Microsoft's Power BI Starts 2016 With Excel-Friendly Updates
Microsoft introduces more ways of working with Excel data along with new collaboration, alerting and printing capabilities.Power BI is offering users returning from their holiday breaks several new data exploration features, courtesy of a set of new updates Microsoft issued for its cloud-based business intelligence software. In the new year, user can export tile data—Power BI groups visualization and data points into a configurable tiled interface—into a .CSV file that can be used in Excel and other applications. Filtered visualizations will export the filtered versions of the underlying data when exported. Building on the ability to pin Excel ranges into a Power BI dashboard, Microsoft has now enabled similar functionality for complete Excel charts. Other enhancements include formatting options for Excel-based tiles and editing Excel Reports using the spreadsheet client app, in addition to the company's browser-based Excel Online offering. To improve collaboration, users can now add images and text directly onto their dashboards before sharing them. "You used to have to add the text or image to a report and then pin it to a dashboard. Now you can add an image or text box 'widget' directly to a dashboard," blogged the Microsoft Power BI team in a Jan. 6 posting. "This widget is a tile on a dashboard that exists on its own. It doesn't point to any report or dataset."
Shared dashboards now display a notification in the recipient's workspace. Power BI also displays the contact information of a shared or organizational dashboard's owner.