Welcome to the Microsoft Business Applications Summit 2021.
Microsoft Business Applications Summit is one of my favorite events of the year. While we connect with our customers, our community, and our partners every day, at the Microsoft Business Applications Summit, we share some of our most important announcements on our strategy and roadmap. We prepare and deliver some really exciting demos and our product managers and engineers look forward to answering all of your questions.
We have an awesome keynote lined up for this year…we have so much to announce that we had to break up our keynote into two parts, and then we have a special session just for goals in Microsoft Power BI…that’s 3 x 30 minutes of pure Power BI fun!
In addition, we have tons of product sessions, and many real-world customer stories from Walmart, T-Mobile, Cerner, Bayer, and so many more.
So, what are we talking about this year?
The partnership that built the industry leader
Power BI is now in its sixth year and usage continues to skyrocket up—growing close to triple digits as you can see in our actual monthly active usage curve above. Many things came together to make this possible, but one of the biggest factors is the participation of our customers and community in the evolution of our product. 95,000 of our users contributed more than 23,000 ideas to Power BI Ideas and our community voted more than half a million times on what they want to see in our product. We listened, we learned, and we shipped. Power BI ships new features in the Power BI service every week, and a new release of Power BI Desktop every month, a pace of innovation that has never been seen in the industry. Nothing gives the Power BI team more pleasure than taking community votes into consideration.
I want to thank our customers and community for making Power BI into the industry leader that it has become.
Power BI—where we’re going
In the Power BI vision and roadmap session, we talk about the journey we have taken together and about where we are going.
What does the future hold for the business intelligence industry at large? Where do we see the opportunity for Power BI in the coming years? What are the big bets we are making?
We have made dozens of announcements at the Microsoft Business Applications Summit, but there are four major ones that I wanted to call out.
Announcing Automated Insights
Power BI has leveraged a lot of the AI advancements in Microsoft Research to help our users find patterns in the vast amounts of data that are now at their disposal. The adoption has been amazing. You find customers like GSK, Medtronic, Veolia, and over 100,000 companies around the world using the AI capabilities in Power BI.
We are excited to announce that Automated Insights is coming to Power BI later this year. It combines all Power BI AI functionality ranging from anomaly detection to smart narratives and the decomposition tree into a single end-to-end experience directly catered to your needs. When you open a report, automated insights runs behind the scenes, and surfaces insights that need your attention.
Announcing Insight to Action with Power Automate
Microsoft’s vision with the Microsoft Power Platform is to help you go from insight to action and automation. Today, business is changing faster than ever before, you need to change as well. Microsoft Power Platform makes it possible.
Power Apps can be embedded into a Power BI report and it is fully interactive—so you can take any action right there. Power BI can be embedded in Power Apps so you have better insights when you make decisions.
We have now brought Power Automate to the Power BI canvas—so you can author and kick off a business process using Power Automate’s 300+ connectors. We are incredibly excited to see what you will do with it.
Announcing Goals in Power BI
Organizations exist to achieve specific goals. In today’s data-driven world, our progress is measured through data. I am delighted to announce that goals in Power BI is available today in preview. There are tons of tools you can use today, so what makes goals in Power BI special?
- It is driven by data. It leverages the hundreds of connectors that ship out of the box with Power BI today. Your data, your analytics, your business logic is already in Power BI and you can instantly connect it to your goals.
- It is built for Microsoft Teams. Just like every other part of Power BI, goals is just built into your Teams experience.
- It is AI-powered. So, you understand exactly how you are doing, and your opportunities to get better.
- And finally, it will enable automated action. We are working on integrating with Power Automate, so you define business processes that get triggered automatically as your goals change status.
And as you would expect from Power BI, goals will have a fantastic mobile experience that is coming soon.
Read more about goals in Power BI.
Announcing Data in Space
Power BI is the only business intelligence product to have an app for HoloLens. It does feel a bit like science fiction. And yes, we do not have as many HoloLens devices around, but you can expect that the HoloLens will get cheaper, the field of view will improve, the battery will last longer, and the software will get better. That is what happens with technology. Microsoft is inventing the future with HoloLens and augmented reality.
We are taking the next leap in augmented reality—I am excited to announce Data in Space coming later this year to Power BI Mobile.
With Data in Space, our customers will be able to bring Power BI to their physical world by using nothing more than their mobile device. Now you can “pin” Power BI reports to the objects in the real world that you want to measure—for example, telemetry coming out of the machines in your factory, sales results in your retail locations, and in the example below.
Things are about to get even more exciting!
Our mission is to help our customers drive a data culture, where every employee can make every decision at any scale with data.
Despite the fantastic growth we have seen with Power BI, we believe that we are just getting started. Here’s why—most of the working population do not have access to data for decision making yet. Even for those of us who use Power BI, only a tiny fraction of the data is even at our disposal. For the data we have access to, we are really at the beginning of using AI and machine learning to improve human understanding. Our ability to collaborate with data is at its infancy. Our ability to take our insights and translate them to action and automation is very early.
So, you can see why we are so bullish about the opportunity ahead. We look forward to continuing our tight partnership with our customers, our community, and our partners to shape the future of Power BI.
Learn more at the Microsoft Business Applications Summit. Also, read the Recap blog here. Additionally, check out the following webinar on the Microsoft plan to unify modern and enterprise BI, and expand self-service BI for big data: From Insight to Action: Driving a Data Culture with Power BI.