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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5 Reasons why PowerView can’t replace Reporting Services
Development 5 Reasons why PowerView can’t replace Reporting Services

The other week I wrote a post discussing how PowerView was the future of SQL Server Reporting Services, and the killer features that made it a compelling choice. Despite the numerous positive advances that PowerView brings to Microsoft/SQL-based reporting, there are of course a number of counter arguments. I deliberately left these out in order to look at some of these reasons in a later post.

As such, here are five reasons why PowerView, despite all its pizzazz, is simply not capable (in its current form) of replacing the venerable SSRS.

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6 Reasons why PowerView is the Future of Reporting Services
Development 6 Reasons why PowerView is the Future of Reporting Services

Since its introduction with SQL Server 2012, PowerView has started to become the familiar face of Microsoft’s self service business intelligence offering. Its inclusion in Excel 2013 has only reinforced its position as the premier tool for quick, interactive visualisation of data, in conjunction of course with the magnificent PowerPivot. But ask any “traditional” BI developer/architect about Reporting Services (SSRS), and it’s likely that they will staunchly defend it, decrying PowerView as a gimmick.

So here are 6 reasons why PowerView is NOT a gimmick, and may in fact be the future of SQL Server Reporting Services.

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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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Web & technology Re-downloading Microsoft Office 2010 using an existing Product Key

Just a quick one for now, as I’ve still not got around to finishing up the several posts I currently have in the offing, due to playing about with HDInsight on Windows Azure. I did however, spend a rather frustrating couple of hours at the weekend trying to find a way to re-download Office 2010 for an older PC after upgrading my laptop to Office 2013. I had the absolute brainwave of signing up to Office 365, which would allow me to install the latest suite on each of my PC’s. Only after signing up did I realise that my old desktop, running Windows Vista, didn’t support Office 2013. Luckily, I have a copy of Office 2010 on my account, so all I needed to do was go to my office account and re-download the 2010 installer, right? Right?

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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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