Microsoft Power BI for Office 365 packs a lot of punch. A text-based description of it – a collection of powerful and easy to use self-service BI features and services for on premises and cloud data – goes some way in showing its value. But seeing it in action (and what’s being done with it by individuals, teams and entire organizations) really brings Power BI to life. When we present Power BI at events, such as the Microsoft BI User Group of Minnesota and Minnesota SQL Saturday, the audience gets stirred up and the Q&A is lively and interesting. Coaching our customers on Power BI is typically a conversation and an “adventure” because it supports so many roles, spanning report creators/users, data stewards and report consumers, as well as use cases and scenarios. The Power BI Q&A feature, where you can go beyond keyword searches and type in natural language questions and get back useful answers in a chart or map, is particularly popular. It enables users of all skill types to improve their abilities (or start for the first time) with data pattern discovery. Our discussions on Power BI at the C-level and with technology buyers necessarily involve addressing requirements, e.g., infrastructure, security and governance, costs and anticipated ROI, but more and more these professionals are keen themselves to learn and make use of Power BI’s Excel and O365 tools and capabilities. Two downloadable guides from Microsoft.com are available to get you up running with Power BI:
- Power BI Getting Started Guide – learn the self-service BI features in Excel, in a visual guide that walks through creating a workbook with multiple reports. Also learn how to navigate Power BI sites, manage your data, and get a tour of the Power BI app for Windows. This guide is designed for Excel users, report creators, and report consumers.
- Power BI Provisioning Guide – learn how to provision and secure a Power BI tenant, how to assign user licenses for Power BI, and how the Admin Center enables IT professionals to manage the services. This guide is designed for IT Professionals.