Power BI for Office 365Today, Microsoft announced the general availability of Power BI for Office 365, a cloud-based business intelligence service that gives people a powerful new way to work with data in the tools they use every day, Excel and Office 365. With Excel you can now discover, analyze, and visualize data like never before to find valuable business insights. With Power BI for Office 365 you can easily deploy a cloud-based BI environment where people can share insights, collaborate and access reports, from anywhere.

For a limited time Power BI is offered at the promotional price of $20 per user/month to new or existing Office 365 Enterprise E3 or E4 customers. Other licensing options are also available.

Customers with an E3 or E4 subscription plan have access to a suite of Office functionality including the latest version of Excel. With Power BI for Office 365 those customers can now extend their existing productivity experience with a cloud-based environment to share and collaborate over data adding the following capabilities:

  • Quickly create collaborative BI sites – enable anyone to quickly create a collaborative BI site to share workbooks containing data and insights.
  • Keep reports up to date with scheduled data refresh – reports that have been saved to the cloud can now connect back to on-premises data sources to refresh the data and stay up to date.
  • Manage data queries for the team – share not only workbooks but also the data queries created in Power Query for Excel. Team members can now build and manage data queries for others to use when creating their own reports.
  • Maintain a Data Catalog of searchable data – IT departments can now use the Data Catalog feature to make it easier for everyone to find and connect to corporate data by searching for it from within Excel.
  • Ask questions of your data in natural language – with the Q&A features people can type questions they have of the data in natural language and the system will interpret the question and present answers in the form of interactive visualizations.
  • Stay connected with mobile access to your reports – stay connected from anywhere with new HTML5 support and the Power BI windows app.

Power BI for Office 365 provides an easy way for organizations to begin doing self-service business intelligence today. Our customers have already started to realize the benefits of the service. Learn how MediaCom is using Power BI:

To get started today visit www.powerbi.com and sign-up for a free trial of Power BI for Office 365. As part of the Power BI trial you’ll also receive a free 30 day trial of Office 365 ProPlus giving you access to the latest version of Excel. Once you have Excel installed, download and install the Power Query and Power Map add-ins for Excel and learn about the new features with the getting started guide.

For more information on this announcement, read Quentin Clark, Corporate Vice President of the Data Platform Group’s, post on the Official Microsoft Blog