provides an easy on-ramp for organizations who have bet on Office 365 to begin doing self-service BI today. Several customers have already started realizing the benefits of the service, including Revlon, MediaCom, Carnegie Mellon University and Trek.

For more information, read Quentin Clark, Corporate Vice President of the Data Platform Group’s, post on the Official Microsoft Blog. Customers can find out more about how to purchase Power BI for Office 365 at powerbi.com.