OK, so I’m not at WPC this year but I have just watched this video of Scott Guthrie’s session “The Cloud for Modern Business”. If you’re interested in seeing some new Power BI features take a look at the demo by James Phillips, general manager for Power BI, starting at 21:20:
Some of the new things I noticed:
- 21:40 – a nice shot of one of the new Power BI dashboards first announced at the PASS BA Conference earlier this year. You can see several new types of visualisation such as treemaps, radar charts and gauges (gauges? GAUGES? Shhh, don’t tell Stephen Few).
- 22:33 – a list of out-of-the box data sources is shown from which new models can be created. They include: Salesforce, MS Dynamics, Facebook, Google Analytics, Twitter, and Upload Excel.
- 22:50 – data is imported from Salesforce in the browser. This isn’t happening in Excel on the desktop, folks, it’s in the browser. This is significant!
- 23:10 – another new visualisation shown, a doughnut chart (if that’s the right term). I see names of people from the Power Query team in the data.
- 24:50 – a Q&A analysis is pinned to the dashboard
- 25:50 – much is made of the fact that the dashboard is touch-enabled
- 25:55 – “Partner Solution Packs” are announced. This sounds important! It seems to be referring to the Salesforce demo earlier, and these solution packs are said to include: data, connectivity to the data sources, visualisation and interactive reports. So it sounds like Microsoft are going to encourage data vendors (or other sources of data) to build these solution packs on top of Power BI as pre-packaged analytical apps. Probably a good idea.
- 26:15 – editing a dashboard in the browser and swapping one visualisation for another. Again, the HTML 5 browser based editing experience – we haven’t seen Excel once in this demo.
- 27:55 – “If there was ever a partner opportunity, this is it”. Again much emphasis here. Seems like these new Power BI features, especially the solution packs, are aimed at giving partners incentives to sell and customise Power BI (something which they have not had up to now, to be honest).
Oh, and you probably already heard that Azure Machine Learning is now in public preview. Check out the docs and samples here. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some integration between this and Power BI to come too.