I am sure you have noticed that I’m a firm believer in self service BI. I have also been experimenting with Tableau and local elements of Power BI, but it is recent news that Microsoft is offering a free version of this toolkit. Of course it is not the totally full version of Power BI, but still something to test out.
“Known simply as Power BI, it will offer a basic set of features with 1GB of data capacity limit per month per user.” Techradar
There is one more catch though: anyone can register here, but only with corporate email addresses, so no GMail, Hotmail or Outlook accounts. To an extend though it makes sense, this free version of Power BI is clearly there to increase the apetite and well, these kind of solutions are mostly used by companies.
What can Power BI do?
I believe the demo video talks for itself, so I let the guys at Microsoft explain you what they are offering.
I know natural language queries are new, but still I’m fascinated by it. Especially when it comes to self service BI, having business users to ask questions as it comes to them naturally is a very powerful notion and Power BI seems tohave noticed it. Actually it looks they are putting pretty strong emphasis on enabling the end users to massage the data through asking questions.
Another important aspect is integrations. While not too many, Power BI seems to be integrating with many key services, mostly of course Microsoft software. Nevertheless Marketo and Salesforce also show up on the list, which from a marketing standpoint is pretty welcome. If I would think of what to integrate I would also go with CRM and marketing automation platforms.
Design and ease of use seem also to be in focus, but I let you decide on that. You can actually try it out on sample sales data provided by Microsoft.
Power BI is not for everyone, but if you are a smaller company, but still want to stay informed constantly this might be a good option for your. I think it is easy to use and if you live in the Microsoft ecosystem you have an easy way to pull everything together in one place.