Microsoft Power BI Users Can Publish Visualizations Online

The cloud-based analytics and business intelligence software gains a "publish to Web" feature.


Microsoft has released a new feature to help data wonks and bloggers share their Power BI charts and graphs.

"I am very excited to announce that today we are releasing the Power BI 'publish to web' capability in preview," announced Faisal Mohamood, a Microsoft Power BI group product manager, in a Feb. 3 blog post. "Microsoft Power BI publish to web allows users to tell compelling stories with interactive data visualizations in minutes."

In addition to blogs and Websites, Mohamood envisions users posting their data-driven insights on social media or sharing them via email. Adhering to Microsoft's "mobile-first" mantra, Power BI's interactive graphs and other visualizations render well on smartphones, tablets and PCs.

"You can easily embed interactive Power BI visualizations in your blog and website or share the stunning visuals through your emails or social media communications. You can reach millions of users on any device, any place, for an engaging experience," said Mohamood.

Once the Publish to Web option is selected in File menu, Power BI generates a link to a live report along with HTML code that can be dropped into a Web page. "You can connect to hundreds of sources—files, databases, applications and public data sources are all easy to connect to and use in your data stories," said Mohamood.

Naturally, not all data is meant for public consumption. In a how-to video, Microsoft's Lukasz Pawlowski, a software development engineer, urges users to check with their organizations' policies before publishing potentially confidential or proprietary information. Administrators can manage Power BI content published to the Web, assured Mohamood.

Already, some organizations have used Power BI to share their insights online, including Microsoft's own Bing Predicts team, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation and Water1st International.

"The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) developed a Power BI dashboard to showcase its global program data and accomplishments," Mohamood said. "Using the publish-to-web feature, the dashboard is now featured on EGPAF's external website" The dashboard is the first of several planned, he added.

Meanwhile, Water1st International is "using Power BI publish to web to communicate the issues and outcomes of its mission to consistently implement high-quality water and sanitation projects that provide permanent solutions for the world's poorest communities," said Mohamood. Power BI's publish-to-Web functionality also has a role in business.

"J.J. Food Service is a national foodservice specialist with branches across the UK supplying all food industry sectors from restaurants, pubs and hotels to schools, universities and local authorities," he said. "J.J. Food Service is using Power BI to publish relevant data on websites and blogs to provide easy access to their reports to external partners."

Power BI is one of Microsoft's earliest efforts to democratize big data analytics. Launched in early 2014, the cloud- and mobile-enabled service allows users and organizations to explore private and public data sources using customizable visualizations. Last month, the company kicked off 2016 with a raft of Excel-friendly updates, including the ability to export Power BI tiles as .CSV files.

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of...