Microsoft sharpens Office 365 tool to slice and dice data

Power BI for Office 365, still in preview mode, aims to give regular users the ability to do advanced data analysis

Microsoft has added features to Power BI for Office 365, a data analysis tool to complement Excel that the company hasn't yet released in final form.

The preview of Power BI for Office 365 now offers users the ability to mine data using natural language, question-and-answer-type queries.

This Q&A feature "interprets the question the user is asking and serves up the correct interactive chart or graph," Microsoft said on Wednesday. The company posted a short video demo about the feature on YouTube.

Microsoft also improved the Power Map functionality, which was formerly called GeoFlow. This Excel add-in lets users overlay geographic and temporal data on Bing Maps.

Enhancements include "immediate geo-coding of geospatial elements of data coupled with new region-based visualization that color-codes these geo-political areas: zip code, county, state, country/region," according to Microsoft.

"Users can also take the interactive tours designed in Power Map to create videos optimized for mobile, tablets/computer, and HD displays," the blog post reads.

Finally, the Power Query add-in's online search capabilities have been improved, and the number of available datasets increased.

Additionally, "Power Query now supports different merge options for more flexibility in building your queries," the post reads.

Microsoft announced Power BI for Office 365 in July, describing it as a set of cloud-hosted tools designed to let regular business users do "self-service" advanced data analysis on Excel without the need to involve BI (business intelligence) experts. The data to be analyzed can be stored locally on users' machines or in the cloud.

People interested in getting access to the preview version of Power BI for Office 365 can make a request on this page.

It's not clear when Microsoft plans to release Power BI for Office 365.

Juan Carlos Perez covers enterprise communication/collaboration suites, operating systems, browsers and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Juan on Twitter at @JuanCPerezIDG.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Microsoftbusiness intelligencesoftwareapplicationsOffice suites

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?