Mobile Power BI Users Can Now Dig Deeper Into Their Data

By Pedro Hernandez  |  Posted 2016-02-25 Print this article Print
Power BI

Users can now use their iPhones to dive into reports created in Microsoft' cloud-powered business intelligence software.

Power BI mobile users can now take a peek behind the business intelligence (BI) software's tiles.

The software has long allowed users to explore business analytics data on their mobile devices using the software's tiled dashboard interface. Now, with a new update for the iPhone and Windows 10 versions of the Power BI app, they can dig deeper.

"While dashboard tiles give you a quick overview of vital information, the reports behind the tiles provide a more in-depth view of your data," wrote Romi Koifman, a Microsoft Power BI program manager, explaining the difference between Power BI tiles and reports in a blog post. "It's a multi-perspective view, with one or more visualizations that represent different insights."

The updated Power BI apps now expose the data contained in those reports, opening up an even broader set of visualizations and filtering options. "To see the report, open the tile in focus mode and select 'Open report,'" instructed Koifman. "The report will open in landscape orientation."

Android users will have to wait a bit until the report-viewing feature becomes available. Microsoft is working on porting the functionality, and it will appear on the Power BI Android app soon, said Koifman.

Meanwhile, Power BI's reach across the customer relationship management (CRM) software ecosystem continues to grow.

Last week, Microsoft announced the availability of content for Alpine Metrics' predictive sales analytics platform.

"Alpine Metrics, utilizing Cortana Analytics, predicts sales outcomes with 95%+ accuracy," said Theresa Palmer, a Microsoft Power BI program manager, in a Feb. 19 announcement. "Leveraging Dynamics CRM and Salesforce, the Alpine Metrics Sales Predictions content pack for Power BI includes metrics such as potential and predicted sales and risks, allowing you deeper insight into the future of your business."

Power BI can also plug into Insightly's CRM and project management service. "The Insightly content pack for Power BI offers greater understanding of your CRM data with key metrics on sales opportunities, contacts, organizations, projects, tasks, and events," stated Palmer in a separate announcement.

"Connecting to the content pack is easy: login to the Power BI service and use your Insightly API key to authorize your account. Once the connection has been made, Power BI will automatically create a dashboard, report, and dataset with data from Insightly," continued Palmer.

Adding to Power BI's growing catalog of visualizations, Microsoft recently announced two new ways of letting pixels do the talking.

A new Waffle chart visualization for Power BI adds clarity that is oftentimes lacking in other chart types. "A Waffle chart is essentially a squarified pie. Since it does not involve angles, it's easier for the reader to compare accurately as well as evoke emotional comparisons," wrote Microsoft Product Manager Mey Meenakshisundaram in a blog post.

Also new is the quilt-like Mekko chart. Meenakshisundaram described the Mekko chart, short for the Marimekko design that inspired it, as "a combination of a 100 percent stacked column chart and a 100 percent stacked bar chart combined into one. Similar to a treemap, the dimensional values are represented by the length and width of each rectangle."


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