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The Garage Series: Unleashing Power BI for Office 365

In this week’s show, host Jeremy Chapman is joined by Michael Tejedor from the SQL Server team to discuss Power BI and show it in action. Power BI for Office 365 is a cloud based solution that reduces the barriers to deploying a self-service Business Intelligence environment for sharing live Excel based reports and data queries as well as new features and services that enable ease of data discover and information access from anywhere. Michael draws up the self-service approach to Power BI as well as how public data can be queried and combined in a unified view within Excel. Then they walk through an end-to-end demo of Excel and Power BI components–Power Query, Power Pivot, Power View, Power Map and Q&A–as they optimize profitability of a bar and rein in bartenders with data.

Last week Mark Kashman and I went through the administrative controls of managing user access and mobile devices, but this week I’m joined by Michael Tejedor and we shift gears completely to talk data, databases and business intelligence. Back in July we announced Power BI for Office 365 and how this new service along with the  using the familiar tools within Excel, enables you can to discover, analyze, visualize and share data in powerful ways. Power BIThe solution includes Power Query, Power Pivot, Power View, Power Map and as well as a host of Power BI features including Q&A.  and how using the familiar tools within Excel, you can discover, analyze, visualize and share data in powerful ways. Power BI includes Power Query, Power Pivot, Power View, Power Map and Q&A.

  • Power Query is a data search engine allowing you to query data from within your company and from external data sources on the Internet, all within Excel.
  • Power Pivot lets you create flexible models within Excel that can process large data sets quickly using SQL Server’s in-memory database.
  • Power View allows you to manipulate data and compile it into charts, graphs and other visualizations. It’s great for presentations and reports
  • Power Map is a 3D data visualization tool for mapping, exploring and interacting with geographic and temporal data.
  • Q&A is a natural language query engine that lets users easily query data using common terms and phrases.

In many cases, the process to get custom reports and dashboards from the people running your databases, sales or operations systems is something like submitting a request to your database administrator and a few phone calls or meetings to get what you want. I came from an logistics and operations management background, it could easily take 2 or 3 weeks to even make minor tweaks to an operational dashboard. Now you can use something familiar–Excel–in a self-service way to hook into your local databases, Excel flat files, modern data sources like Hadoop or public data sources via Power Query and the data catalogue. All of these data sources can be combined create powerful insights and data visualizations, all can be easily and securely shared with the people you work with through the Power BI for Office 365 service.

Of course all of this sounds great, but you can’t really get a feel for it until you see it. Michael and team built out a great demo themed after a bar and using data to track alcohol profitability, pour precision per bartender and Q&A to query all of this using normal query terms. You’ll want to watch the show to see how everything turns out and of course to see all of these power tools in action. Of course if you want to kick the tires and try Power BI for Office 365, you can register for the preview now.

Next time, we’ll kick off a two-part special focusing on small business use of Office 365 and getting everything up and running with Office 365 Small Business Premium.

See you next time,

Jeremy

More resources

PowerBI.com

Announcing Power BI for Office 365 (Blog)

What powers Power BI in Office 365? (Blog)

Q&A Feature of Power BI (Blog)

Garage Series Video Channel

SharePoint Blog

Garage Series Season 1 Blog Archive

Follow @OfficeGarage on Twitter

About the Garage Series hosts

By day, Jeremy Chapman works at Microsoft, responsible for optimizing the future of Office client and service delivery as the senior deployment lead. Jeremy’s background in application compatibility, building deployment automation tools and infrastructure reference architectures has been fundamental to the prioritization of new Office enterprise features such as the latest Click-to-Run install. By night, he is a car modding fanatic and serial linguist. Michael Tejedor is a Senior Product Manager on the Microsoft Business Intelligence team and responsible for the BI workload across Microsoft. Prior to Microsoft, Michael has held roles at both Crystal Decision and Business Objects with experience in program management, competitive intelligence, and product management. When Michael isn’t working on Microsoft Business Intelligence in Redmond he is on the road engaging with customers across the world.

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2 comments
  1. Great video. I am looking forward to trying out some of those features. I also look forward to seeing the Office 365 for Small Business. I know I have been using Office 365 for our church and it has worked great.

  2. Can I know which O365 Plans includes the BI Solution?

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