Microsoft Adds New Q&A Feature to Power BI Desktop

Today’s topics include Microsoft adding linguistic capabilities to Power BI, and Zuora going public on the New York Stock Exchange.

Microsoft has added new linguistic capabilities in the April update for its Power BI Desktop, which creates reports on the company’s Power BI cloud-backed business intelligence and business analytics platform. One enhancement was to Power BI’s Q&A feature, which allows users to find answers and gather insights by posing questions using plain language.

According to Power BI Program Manager Will Thompson, Microsoft has added the ability to import and export linguistic schema files, allowing users to enhance Q&A's ability to find the desired answers by expressly linking certain grammatical elements to a corresponding column of data.

Power BI Desktop users are also gaining the ability to integrate Q&A Explorer into their reports, and organizations can now deploy and manage custom visualizations, allowing administrators to collect them into a repository and make them available to users.

On April 12, Zuora started publicly selling its stock on the New York Stock Exchange.

Zuora is a forward-thinking cloud-based business management provider based in Redwood City, Calif., that for years has proclaimed the viability of what it calls the “subscription economy.” Zuora’s frontline product, Zuora Central, is an intelligent hub that sits between ERP and CRM technologies and enables any company to manage its complex, recurring and hybrid revenue business models in one dashboard, in real time.

Zuora’s stock was originally offered at $14 per share, jumping 43 percent to $20 at opening, and ending at $20.05 by closing on April 12. The initial price range for the stock had been between $9 and $11, so the first day's performance was excellent by any standard.

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