At PASS Summit 2015, Microsoft showed off the new Power BI, a full rewrite which incorporates all of the existing Power products (Power Query, Power Pivot, Power View) into an extremely intuitive and powerful product offering. The best thing: it’s free!!
The Power BI Desktop allows you to quickly and easily model data from an impressive array of sources, including: SQL Server, SSAS Cubes, Excel, text files, and even raw connections to websites (where Power Query will search for any tables in the HTML). They have also provided direct and tight integration to SaaS services like Salesforce, QuickBooks Online, MailChimp, Azure, Dynamics and more.
Once you have the data modeled, the only limit to the visualization is your imagination. With an open source visualization framework, Microsoft has crowdsourced the creation of visualizations and is releasing new packs every week. And that’s not the only timeline that blistering. By separating the Power products from the Office suite and making it a standalone offering with primary residence in the cloud, Microsoft has set the expectation of releasing newly requested functionality (users and request and votes on features) at a breakneck pace (at least once per month).
For those that have corporate policies that prohibit their data from being uploaded to the cloud service, Microsoft’s recent Alliance Partnership with Pyramid Analytics has the answer. The Pyramid Analytics Server is an on premises BI server that will allow you to deploy directly to the server and utilize your existing security model.
Overall, Power BI is definitely poised to take over the world of BI.
Samples by Obvience: