Over the past two years, there had been a stream of updates in Power BI, a platform that was originally delivered integrated within Office 365 and Excel. Power BI, a Microsoft’s tool for displaying and analyzing data using dashboards and reports, was actually designed to facilitate users to explore and analyze data effectively, which can then be presented through charts and graphs, thereby equalizing business intelligence.

In early 2015, the collaboration between Office 365 and Power BI was cut off and the data analysis platform was released as a standalone “freemium” service. The decision enabled a widespread adoption of Power BI, with comparatively lower prices.

What makes Power BI a game changer? 

Power BI has managed to merge centralized (Data Warehouse) DW/BI strategies along with the cloud data sources and self-service tools, through its data catalog and Data Management Gateway; the functionality which no other platform managed to offer. Moreover, being a SaaS solution, it offers organizations the ease of seamless implementation by providing all its functionalities packaged as one. 
                                           
Power BI brings several capabilities to all BI system stakeholders:

The End Users. End-users always wish for easy accessibility and hassle-free analysis of data. To help them with this, Power BI Q&A is offered.  Users can use the natural language queries to find answers in their own data. This intelligent visualization engine encourages every employee to use the information as a base for their decisions. 

Professional BI Analysts. Power Pivot feature incorporated in Power BI gives the ability of building efficient data models over large data volumes, to its power users. To further empower analysis on building their own end-to-end solutions quickly, data transformation and flexibility features of Power Query are provided.

IT & Data Administrators. Every individual wants to get hold of a self-service BI so that they can make well-informed decisions without any mistake. But, several governance, auditing and security issues have been blocking this service from being initiated. The data catalog in Power BI provides the self-service capability while handling the governance issues, thereby aiding greatly to IT and data administrators.

With such expertise and wide areas of service, Power BI proves that it truly has the potential to hasten the adoption curve and make advanced BI Analytics common like Excel.

What’s New?

On December 1, 2015, a major update came in from Microsoft; the integration of Cortana with Power BI. Although the integrated version is not yet available to the users but still they can try the preview version of the application. 

The tools incorporated in Power BI are capable of bringing big data analytics benefits down to the user level, which enables quick transformation of analyzed data into more actionable decisions. Further, Microsoft hopes to provide ease to individuals using the power of a search engine along with the capability of voice recognition located right on the desktop; that means, making advanced BI as simple as using a search engine.

The recent collaboration with Cortana and the existing features of Power BI are all set to bring a revolution in the field of business intelligence, which will definitely help in making it the leader among the rest.