by James Phillips, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Business Intelligence Products Group

Today is an exciting milestone, as we release the new Power BI service and Power BI Desktop. When I first unveiled our GA date earlier this month, I emphasized the importance of the innovation we’re delivering, and how it leads to discovery and insight for our users.

With the impressive list of the new features and capabilities, plus the advances in our Power BI service and the new Power BI Desktop, we already have plenty to talk about. But the news doesn’t stop there.

We’re inviting you to disrupt the way you do business by bringing you this cloud-hosted, business intelligence and analytics service that connects to your data. We want you to experience the team’s mantra of, ‘five seconds to sign up, five minutes to wow!’

Part of this simple discovery is connecting to your data. We’re rolling our new content packs weekly – ensuring that business users can connect to and experience their data without technical setup. This means you can connect to your data in popular services like Quickbooks and Salesforce, and view a curated collection of dashboards and reports that continuously update with the latest data from these services.

We also contributed our Power BI visualization framework and its complete library of visuals to the open source community to enable customers and partners to easily extend and build custom visuals. The project is available on GitHub, and in the future, customers and partners will be able to extend and bring custom visuals into Power BI for use in their dashboards, reports and content packs. 

Power BI sets the standard for modern business intelligence, and it isn’t going unnoticed. With over half a million people, from 45,000 organizations in 185 countries trying out the preview, I'm thrilled by all the value Power BI is delivering to our users.

For example, at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Fort Worth in Texas they are using Power BI to understand how their various programs are performing and their impact on the kids they serve. With a mission to change each kid’s life for the better, the leaders at the Boys and Girls Club use Power BI to see their data update in real time and discover new insights visually to take action.

At Metro Bank in London, the team is using Power BI to quickly and accurately provide information to guide analysis and decision-making as they set out to create fans, not customers.

With all the new features and capabilities we’re delivering today, plus our commitment to a weekly release cadence, I know we’ll continue to have great customer stories like the two above to tell.  Join the 500,000+ people who have tried Power BI to start discovering the stories your data will tell.