Microsoft announced that their cloud-hosted self-service business intelligence service, Power BI, will hit general availability on July 24. Power BI originally launched as part of Office 365 back in July 2013. Since then, the company has completely revamped the service and the new version has been in preview for quite a while now. Microsoft is taking both Power BI and the Power BI Designer for the desktop (which is now called Power BI Desktop) out of preview. While Power BI on the web is mostly geared toward making it easy for anybody within a company to easily visualize data and generate reports, the desktop tool was built for analysts who may want more granular control over how they access and analyze their data.
The Power BI Desktop will be enhanced to include:
- New visualizations including matrix, area, waterfall, and donut charts.
- New visualization formatting such as color setting, titles, labels, and legends.
- New data source support has also been extended to include Zendesk, Intuit Quickbooks Online, AppFigures, GitHub, Twilio, and SweetIQ.
- Direct connection to SQL Server Analysis Services tabular models for data exploration. These and other new features will be available later this month.