Six months after its initial release, Power BI Premium now allows users to derive business insights from larger data sets, Microsoft announced.
Power BI Premium is a capacity-based licensing option that enables customers of the company's cloud-enabled business intelligence platform to provide access to the system's big data analytics capabilities in a more flexible and cost effective manner than restrictive per-user-per-month schemes.
After its June 2017 debut, the Redmond, Wash. software giant is now making room for larger troves of business information.
"Power BI Premium now supports uploading Power BI Desktop (.PBIX) files that are up to 10GB in size" which is a 10 fold increase to its previous capacity said Christian Wade, senior program manager at Microsoft Power BI, in a Dec. 12 announcement. And those 10 gigabytes can often pack more information than users may realize.
"Power BI datasets are highly compressed, representing data volumes many times their size," said Wade. "This means that in practice, Premium in conjunction with large datasets translates to self-service, real-time exploration against data with potentially hundreds of millions of rows."
However, to manage expectations, Microsoft noted in its online documentation that although the data is compressed, it may expand several more times in memory and again during a data refresh. This means that scheduled refreshes of large data sets may take considerable time to complete, so the company recommends that users don't schedule too many data refreshes that overlap, a scenario that may cause application timeouts.
If a report based on a large dataset hasn't been used in a while, users can also expect the progress bar to take a while before it reaches its conclusion. Finally, for snappier performance, Microsoft recommends that users employ filters and slicers to display only the necessary charts and other visuals.
The new file size limits follow several Power BI updates in recent weeks.
On Dec. 8, Microsoft released a new feature that allows users to take a more granular approach to how they publish information to the dashboard and reports that show up on end-users' Power BI apps. Organizations can now select which components they wish to include, allowing them to make incremental improvements to the apps over time and keeping dashboards and reports that aren't ready for display out of public view.
Microsoft is also on a mission to help their customers extend the platform's capabilities to external users.
Many enterprises use consultants, contractors and third-party partners to conduct business. Considering that they often lack the proper credentials and software licenses, granting these outsiders access to an organization's vital business applications and data can be a challenge.
In terms of Power BI, users can now easily distribute dashboards and reports to guest users courtesy of a new Azure Active Directory B2B integration. Nikhil Gaekwad, a Power BI program manager, said that after receiving an invitation, "recipients are able to securely sign into the service using their own organization's security credentials or personal email address, while the content owner is able to maintain control over the internal data," in a blog post.