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Coming soon to Power BI: Common Data Service for Analytics

Headshot of article author Arun Ulagaratchagan

Today during Microsoft Business Forward in Amsterdam, we announced a new capability coming to Power BI: the Common Data Service for Analytics.

The continued rise of data volumes in undeniable. IDC recently estimated global data creation will exceed 160 zettabytes by 2025, with more than 60 percent of this data being created by businesses. Yet tapping into and taking action from intelligence spanning all of the data – especially data locked in siloed business apps – can be challenging.

Traditionally architecting a solution to ingest, integrate and analyze all of the data from disparate services and apps would require access to a team of dedicated professionals with specialized skills. Organizations would also need the ability to navigate the necessary time to execute, risk of failure, and operating and maintenance costs.

Introducing CDS for Analytics

The CDS for Analytics capability will reduce the complexity of driving business analytics across data from business apps and other sources.

  • Common data schema. Built on the common data model, CDS for Analytics expands Power BI with the introduction of an extensible business application schema on which organizations can integrate data from multiple sources. Pre-built connectors for common data sources, including Dynamics 365, Salesforce and others from Power BI’s extensive catalog, will be available to help organizations access data from Microsoft and third parties. And organizations will be able to add their own data.

  • Accelerated access to insights. Equally, once the data is aggregated, the next step is transforming it into relevant insights and making those insights immediately available to help users take intelligent action. In addition to the data being accessible for self-service analytics in Power BI, customers will have the opportunity to purchase apps from Microsoft and our partners built on Power BI with the new CDS for Analytics capability.

    • Microsoft’s first-party Power BI Insights apps will deliver out-of-the-box insights tailored to specific line of business scenarios – across marketing, sales, service, finance, operations, talent. For example, Power BI for Sales Insights will address how to maximize sales productivity by providing insights into which opportunities are at risk and where salespeople could be spending their time more efficiently.

    • Partners can also build Power BI apps to deliver added value to their customers. Insurance and investment solution provider CUNA Mutual Group is developing a new offering for the credit union industry built on Power BI and Dynamics 365. AdvantEdge Analytics will extend our common data model, leveraging standard connectors to populate the data model from the line of business apps used by credit unions. AdvantEdge will expose deep insights through Power BI, and users will have the ability to translate these insights into action with Dynamics 365. ISVs, partners and AdvantEdge customers can also extend the model even further, accelerating the possibilities for digital transformation for credit unions.

  • Customize and extend your apps. Power BI apps built with the new capability will also be extensible to meet unique business requirements. Regardless of skillset – from self-service customizations in low code/no code experiences in Power BI, to the depth of the Azure platform with data services like Azure Machine Learning and Azure Databricks – users will be able to custom tailor reports or build new ones uniquely relevant to their needs.

Learn More

A preview of the CDS for Analytics capability in Power BI, as well as previews of the first set of Power BI Insights apps – Power BI for Sales Insights and Power BI for Services Insights – will be available during the second quarter of 2018.

  • Visit the Power BI website to learn more.

  • Register to attend the March 28 Business Applications Virtual Launch event.

  • Sign up to receive updates on the CDS for Analytics capability.

  • Get notified as Power BI Insights apps become available.