Microsoft Previews Power BI Dashboards
An update will enable personalized dashboards and deliver insights from popular third-party SaaS applications.Power BI, Microsoft's cloud-based, self-service business intelligence toolset, is gaining new features that are aimed at helping users get an at-a-glance view of more of their data—and from more sources. Officially launched on Feb. 10 after its 2013 debut, Power BI is Microsoft's stab at closing the big data skills gap by enabling the exploration and analysis of business information with Excel, one of the corporate world's most prevalent software tools. The Power BI Team announced in a Dec. 18 blog post the release of a new Power BI preview for U.S. customers. The most eye-grabbing new feature is Power BI dashboards, which consolidates multiple visualizations into one screen. Power BI's new "dashboard combines on-premises and cloud-born data in a single pane of glass, providing a consolidated view across the organization, regardless of where the data lives," stated the company. "Users can easily explore all their data using intuitive, natural language capabilities and receive answers in the form of charts and graphs." While rummaging through their data, users can also "pin" specific reports. "Visuals from these reports can also be pinned to their dashboards for continuous monitoring," explained the Power BI team.
"As part of this experience, new visualizations have been added, including combo charts, filled maps, gauges, tree maps and funnel charts," they continued. Indeed, an accompanying screenshot displays a "travel analysis" dashboard with over a dozen visualizations neatly arrayed across a single screen, all within a quick glance.