Today we’re happy to announce that we’re making Power BI for Office 365 generally available to a billion Office users. Since announcing and previewing Power BI for Office 365, we’ve been continually adding new features and with today’s general availability customers can now make more informed decisions by discovering, analyzing, and visualizing their data in Excel and sharing through Power BI for Office 365.
With this release, we are delivering completely new experiences to customers. For example, Power Query in Excel allows you to easily search and access data within your organization or from publically available sources. In addition once you upload your Excel workbooks to Power BI, you can ask questions of your data using natural language search and instantly receive answers in the form of interactive charts or graphs.
Since the preview, we’ve seen customers like MediaCom embrace the familiarity of this Microsoft BI solution built on Excel and Office 365. A media agency with 4,600 employees, MediaCom uses Power BI to gauge the effectiveness of their clients’ campaigns in real time, so they can maximize campaign effectiveness through insights derived from both paid and earned media factors. “The fact that Power BI is part of Office 365 is tremendous. All our people know Excel. With BI built on top of it, we don’t have to train them on anything new,” says Lowell Simpson, CIO of MediaCom. Before Power BI was available, the company was using complicated BI software that their account managers didn’t understand. No longer, as all their employees can now do more using this familiar tool.
Mediacom desired dashboards that gauged effectiveness of campaigns (top row) and Excel with Power BI for Office 365 delivered with Power Views (bottom row).
The media agency finds it easy to use Excel to discover, merge, and visualize data from multiple, diverse third-party data sets—including traditional Nielsen TV and digital ratings data, comScore digital media ratings, Kantar for consumer insights, and data from Twitter, YouTube, and other social media sources. The result is the integration of these data sources, using Power Query for Excel, into a single-score “health check” Power View dashboard that quickly captures the many facets of a multi-platform media campaign. Such health checks enable the agency to quickly determine the effectiveness of each campaign and how it compares to all prior campaigns.
Once it captures the data in a unified dashboard or health check, MediaCom uses Power BI for Office 365 to share that dashboard—with real-time data analysis of the score—and allow account managers across 89 countries to search the data using natural language terms and get immediate answers about their clients’ campaigns in the form of charts and graphs. That means the agency and its clients can now focus on brand strategy rather than on data interpretation, which helps boost both agency effectiveness and client satisfaction across global clients like P&G, Dell, and Volkswagen.
By combining these self-service business intelligence capabilities into the Office 365 experience, MediaCom expects to complete analysis in days rather than in weeks. This will enable them to facilitate faster, more effective campaign management, increase adoption and the frequency of report creation and consumption; and make productivity gains that can add millions of dollars in value per campaign.
Speaking of productivity, no one knows this space like we do. Office has its eye on the future as we transform ourselves to progress in the dynamic world of services. We understand where our customers are today with data overload, and we also understand where they’ll be tomorrow with the continuing data explosion and the need to make sense of it all. Power BI for Office 365 is a great example how we’re staying ahead of what our customers need and want, by helping them make informed decisions through insights locked within their data.
For more information on and to try Power BI for Office 365, visit www.PowerBI.com.