Today is the big day, Power BI (also referenced as the “new” or 2.0 release) is becoming generally available (GA). This is a very big announcement and we will also see a major update to the Power BI Desktop (formerly known as Power BI Designer) application that will be made available today.
The Power BI add-in tools that were made available in Excel – Power Query, Power Pivot, and Power View and now being made available in a separate application, Power BI Desktop, and are being made available FREE! Just download the application from the Power BI downloads area and you are off to the races.
The image above is the actual image of the new Power BI Desktop application. This application was a collaboration effort and built with the strategic alliance of Pyramid Analytics and Microsoft. The desktop application is a companion for the new cloud based PowerBI.com service and can also be used (coming soon – in August possibly) to publish on-premise to the Pyramid Analytics Server (BI Office)!
The “new” Power BI online service has a FREE option as well as a Pro option (cost is only $9.99 user/month) and the desktop tool is FREE for all to use (check out the following for feature comparison and pricing – https://powerbi.microsoft.com/pricing). Power BI features have been separated from Office all together now – both from desktop Office and Office 365 – which provides Microsoft more flexibility with making more frequent updates and releases. Now the development of the Power BI tools can be fast tracked and quickly change based on requests and customer needs to support their business.
Along with these new changes, there are mobile versions of the applications that are available for Apple iOS devices (iPad and iPhone), from the Windows Store, and also for Android Phones. These applications provide an easy way for users to collaborate with sharing and annotation features as well as data alert notification capabilities.
The ability for users to be able to quickly pull in data, combine data, interact with the data, and create reports and dashboards now to monitor and provide insights has really improved. The speed and direction of the new capabilities and features has been amazing to watch since I was first introduced to the “new” Power BI last November at the MVP Summit. I am extremely pleased and very happy to see the progress and the feedback from the community has been outstanding as well.
Creating dashboards that will automatically refresh has never been easier, especially with the collection of online service content packs that are available to leverage. Content packs are packaged datasets, reports, and dashboards that allow you to kick start your entry into getting insights with services that you use such as Salesforce, Google Analytics, GitHub, MailChimp, Zendesk, and more.
The addition of the partnership with Pyramid Analytics to help develop as well as provide an on-premise solution was a really nice bonus. Superior Consulting Services has been a go to partner for Pyramid for over a year now in the U.S. and we are really looking forward to new opportunities with this alliance.
I would really love to hear what you think of the “new” Power BI and connect to talk about opportunities and possibilities with what these capabilities can do for you and your business. Please reach out to me or send a contact message to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.