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Just how does Power BI bolt together with Office 365?

In a webcast titled Power BI for Office 365 Overview, Michael Tejedor, a Senior Product Marketing Manager at Microsoft provided his audience with some information about this data analytics tool, including:

  • design features for business analysts
  • a demonstration of likely benefits for organizations implementing Power BI today
  • and a preview of new features to be added, along with a debut of Microsoft’s new web site: Power BI for Office 365

But beyond simply referring to Power BI as a component of Office 365, there was no mention of how the two can be used, together, to deliver specific value to consumers. Perhaps the connection amounts to Power BI positioned as another component of the Office Pro Plus suite of tools. On the other hand, one would expect the features attributed to Power BI for team collaboration would leverage Office 365 Team Sites, and, perhaps, Yammer. Bottom line: this presentation didn’t dive into how the tool and the platform are meant to work together.

Newvertheless, this writer recommends readers with an interest in Power BI and Office 365 and/or SharePoint on premises watch the webcast. The presentation of features in the design (architecture) of Power BI for business analyst may help stakeholders identify a segment of users within an organization (business analysts), who can be counted on having a favorable interest in a decision to implement either Office 365 or SharePoint, On Premises.

Stakeholders in an effort to build a hybrid on premises and cloud computing platform with both SharePoint on premises, and Office 365, will likely find Tejedor’s demonstration of how a Power BI dashboard located on Azure, in the cloud, can be updated, in real time as data changes on premises useful.

The features planned to be rolled into the production version of Power BI include a set of dashboard views, which Tejedor reported, end users will be able to set up, themselves, without dependence on IT support. Presumably the process of putting together these dashboards will leverage no code methods, and, perhaps, even workflow. But, once again, this presentation did not include specific information about just how end users will manage their task.

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