Power BI is Released

Today is the day we’ve been waiting for as Microsoft has announced the general availability of Power BI in Office 365.  Today’s announcement represents a milestone in a long road of product development and technology evolution, literally years and even decades in the making

What is Power BI?  In short, it is a complete set of integrated tools for data modeling, analytics and visualization hosted in Microsoft’s secure cloud environment.  The Power BI tools integrate with Microsoft Office 2013, mainly Excel, and can be synchronized with on-premises data.  This new offering fills a much needed gap by giving power users access to rich tools for business analysis tools.

Content is hosted in SharePoint Online and leverages mature, enterprise-scale Microsoft BI technologies in a platform that is usable by business power users.  These simple tools are based on technologies like SQL Server Analysis Services, Power Pivot, Power View and new capabilities of Power Query, Power Map and natural language Q&A.

The Power BI product team announced general availability this morning, February 10, 2014.  You can sign-up for a preview or subscribe to Power BI for about $20/month for Office users user or $40/month for new users.

The best way to appreciate the power of Power BI is to watch the demo contest videos where about 70 different members of the community demonstrated the tools in 10 minute videos.  If you’re just getting started with these tools, there is a lot to learn and a tremendous amount of value to be gain by using these tools in your business.  How do you get started?  Attend the PASS Business Analytics Conference and watch my blog for useful information and links to other resources in the community.

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