Microsoft has added another new feature that will be a big plus to all companies who put a lot of emphasis on reporting done through Excel. They have now given users of Power BI the wonderful ability to pin Excel visuals directly to Power BI. As with most things within Power BI, the process is as simple as it gets.
For example, I spent literally 3 minutes to get from a blank Excel document to having a new tile on my Power BI Dashboard, all using Microsoft’s example data outlined in their AdventureWorks suite. It really works as simple as Create, Pin and Confirm:
While the process is simple, there are always details to note that can prove critical if not considered. Microsoft’s answer is to create the Pin Manager. The Pin Manager is used to track your visuals that are being used in Dashboards and also gives you the ability to manually update them:
Presently it appears that the update cannot be scheduled or automated so the use of this feature should be selective until it becomes available.
The question therefore is why would you use the visuals you have created in Excel instead of using the embedded visuals in Power BI? The majority of significant visuals are present in both and Power BI can be scheduled to update automatically?
I believe there is a twofold answer. The first is that while Power BI is wonderful for visualizing cubes and creating models in, some datasets and spreadsheet data can be considered either too small or not compatible for a pivot model. In these scenarios the ability to Pin directly from Excel may be a better option.
The second answer is as simple as the tool itself. Despite all these new tools coming out, some people and companies simply prefer Excel, proven again by the fact that it is still the most used office software in the world.
Written By: George Bryant, GNet Group