New Power BI Features For More Streamlined Data Analysis | Hacker Noon

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With time, businesses are dealing with ever-growing amounts of data worldwide. This is obtained from multiple sources, offline and online. While the data can be very beneficial for the businesses- they also need to compile and analyze it using the right type of tools. Using regular productivity applications will not cut much ice here! That is where data analysis and business intelligence solutions come into the picture. While you can pick from several BI and data analytics tools nowadays, Microsoft Power BI is in a league of its own. The tool is so versatile and powerful that businesses opt for Microsoft power bi experts for extracting maximum performance out of it.

What is Power Bi- at a glimpse?

Microsoft Power BI is a feature-packed business intelligence and analytics solution that is cloud-based. It connects to multiple data sources and helps you analyze compiled data. Thereafter, you can create intuitive reports and view the reports on its dashboards. It also lets you create different types of charts. The created reports can be published and shared instantly. 

You can opt for Power BI Desktop, and there is a mobile version too. The Desktop version is a feature-packed on-premise solution, but it also relies on the cloud-based service. The Mobile app shares the features, and it is ideal for employees who are on the move. For advanced and more demanding users, Microsoft presents Power Bi in 2 additional flavors – Professional and Premium. These versions are better suited for enterprise users. 

Companies that want customized Power BI solutions can opt for Power BI Embedded solution and Power BI Report Server.

The new features in Power Bi and enhancements

Microsoft launched Power BI as a versatile platform for data analysis and BI solutions. Since its inception, the client base has expanded steadily. The clients include heavyweights like Fordham University, HP, Adobe, Honeywell, Kansas State University, Seattle Seahawks, Toshiba, Pepsi, etc. Microsoft says almost 260,000 organizations worldwide use Power BI solutions.

The steady popularity of Power BI is also owing to the continuous addition of new features by Microsoft. The company has made the platform enriched by adding useful new features, and that has enabled Power Bi to retain its position in this sector. 

Listed below are the new features of Power BI (unveiled at the Microsoft Ignite 2021) that can be absolutely beneficial for business users:

Integrate Power BI with Excel and Microsoft Teams and for better Collaboration

With time, organizations are becoming dependent on data like never before. It is, therefore, necessary for the various teams in a company to work using common resources and data. It is a fact many businesses already use Microsoft applications like Excel, Office suite, and Teams. That is why the company introduced a Power BI tab meant for Microsoft Teams. A Microsoft spokesperson said this enhancement brings Power BI closer to MS Office experience and sharing data will be smoother too. 

The design tabs now look similar to those found in the company’s widely used slideshow software, PowerPoint. This will make things easy for the users who have been using MS Office for a long time and are new to Power BI. 

Microsoft has made efforts to ensure Excel and Power BI users can collaborate together. Now, embedding Excel in Power BI is even smoother and easier. 

Create In-Depth Reports through automation, minus fuss

Right from the beginning, Power BI was liked by the users for its in-depth report generation and sharing capability. The enhanced AI functionality makes it easy for the Power BI users to locate stories in the large data sets without delay. Through the Smart narrative toolbar, the users can generate AI visualization like never before. 

Now, the Power BI users can find out the nuances of spikes and anomalies in the data. This makes understanding unexpected dips or surpluses easier.

New Power BI Security Measures and Pricing to Encourage Adoption

The new pricing of the Power Bi Premium edition will encourage more business users to adopt the service, feels Microsoft. So far, the Premium version was offered at a fixed monthly charge of $5,000. This kept it out of reach for many SMBs. However, that is set to change. From 2nd April 2021, organizations can avail of the Premium version by paying only $20 per user for a month. However, the earlier pricing model was for dedicated hardware setup, and the new plan is for cloud service. It will liberate the users from maintaining Power BI infrastructure.

Power BI happens to the sole BI service in the sector with native support for Microsoft Cloud App Security and Microsoft Information Protection. This ensures even the exported data remains secure. The platform will be joined by Microsoft Office users, over 1 billion in number. This will make Power BI implementation more widespread.

These features will be made available with the official release of Power BI Premium Gen2, and it is in the preview stage right now. Notably, the preview customers have said the upcoming version is likely to offer enhanced performance. They report data sets refreshing much faster compared to the earlier version. 

What the future holds for the Power BI users

Microsoft is well aware of the rival BI and data analytics solutions emerging on the landscape, and it is careful about taking user feedback. So, the future iterations and updates of Power BI will focus on usability, sharing, and integration with other Microsoft services. The new Premium plan comes loaded with plenty of bells and whistles, apart from more feasible pricing. It gets paginated reports, 48 data refreshes/day, new AI features, and a model size limit of 100 GB. 

The new pricing for the premium version of power BI opens new avenues, literally. Many existing Power BI Premium users will embrace the per-user plan. At the same time, many small and mid-sized ventures will start using it. The services will also be offered as a 60-day trial, free of cost. Microsoft has also eased the upgrade path for other users. Those using Power BI Pro need to pay only $10 more per month.

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