Office 365 Team Site homepage

Power BI for Office 365 first thoughts

I’ve been meaning to write something on Power BI for a long time now, and I’m a little late in getting round to writing this, as most of the dust has already settled after Microsoft sent out the first round of invites to the Power BI for Office 365 preview, and a lot of people have produced some amazing work with Power BI.  Chris Webb has written a pretty comprehensive review on his blog, as have countless others.

What is Power BI?

For anyone living under a rock (or new to the world of MS BI), Power BI is a new offering from Microsoft which makes their new Excel-based self-service BI tools shareable and collaborative in a way that was previously only available for organisations rocking a SharePoint Enterprise installation.  By hooking their toolkit up to Office 365, they’re providing a cloud-based ecosystem in which to share, manage and explore data, using their suite of data tools: Power Query (formerly Data Explorer), Power Pivot (formerly PowerPivot), Power View, and Power Map (formerly GeoFlow).  If you want to know a bit more, I’ve got a more detailed post on the included functionality in Power BI for Office 365. Continue reading “Power BI for Office 365 first thoughts” »

Microsoft announces Power BI for Office 365

After launching a number of really neat self-service business intelligence plugins and components over the past couple of years, Microsoft has finally announced their complete self-service BI package: Power BI for Office 365.  Incorporating Microsoft’s four big self-service BI components of the past year or so; PowerPivot, PowerView, Data Explorer and GeoFlow, the Power BI suite combines these parts into a single, unified offering.  Most exciting of all though, is the inclusion of a mobile application for either Windows (I’m assuming Win 8) or iPad, which could very well be the secretive “Project Helix”, revealed at last year’s SharePoint Conference. Continue reading “Microsoft announces Power BI for Office 365” »

GeoFlow brings 3D geographical visualisation to Excel 2013

The other week, Microsoft announced GeoFlow for Excel 2013 at the SQL PASS Business Analytics conference in Chicago.  While it’s not exactly new, it is at least, a pretty impressive looking addition to the data visualisation toolkit.

However, while GeoFlow finally brings 3D geographical visualisation to Microsoft’s self-service BI utility belt (in your face, Batman), it’s hard to make a case for it for any purpose except wowing executives and potential clients.

[tube]LNI0r9_BJUM[/tube]

Continue reading “GeoFlow brings 3D geographical visualisation to Excel 2013” »

Architecture diagram for the BISM

Microsoft BI 2012: A Year In Review

With the year drawing to a close, I thought it would be the perfect time to recap the major developments in Microsoft Business Intelligence throughout 2012.  Unsurprisingly, the launch of SQL Server 2012 proved to be the focal point of this year’s releases, although we had a few extra surprises along the way: Continue reading “Microsoft BI 2012: A Year In Review” »

Calculate the difference between two dates in DAX

Another quick Data Analysis eXpressions (DAX) update, given that I’ve been playing about with PowerPivot again this week.  Following on from my exertions trying to work out how to return a month name in DAX, I found myself looking for a DAX equivalent of SQL Server’s DATEDIFF function.  Fortunately, this is reasonably straightforward.  All we need to do is perform a regular subtraction on two dates and multiply the result by 1.0, which will return the number in serial date-time (the number of days since “1900-Jan-0”, which is how Excel stores dates). Continue reading “Calculate the difference between two dates in DAX” »