Get started with Business Intelligence in the new Office

Reliable business intelligence and insight are key to a thriving business. Excel, SharePoint and Office 365 make business intelligence (BI) in the new Office more accessible to everyone across an organization as part of their everyday work.  New and enhanced features in familiar tools such as Excel empower everyone in a business to easily explore, model, analyze, and visualize data from various sources. With SharePoint, users of all levels can collaboratively develop and share insights through dashboards and scorecards, and this experience continues seamlessly in the cloud with Office 365. For corporate environments, these features are further enhanced by SQL Server for higher levels of performance and scalability both on-premises and in the cloud with BI Azure. Ultimately with Microsoft BI, anyone in the organization can develop the insights that help drive new discoveries and make better, more informed decisions.

Explore your data

PowerPivot was a popular add-in to Excel 2010, allowing users to create large data models with hundreds of millions of rows in Excel. This feature is now natively embedded in Excel to reduce the hassle of downloads and installation. PowerPivot is also supported in SharePoint with SQL Server Analysis Services where the workbooks with PowerPivot models can be shared broadly across the organization. New features like Quick Explore aid users in navigating their data, and Quick Analysis provides previews of their charts, graphs, and scorecards.

Users can:

  • Combine and analyze large datasets with PowerPivot
  • Summarize data and discover trends with Quick Explore
  • Instantly preview charts and pivot tables with Quick Analysis

Visualize your insights

Introduced with SQL Server 2012, Power View provided a canvas to create visual dashboards in SharePoint. Now this feature is embedded into Excel and SharePoint so that business users can create stunning reports to share and interact across the organization. Excel Services now supports the Field List to pivot and change views in the browser. We’ve also enhanced PerformancePoint Services to offer additional features such as themes, filter enhancements, authentication enhancements, a new BI portal, and server-side migration.

Users can:

  • Perform interactive data exploration with Power View
  • Share reports with your colleagues with Excel Services
  • Work together to make decisions on dashboards with PerformancePoint Services

Control your assets

Self Service BI has often raised concerns for IT Pros in managing the integrity of reports and security. With the new Inquire tool in Excel and Audit and Control Manager in SharePoint, IT governance teams can now further manage self-service BI for end user created assets. Together, these features will aid in comparing various versions of reports and tracking changes in report libraries to ensure one version of the truth of your insights.

Users can:

  • Consolidate and simplify management with SharePoint
  • Diagnose workbooks for errors and track changes with Spreadsheet Inquire
  • Manage spreadsheet risk within an organization with Audit and Control Manager

Getting started

A great way to get started using Microsoft BI is through our new Microsoft BI Solution Builder online tool that will help configure the right platform for your organization.

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