Redshift connectivity officially announced for Power BI Service
Data & analysis Redshift connectivity officially announced for Power BI Service

Last year, Microsoft added a preview connector enabling Power BI to query Amazon Redshift. This wasn’t publicised as an “official” data source, and took some steps in order to be able to even see the connector in Power BI Desktop. Crucially, you could only use this connector in Power BI Desktop, not when workbooks are deployed to the cloud. Yesterday, Microsoft announced the connector is now available within the Power BI Service, which means that workbooks containing Redshift data connections can now be deployed to the cloud. I’ve been working a lot with Redshift over the past year or so, and Power BI’s still my go-to data-viz solution, so I’m delighted to see the this announcement, as it means that Redshift-based workbooks can now be shared with others via powerbi.com.

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Visualising a football match as a Network Graph using Gephi
Data & analysis Visualising a football match as a Network Graph using Gephi

Ever since getting my hands on some Opta data, courtesy of Manchester City’s Analytics challenge all the way back in August 2012, I’ve been wanting to try something different with the data. Although it’s taken me over a year to get around to doing it, I’d initially thought of the idea of doing some kind of Network Graph to explore how the players were interconnected throughout a match, and potentially over an entire season. Since starting to play with Gephi some time ago, I figured it would be perfect for the job.

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Power BI for Office 365 first thoughts
Data & analysis 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.

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Microsoft announces Power BI for Office 365
Data & analysis 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.

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GeoFlow brings 3D geographical visualisation to Excel 2013
Data & analysis 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.

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picnicerror.net is a personal blog for me to post various ideas, thoughts and discoveries through both my day to day work in marketing technology and general hobbies and interests.

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