This post is brought to you by Seayoung Rhee, Product Marketing Manager in the SharePoint Product Marketing Group.
Reliable business intelligence and insight are key to a thriving business. Excel, SharePoint and Office 365 make business intelligence (BI) in the new Office more accessible to everyone across an organization as part of their everyday work. New and enhanced features in familiar tools such as Excel empower everyone in a business to easily explore, model, analyze, and visualize data from various sources. With SharePoint, users of all levels can collaboratively develop and share insights through dashboards and scorecards, and this experience continues seamlessly in the cloud with Office 365. For corporate environments, these features are further enhanced by SQL Server for higher levels of performance and scalability both on-premises and in the cloud with BI Azure. Ultimately with Microsoft BI, anyone in the organization can develop the insights that help drive new discoveries and make better, more informed decisions.
Explore your data
PowerPivot was a popular add-in to Excel 2010, allowing users to create large data models with hundreds of millions of rows in Excel. This feature is now natively embedded in Excel to reduce the hassle of downloads and installation. PowerPivot is also supported in SharePoint with SQL Server Analysis Services where the workbooks with PowerPivot models can be shared broadly across the organization. New features like Quick Explore aid users in navigating their data, and Quick Analysis provides previews of their charts, graphs, and scorecards.
- Combine and analyze large datasets with PowerPivot
- Summarize data and discover trends with Quick Explore
- Instantly preview charts and pivot tables with Quick Analysis
Visualize your insights
Introduced with SQL Server 2012, Power View provided a canvas to create visual dashboards in SharePoint. Now this feature is embedded into Excel and SharePoint so that business users can create stunning reports to share and interact across the organization. Excel Services now supports the Field List to pivot and change views in the browser. We’ve also enhanced PerformancePoint Services to offer additional features such as themes, filter enhancements, authentication enhancements, a new BI portal, and server-side migration.
- Perform interactive data exploration with Power View
- Share reports with your colleagues with Excel Services
- Work together to make decisions on dashboards with PerformancePoint Services
Control your assets
Self Service BI has often raised concerns for IT Pros in managing the integrity of reports and security. With the new Inquire tool in Excel and Audit and Control Manager in SharePoint, IT governance teams can now further manage self-service BI for end user created assets. Together, these features will aid in comparing various versions of reports and tracking changes in report libraries to ensure one version of the truth of your insights.
- Consolidate and simplify management with SharePoint
- Diagnose workbooks for errors and track changes with Spreadsheet Inquire
- Manage spreadsheet risk within an organization with Audit and Control Manager
A great way to get started using Microsoft BI is through our new Microsoft BI Solution Builder online tool that will help configure the right platform for your organization.
Try it out today at: http://www.bisolutionbuilder.com/
You can find more resources on Microsoft BI at the Microsoft Business Intelligence blog.
Frequently asked questions
Does Office 365 support BI features?
With the new updates to Office 365, we now support features like Quick Explore, PowerPivot and Power View in SharePoint Online for basic BI scenarios. However, there are a few limitations compared to the on-premise environment:
- Workbook size limited to 10MB
- No external data refresh
- No PerformancePoint Services
- No PowerPivot Gallery
We will announce details on the full Microsoft Cloud BI offering in the future.
Are Excel workbooks backwards compatible?
The data model-enabled workbooks in Excel 2013 are not backward compatible with previous versions of Excel. However, Excel 2010 workbooks with PowerPivot models will be prompted for automatic upgrade to Excel 2013 Data Models when opened in the Excel 2013 client for forward compatibility. Excel 2010 workbooks saved in SharePoint will need to be opened in the Excel 2013 client and upgraded to the newer data model to be used in Excel Services in SharePoint 2013.
Are BI features supported in Office Home and Student RT?
On the client side, the embedded Excel in Office Home and Student RT shipped with Windows RT does not include the majority of BI features that the full Excel 2013 Professional Plus client provides. In particular, PowerPivot, Power View, Quick Explore, and Inquire is not available in Office Home and Student RT.
On the SharePoint side, most features are supported in the mobile browsers of today’s tablets, except the web parts that require Silverlight, such as the PowerPivot Gallery, Power Views in Excel Services, and Decomposition Trees in PerformancePoint Services.