Power BI Blog

Tips, ideas, and updates from the experts

  • Now in Preview - Get quick insights into your QuickBooks Online account data

    Whether you are starting your own business or a well-established small business owner, you are likely using QuickBooks, the most common accounting solution for small business owners. If so, Power BI provides an easy and better way to visualize your business data and get better insights. By simply logging in your QuickBooks Online accounts, Power BI automatically generates customizable, mobile-ready dashboards and reports for you. If you have other data sources like market research or cohort trending analysis, you can easily combine and analyze them in Power BI. In the highly competitive world of small businesses, Power BI helps you stay further ahead of the game.

    In this post we’ll cover how to get better insights from your QuickBooks Online data using Power BI. For additional details on how to connect and get started, see the QuickBooks Online content pack for Power BI.

     

    Exploring your QuickBooks Online data

    Power BI offers an out-of–the-box content pack that connects to your QuickBooks Online account and brings in a variety of important data for you to track your key business metrics. As soon as you are connected, you see your cash flow, profitability, customers, and vendors all in one place. If you want them presented in a different way, just drag and drop to resize or re-organize them. The data will automatically be refreshed daily, keeping your dashboard up to date.

     

    Want to see more details behind the tiles? More breakdowns for your “QuickBooks accounts”? Just clicking a tile takes you to your balance sheet, where you can further slice by your Report Basis and Fiscal Year right on the report. The Filter pane on the right also gives you more switches and knobs to show your data with additional perspectives. Read more about interacting with Power BI reports.

     

    Many tiles on your dashboard lead to this 10-page report that comes with it. Use the navigation at the bottom to browse the other pages of the report, including Profit and Loss trend, Cash Flow, Customer Center, Vendor center, Prior Year Profit and Loss Comparison, Actual to Budget, and more.

     

    These reports are interactive: Selecting a particular value in one visual cross-filters the other related visuals on the page.

     

    You can also choose to edit the report, customizing your reports and dashboards based on the underlying dataset. Select Edit Report in the top left corner. The view will switch to show you the field list, allowing you to access any of the values and calculations included in this out-of-the-box dataset – additional information about expenses, income, and customized calculations such as current ratio, gross profit, cost of goods sold, etc. Read more about editing Power BI reports.

    Selecting a visual brings up options — to change the visual type, to pin the visual, or to remove it from the report. Pinning a visual adds it to your dashboard, and is a quick way to customize your dashboard with information that's important to you.

    Back on the dashboard, you can also ask specific questions about your QuickBooks Online data, such as “revenue by month” or “top customers by income”. The results of the questions can also be pinned to your dashboard.

     

    Read more about the Q&A question box.

    Are you ready to get started? See how to connect to the QuickBooks Online content pack for Power BI.

    Not already a QuickBooks Online customer? Go to QuickBooks Online to learn more.

    We’re always interested in hearing your feedback – please leverage https://support.powerbi.com to let the team know how your experience was and if there’s anything we can do better. We look forward to your feedback!

    #Power BI#Business Intelligence#data visualization#Microsoft#Small Business#QuickBooks#Accounting

    Thu, 28 May 2015 21:45:00 GMT byPower BI Team0 Comment

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  • Visualize and analyze your Twilio data in Power BI

    Twilio is a cloud platform that allows developers to build, scale and operate real-time communications in their software applications. With Twilio’s cloud communications platform, businesses make communications more contextual by integrating voice, messaging and WebRTC directly into their applications. Twilio has more than 560,000 developers currently using their platform and companies like Uber, Airbnb, Coca-Cola and Home Depot trust Twilio to power their communications at global scale.

    Today Microsoft and Twilio are very excited to release the Twilio content pack for Power BI. You can monitor all the details of your phone calls and text messages activities for the past 30 days as well as monitor stats like your all time spending, number and duration of calls and many more.

    Out of Box Content

    Connecting to Twilio in Power BI is quite simple; just click on the Twilio data source in the Get Data page and use your Twilio’s user name and password to connect. Once connected, Power BI will retrieve your data from Twilio and creates a data set as well as a ready-made dashboard and report that you can start exploring right away.

    Power BI retrieves the calls and messages details for the last 30 days as well as some useful stats like your “All time spending” or “All time number of calls”, etc. Your data will be automatically refreshed everyday so your dashboard is always up to date.

    The dashboard shows you some quick insights from your data that we think you would like to monitor on daily basis, like the number of calls and messages in the last 30 days, calls and messages over time and many more. You can always edit the dashboard to make it show exactly what you’re looking for.

     

    While the dashboard is great for monitoring your data, you may want at times to explore the data a bit further. When you click on any of the visuals on the dashboard you immediately go to the underlying report where you can see some richer insights on your data and you can apply slicers and filters to find exactly what you are looking for. The out of box reports contains 3 different slides with different views on your data.

    You can also use the Q&A capabilities in Power BI to explore your data by asking natural language questions. An example would be “Show me number of calls by status and direction” or “How many messages sent last month?” You can also pin visuals created by Q&A on your dashboard if you want to keep an eye on them.

      

    Create your Own Reports

    If the out of box report and dashboard are not enough, you can very easily create your own dashboards and reports exactly the way you want them. You can do that by clicking on the Twilio dataset under the Datasets sections. Once you do that, a blank report will open and you can drag the fields you want to visualize from the fields list to the canvas and start building your visualizations.

     

    The time it takes Power BI to retrieve all your data and create the out of box dashboard and report will vary greatly depending on the amount of data you have for the past 30 days. If you have hundreds of thousands of transactions, it may take some time for Power BI to retrieve all of them. Super large accounts may encounter some issues while creating the content pack, we are working hard on eliminating those issues. In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to contact us through the support link at the top of the page if you encounter any problems.

    #Power BI#Business Intelligence#data visualization#Microsoft#Twilio#cloud communications platform#real-time communications

    Tue, 19 May 2015 20:00:00 GMT byPower BI Team0 Comment

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  • Power BI Designer May Update

    Today we’re announcing a new update to the Power BI Designer Preview.

    This month’s update is packed with lots of new features across the Data Modeling, Analytics, Get Data & Transformations areas of the product:

    Data Modeling & Analytics

    Get Data & Transformations

    You can continue reading below for more details about each item.

    Calculated Columns

    This month we’re adding the ability to create “Calculated Columns” from the Report view.

    With Calculated Columns, you can add new data to a table already in your model. But instead of querying and loading values into your new column from a data source, you create a Data Analysis Expressions (DAX) formula that defines the column’s values.

    You can create “Calculated Columns” from the Report view by using the “New Column” button under the “Data Tools – Modeling” contextual tab.

     

    Calculated columns you create appear in the Fields list just like any other field, but they’ll have a special icon showing its values are the result of a formula. You can name your columns whatever you want, and add them to a report visualization just like other fields.

    You can watch this feature in action in the following video:

    Learn more about Calculated Columns in the Power BI Designer

    Data Categorization

    Another new feature this month is the ability to specify data categorization for columns loaded into your report. When the Power BI Designer imports data it gathers all the information it can from the source (e.g. it is a primary key), the data in the column, the table and column names, etc.  With that information the Power BI designer makes some assumptions about how to give you a good default experience when creating a visual.  A simple example is if we know that a column is a date time column we’ll assume a time hierarchy for an axis on a line chart.   A more difficult example is geography.

    With this month’s update, you can manually specify the categories for your columns by accessing the Data Category dropdown menu in the “Data Tools – Modeling” tab within the Report view.

    Watch the following video to learn how to use this feature in the Power BI Designer.

    Learn more about Data Categorization in the Power BI Designer.

    Sort By Another Column

    With Sort by Column, on the Data Tools Modeling tab in Power BI Designer, you can change how values in a column are sorted in a visualization.

    When you add a column to a visualization, the default sort order works well most of the time. But, sometimes a column’s natural sort order isn’t really what you need.

    Common cases where you would want to use “Sort By” column include: Weekdays or Months (sort days/months by chronological order rather than by alphabetical order), Funnel Stages (sort by logical order rather than alphabetical), etc.

    “Sort By Column” can be found under the “Data Tools – Modeling” tab within the Report view.

    This option brings up the sorting dialog where you can specify which column you want to sort and which column will define the sorting order.

    You can watch the following video for more details.

    Learn more about “Sort by Another Column” in the Power BI Designer

    Improved DAX Formula Editor: Function Help and Prototype

    We’re improving our DAX formula authoring support by offering you function help and prototype tooltips as you author your formulas.

    New “ODBC Tables” connector (Beta)

    One of the biggest challenges when trying to connect to a data source via ODBC is having to write custom query statements to specify the data that needs to be retrieved.

    With this month’s update, we’re making it possible for users to retrieve tables via ODBC without having to provide a query. Simply specify the Connection String and use the Navigator dialog to select one or multiple tables. You can also reshape these tables or mash them up with other tables in the Query view, just like you would do when connecting to other sources.

    Learn more about this feature by watching the following video:

    Improvements to the “Excel Workbook” connector

    We have improved the “Excel Workbook” connector in two different areas this month:

    • Improved Column Type Inference when importing worksheets.
    • Faster load for Data Previews.

    New Text Column Filters

    In this update we have added a couple of new Text Filters to the Query view: “Does Not Start With” and “Does Not End With”. These filters are available within the Filters menu for Text columns.

    Watch the following video to see these new filters in action:

    Enhanced Privacy Levels dialog

    We are improving the Privacy Levels dialog where users are asked to provide privacy levels for all data sources involved in a query. With this update, users can control whether privacy levels apply to a specific location or a more general one. For instance, control whether privacy levels should be applied to a page vs. an entire site.

     

    See this feature in action:

    That’s all for this month. As mentioned previously, we’re making lots of incremental improvements to the Power BI Designer and we hope that you find it better with every new monthly update…

    Please continue sending us feedback using our “Send a Smile/Frown” feature, or by voting for what you’d like to see next.

    Here is also a full version of the video that combines all What's New videos from this announcement.

    What can I do next?

    #Power BI#Business Intelligence#data visualization#power BI Designer#Microsoft#data exploration#DAX#calculated columns#text filters#DAX formulas#Data Categorization#ODBC

    Tue, 19 May 2015 18:00:00 GMT byMiguel.Llopis7 Comments

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  • Monitor your Azure SQL Database Auditing activity with Power BI

    Azure SQL Database Auditing logs tracks database events, enabling you to retain, report and analyze the activities in the instances you monitor. These logs can be used to help gain insight into discrepancies and anomalies that could indicate business concerns or suspected security violations.

     

    With the latest update to Power BI, you can connect to the data logged by SQL Database Auditing with a set of out of box reports and a customized dashboard.  This initial version of the content pack makes it easy to find suspicious events, unusual activity, and trends, based on a dataset that has been created for your reporting.

    In this post we’ll cover how to get better insights to your SQL Database Auditing data using Power BI. For additional details on how to connect and get started, jump to the Connecting to SQL Database Auditing section below.

    Exploring your SQL Database Auditing data

    Power BI offers a set of out of box content that connects to your Azure SQL Database Audit logs.

    This content is based off of tables with “AuditLogs” in the name and includes data from the most recent 250k Audit Log Records. After connecting, you’ll land on a customized dashboard for tracking your events. The dashboard show the number of monitored databases, the number of highlighted events, event types by database and much more.

    Your dashboard can be customized however you like, ensuring you have the data that is most important to you. The data will automatically be refreshed daily, keeping your dashboard up to date.

    Behind each tile there are additional insights. Many lead to the three page report that comes with the dashboard. This report provides details on Event Type Distribution, Highlighted Events and a Drill Down into the events.

    To see more about any of the reports, select a tile such as “Events by Weekday, Event Type”. This leads to the Event Type Distribution report, where you can find details about events by type across a variety of dimensions such as month, day, hour, and more. More details about interacting with reports are available here.

     

    Any of the visuals can be added to your dashboard, customizing it for your scenario. Use the navigation at the bottom to browse the other pages of the report, including Highlighted Events and a Drill Down report.

    These reports are interactive, selecting a particular value will cross filter the other related visuals. You can also use the filter pane on the right hand side, to change filters on the individual visual or the entire report page. 

     

    If you’d like to customize your reports, by adding additional fields or changing existing visuals, you can edit the report. Select Edit Report in the top left corner to show the field list, allowing you to access any of values and calculations included in this out of box data set. In this mode you can additional visuals, change the fields in a particular visual and even add a filter to a visual or the entire report. This dataset contains a large table with details from the Audit Logs, including Action Status, the count of databases and servers being monitored, the statements that were executed during the event and much more.

     

    Back on the dashboard, you can also ask questions about your audit log data using the question box. Try questions such as “total events by database” or “events by date where event type is DataAccess”.  The results of the questions can also be pinned to your dashboard.

    Connecting to Azure SQL Database Auditing

    The content pack imports data from all tables that contain “AuditLogs” in their name and append it to a single data model table named “AuditLogs”. The last 250k  Audit Logs will be included and the data will be refreshed once per day, ensuring your monitoring the most recent information!

    To get started, click Get Data at the top of the navigation pane.

    Select the SQL Database Auditing connector and click Connect. You can use the Search box to help narrow down the list.

    In order to connect, enter the Azure Table Storage account name where your logs are stored.

     

    Using the Key Authentication Method, enter the Account Key to connect.

     

    After hitting “Sign In”, Power BI will begin connecting to your account and populating the out of box content including your own dashboard.

     

    We’re always interested in hearing your feedback – please leverage https://support.powerbi.com to let the team know how your experience was and if there’s anything we can do better. We look forward to your feedback!

    #Power BI#Business Intelligence#data visualization#azure#SQL server#Microsoft#Azure SQL Database Auditing#Azure SQL DB Auditing#Audit

    Thu, 14 May 2015 16:00:00 GMT byPower BI Team0 Comment

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  • Using Power BI to visualize and explore Azure SQL Databases

    Azure SQL Database is a relational database-as-a-service that allows users to have a scalable system with data protection and predictable performance.

     

    With the latest update to Power BI, you can connect directly to the data stored in your Azure SQL Database without the need to upload a custom data model created using Excel or the Power BI Designer. As you explore your data, queries are dynamically generated and sent down to the source, leveraging the power of your database. This means you are able to get interactive exploration and visualization of your data, directly over your database.

    This experience is targeted at users who are familiar with their database and entities within it. In this post we’ll cover how to get better insights to your SQL Database data using Power BI. For additional details on how to connect and get started, jump to the Connecting to SQL Database section below.

    Exploring your Azure SQL Database data

    Power BI allows you to explore and monitor data stored in your Azure SQL database directly, without requiring a data model as an intermediate cache.

    The flow is simple, provide the details to connect to your source and then using schema discovery you’ll see a list of all the tables and columns you have access to in the field list. Selcting fields or adding them as filters will update the query that is sent back to the source. You may see some loading icons, especially if the query will return a large amount of data.

    After saving your report, any of the visuals can be pinned to your customized dashboard. The tiles will be refreshed approximately every 15 minutes, re-evaluating the query that was generated when they were created. 

    Connecting to Azure SQL Database

    To get started, click Get Data at the top of the navigation pane.

    Select the Azure SQL Database entry in the list on the left. You can use the Search box to help narrow down the list. In order to connect, you need to specify the server and database name, as well as your username and password to connect with.

    After hitting “Connect”, Power BI will create a new dataset with the name of your database. You can select the dataset to being exploring, or selecting the placeholder tile on your dashboard.

    At that point you can being to explore your data, by dragging individual fields onto the canvas and generating queries back to the source. Depending on the size of the query and the optimizations in the database, you may seem some loading indicators. Once your visuals are created, you can pin them to your dashboard to monitor your data!

     

    We’re always interested in hearing your feedback – please leverage https://support.powerbi.com to let the team know how your experience was and if there’s anything we can do better. We look forward to your feedback!

    #Power BI#Business Intelligence#data visualization#azure#SQL server#Microsoft#Azure SQL DB#Azure SQL Database

    Wed, 13 May 2015 18:30:00 GMT byPower BI Team5 Comments

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  • Gain understanding and insights into projects in Visual Studio Online with Power BI

    We have with us today Jeff Levinson a Program Manager in the Visual Studio Online Analytics team. We are very excited by the Visual Studio Online content pack for Power BI his team built.  Now you can mashup your VSO data with all the other data you use to make decisions. 

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    By Jeff Levinson, Program Manager, Visual Studio Online Analytics team

    The Visual Studio Online team is proud to present the initial release of the Visual Studio Online content pack for Power BI. This is the first in a wave of additions to the analytical capabilities of Visual Studio Online using Power BI to easily visualize data and gain insights not previously possible. Understanding data is the key to making insightful business decisions, identifying gaps and issues, fixing those issues and monitoring progress.

    What’s available in this release?

    Before showing off some of the features, it’s important to know what’s included. Our efforts are focused on delivering incremental value to our customers so we get working product in their hands as quickly as possible. This allows customers to use the capabilities we deliver and allows us to get rapid feedback on what has been produced. With this in mind, source control data from Git repos (including Pull Requests) and Team Foundation Version Control are included in this initial release. For specific information on what is included in each dimension, check out the official documentation. Other data will be added in short order in addition to fine tuning the existing capabilities.  Work Item tracking data is next.

    Get a Power BI account

    Start by getting a Power BI account.  Go to http://powerbi.com and sign up.  Signing up is free.  When you sign up for Power BI, you must use your organization or school email account.  This does not have to be the same credentials you use to connect to VS Online.  When you connect to VS Online to pull data into Power BI, you will be prompted for your VS Online credentials.  Your Power BI account is completely separate from VS Online – you get a Power BI account and then VS Online is one of many data sources from which you can pull data.

    Connecting to Visual Studio Online

    The connection experience authorizes Power BI to access your VS Online account and starts with selecting the Visual Studio Online connector. It is important to note that there are two different scenarios for the connection process. These scenarios are outlined here:

    1. Your VS Online account is backed by AAD and is the same AAD account you log into Power BI with.
    2. You log in to your VS Online account with an MSA (Microsoft account/LiveID) or you log into your VS Online account with different AAD credentials than you log into Power BI.

    Scenario #1: VS Online and Power BI AAD credentials are the same

    1. Once you log into Power BI, click Get Data in the upper left corner

    2. Select the Visual Studio Online connector and click Connect

    3. In the Configure Visual Studio Online dialog enter the account name (don’t include visualstudio.com so if the account is “corpx.visualstudio.com” just enter “corpx”) and the project you want to connect to.

    Note that wildcards are supported. You could enter “*” for every project in the account or, if you had projects with these names “Test1”, “Test2”, “Test3”, “App1”, “App2” and entered “Test*” Power BI will retrieve data for the projects Test1, Test2 and Test3.

     

    4. Clicking next will take you to the OAuth screen – only OAuth2 is currently supported at this time.

    a. Please note that this is where the first issue may occur. It is possible, on the VS Online Connection Settings screen, for an administrator to turn off third party application access via OAuth. If an administrator did this, you will not be able to access your VS Online data through Power BI and you will need to contact your VS Online administrator.  Here’s what the VS Online Settings screen looks like if everything is correctly enabled:

     

    Click Sign In to continue. This will display the VS Online authorization dialog which allows Power BI to retrieve data from your account.

     5. Click Accept

    At this point, the screen will close and Power BI will begin importing your data.

    Scenario #2: Using Microsoft Account or different AAD credentials (from Power BI) to log into VS Online

    If you are using a Microsoft Account or different AAD credentials than you use for Power BI, you will need to supply those credentials to VS Online to get access to the data.  This can happen in one of two ways.  Either, the connect experience will prompt you for the credentials or, if you access VS Online often, your browser may have your most recent credentials cached.  If the cached credentials match the account you are connecting to, it will work seamlessly, however, this caching can be confusing if the last account/username you used isn’t the one you need to enable Power BI to access the VS Online data.  This can lead to Access Denied errors.  If you are getting access denied errors without any prompt for credentials, then you should use In Private in IE or Incognito in Chrome to bypass the cache.

    If your cached credentials work, you won’t get prompted.  If you don’t have cached credentials, then you will be prompted to login to VS Online.  If you are using a Microsoft account enter your credentials on the right hand side of the dialog.  If you are using AAD credentials, click the link on the lower left hand side of the dialog.

     

    Using Power BI with VS Online

    Once connected, data is populated in Power BI and an instant dashboard is created for you.  Depending on the size of the data, this may take a few minutes.

    The first thing we recommend doing is changing the name of the data source. By default it is “Visual Studio Online”. If you connect to multiple VSO accounts, or multiple projects, this will become confusing. To change the name, hover over the datasets name and click the ellipses.

     

    Click Rename to rename the dataset. It is also worth considering changing the initial report name and dashboard name.

    Understanding how the data is retrieved, stored and updated

    The data source that is connected to when retrieving data for Visual Studio Online is actually the public REST APIs. Once connected, data from the project is retrieved through those APIs and stored in a tabular model in Power BI. At the moment, every user who connects to Visual Studio Online retrieves a full copy of all of the data. The populated model cannot be shared but dashboards created from it can be shared (to share, select the ellipses next to the dashboard to share and click “Share”).

    Currently the data is refreshed every 24 hours. Soon you will be able to schedule refreshes to happen more frequently so that the data is more up-to-date. For the moment, real-time data is best handled through the light-weight charting features within Visual Studio Online.

    At this point the dashboard can be customized by novice or expert users in a variety of different ways. One of the newest and most innovative features in Power BI is the natural language query capability. As shown in the next picture, a user may ask a question such as “how many pull requests per day?” and the chart, scalar value or list (depending on the question) is dynamically generated – little knowledge of the underlying data model is required. This graph can then be pinned to the dashboard.

     

    This capability gives stakeholders the ability to quickly ask a question in a non-technical manner and get a definitive answer back. As more data is added in subsequent releases, the types of questions that can be answered will expand.

    Empowering the Enterprise

    For more advanced users, custom reports can be created which allow data to be displayed in many different ways. Data from Visual Studio Online is a natural fit for the complex nature of development data. For example, while a graph can be created showing the amount of time it takes for pull requests to be completed, if some pull requests take longer, does this necessarily indicate a problem with the workflow? That question can only be answered by looking at correlated data. Perhaps the amount of time it takes to complete a pull request is related to the number of files changed in the pull request. With Power BI these types of correlations are simple to do.

    The default dashboard is backed by the default report that is created. Starting off with this dashboard:

     

    Clicking the Commits by Week, Repo will take you to a specific report with more detail (in this case the default report):

     

    At this point everything on the page becomes interactive. Clicking the week of March 2nd on the middle graph results in the report looking like this:

     

    Now everything on the report is filtered by the week starting on March 2nd. And this exposes some of the amazing power provided by Power BI. Graphs are no longer static, they are all correlated to each other. Virtually anything that shows a visualization can be selected which causes everything else to be filtered. In addition, reports can have multiple pages which are easily navigated at the bottom of the page:

     

    The default report creates three pages, a Git Activity, Pull Request and Version Control page.

    To add to the report for a given dataset, open the report and click Edit Report in the upper left corner. At this point all of the data in the dataset is exposed to you. Once you click Edit Report, click the plus in the blank page on the left side of the screen as shown here:

     

    This adds a new blank page. To start creating new graphs, just click the fields (or measures which are represented by a calculator next to the field names) and they will be added to the report. For example, suppose you wanted to see the number of commits made by each user. Under the User dimension, click the User field (this will generate a “rank by commits” graph as the default so just remove the “Contributor rank by commit” entry from the values on the right side of the screen. Go up to the Commits section and check the Commits measure. You end up with this report:

     

    Note the measure is the value field on the right and the Axis is “User”. Optionally you can drag another field to the legend area which will add another dimension to the graph. But we can take this one step further.

    Say an end user (development manager maybe) is interested in who add/edited/deleted files in a given repo. Click anywhere in the blank space on the report to deselect the graph. Then expand the Repositories dimension and click the Repo field. Uncheck the measure that is added by default. Expand the Commits dimension and click the Commits measure. You can also just drag the Commits measure to any blank area of the canvas to create a new visual.  You can even drag it into an existing visual to add it there too. The web experience is fully touch optimized, so you have a lot of fun with it on a touch screen. At this point there is a basic graph there. Change the graph type to a stacked bar chart as shown here:

     

    The chart button will appear to the left or the right of chart when the mouse is hovering over the chart. Next, click the Files Added, Files Deleted and Files Edit measures in the Commits dimension. And with these few steps the following report is created:

     

    Selecting the any of the bars on one chart will filter the results on the other. Either chart can be pinned to the dashboard once the report is saved.

    These capabilities combined with the advanced visualization offered by Power BI let you make sense of your data faster than before. As we make more data available, more information and more correlations for deeper insight and understanding of you processes will become possible. Please give the new Visual Studio Online content Pack for Power BI a try and give us your feedback!

    #Power BI#Business Intelligence#data visualization#Connector#Content Pack#Visual Studio Online#VSO#Visual Studio

    Thu, 07 May 2015 18:00:00 GMT byPower BI Team0 Comment

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  • Power BI Preview now available in your language

    Good news!  • ¡Buenas Noticias!  •  Gute Neuigkeiten!  •  Хорошая новость!  •  グッドニュース

    With Power BI, we're on a mission to make business analytics accessible to everyone. In addition to making it easier than ever before to analyze and monitor your data, that means making the service accessible to as many people as possible, no matter where you live or which language you speak.

    A month ago, we announced the availability of the Power BI Preview in 140 markets around the world. Users across the globe signed up for the service and, until today, many of you are using the service in your second language: English.

    Today, we’re changing that by making Power BI available in 43 additional languages.

    Be more productive in your language

    We're all most comfortable and productive working in our preferred languages, so we've translated menus, buttons, messages, and other elements of the Power BI experience. Navigating and interacting with Power BI just got that much easier.

    Available in 44 languages

    With over 90% of the world's online population using one of these languages, chances are you can now use Power BI in your language.

    Arabic

    العربية

    Basque

    euskara

    Bulgarian

    Български

    Catalan

    català

    Chinese (Simplified)

    中文(简体)

    Chinese (Traditional)

    中文(繁體)

    Croatian

    hrvatski

    Czech

    čeština

    Danish

    dansk

    Dutch

    Nederlands

    English

    English

    Estonian

    eesti

    Finnish

    suomi

    French

    français

    Galician

    galego

    German

    Deutsch

    Greek

    Ελληνικά

    Hebrew

    עברית

    Hindi

    हिंदी

    Hungarian

    magyar

    Indonesian

    Bahasa Indonesia

    Italian

    italiano

    Japanese

    日本語

    Kazakh

    Қазақ

    Korean

    한국어

    Latvian

    latviešu

    Lithuanian

    lietuvių

    Malay

    Bahasa Melayu

    Norwegian (Bokmål)

    norsk (bokmål)

    Polish

    Polski

    Portuguese (Brazil)

    Português

    Portuguese (Portugal)

    português

    Romanian

    română

    Russian

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    More to come

    Our mission to make business analytics accessible to everyone is an ongoing one. We know there's more work to do. Stay tuned as we work to bring these additional languages to the Power BI Designer and Power BI for iOS as well.

    Use it now for free

    Power BI detects your language based on your language preferences on your computer, so if you're already browsing the web in your preferred language, you don't need to do anything more.

    #Power BI#Business Intelligence#data visualization#Business Analytics#localization#language

    Wed, 29 Apr 2015 00:10:00 GMT byPower BI Team4 Comments

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  • Monitor and explore your Microsoft Dynamics Marketing data with Power BI

    Microsoft Dynamics Marketing is an integrated marketing management solution for marketing operation, planning, execution, and analytics across all channels—digital, social, and traditional. It enables marketing teams to plan, execute, and measure marketing campaigns across channels, from start to finish, to bring marketing vision to life.

    Today, we’re very excited to share with you a fantastic new analytic capability that we are adding to the Power BI product that targets specifically the Role of a Demand Generation Manager with Microsoft Dynamics Marketing.

    As a marketer you are constantly extending and updating your target audience for your marketing activities. You are collecting information from and about your prospects on an ongoing basis. Your campaigns send out email marketing messages and other communications and you record responses like visits, signups, event registrations and attendance records.

    The amount of data that modern marketing activities generate is large and at the same time it is essential to measure results and convert observations in actionable optimizations, detect trends and adjust your marketing plans.

    Power BI provides Microsoft Dynamics Marketing users the tools they need to analyze this data and make informed marketing decisions:

    • The right data is exposed and modeled into a consumable format.
    • A rich set of out of the box analytics reports that allow you to ramp up quickly for your own marketing analytics.
    • An environment that provides analytic reports, dashboards and KPIs in an easily consumable way for the employees in your organization.

    Out of Box Content

    Connecting to your Microsoft Dynamics Marketing from Power BI is easy; immediately after you connect you will be presented with a carefully crafted dashboard that shows you at a glance some key insights in your Microsoft Dynamics Marketing data.

    Check this article on how to connect to your Microsoft Dynamics Marketing account with power BI.

    Once the dashboard is fully loaded with your data, you can click on any of the visuals to view a more detailed report where you can further apply filters, drill into more information and gain a lot more insights about your data.

     

    You can also use Power BI’s Q&A where you can ask natural language questions to further explore your data.

    For Example if you want to understand the source of lead creation over a period of time you might ask:

    "Show number of lead interaction and interaction type over interaction date as line"

    The answer will be given as the chart below. You can then pin this visual to your dashboard if you want to keep monitoring it.

    You can also pin data from other datasets to your dashboard. For example, if your Sales team uses Microsoft Dynamics CRM to manage opportunities, accounts and more then you can now build the combined Dashboard showing both Marketing analytics and measure end to end performance that include the resulting sales activities.

     

    Create your Own Reports

    Different marketing teams could be interested in exploring a different sets of data than others. If the out of box dashboard and report don’t fully provide all the insights that you need, you can easily and quickly create your own reports.

    Just click on the Dynamics Marketing dataset, an empty report will open for you to start exploring your data. You can drag the fields you want to explore from the fields list to the canvas, choose the visual type you would like to create, apply any further filters in the filters pane and finally save the report. You can also pin visuals from your custom reports to your dashboards. 

     

    For all Microsoft Dynamics Marketing users, we hope you will love this new addition to Power BI. We would love to hear your feedback and questions. You can contact support either by clicking the “?” when you’re signed in to your Power BI account or from the “Contact Support” link on our support site.

    Http://support.powerbi.com

    Learn more about Microsoft Dynamics Marketing

    #Power BI#Business Intelligence#data visualization#dashboard#Connector#Microsoft Dynamics Marketing#Marketing#Dynamics Marketing#Dynamics#Microsoft Dynamics

    Thu, 23 Apr 2015 16:00:00 GMT byPower BI Team0 Comment

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  • The Power BI Designer experience

    by Ariel Netz, Group Program Manager in the Power BI Designer team

    Last summer, we started our planning for the Power BI Designer, a BI desktop client tool designed to complement the Power BI SaaS offering we were already working on. As with any new project, comes lots of questions and ideas on how things will work, but a few base assumptions were made clear from the very beginning:

    • We want to build a single, unified experience that will combine all the capabilities of Power Query, Power Pivot & Power View. Historically, those tools were developed at different paces, using different technologies, each designed to stand in its own right. While each of the tools did exactly what they were set out to do, our users spoke loud and clear – they wanted to use them together and see a much better integration than what we delivered. Additionally our users provided feedback that they would like to see our tools evolving on regular and frequent cadence.  
    • At its core, we designed Power BI Designer to help users to visually explore data and author interactive reports and to complement Excel. Power BI Designer is available to download for free from www.powerbi.com and can be used as a standalone desktop companion
    • Like many other teams at Microsoft, we will be delivering on our vision over time and, in an incremental fashion, enabling our customers to try out the tools, provide feedback on our designs and basically, keeping us honest in “real time." 

    The very next thing we did was to put together a team that is composed of experienced developers and designers who worked on these technologies before and asked them to build that single tool.

    On Dec 18, 2014, we announced the preview of the Power BI service together with the Power BI Designer. That early build was our first showing. The Power BI Designer preview combined the capabilities of Power Query and a good portion of the Power View capabilities, but it did not show Power Pivot. I say “show” as behind the scenes the Power Pivot in-memory engine that glues it all together was there.

    Since December, we have released updates to the Designer every month. Each of the updates included the usual bug fixing, performance optimizations and also included new capabilities. In the past couple of months, we worked on some smaller improvements that were designed to bring some of the Power Pivot modeling capabilities into the Power BI Designers. Some of those improvements include:

    • Automatic Model-level Relationship Detection.
    • Manual Relationship Creation
    • Show/Hide Data Model Fields.

    However, those changes still didn’t show the direction we are heading into with the integration of Data Modeling capabilities into the Designer. There are many capabilities that make Power Pivot the best analytical engine of its kind but of all, there is one feature that is more recognized than others: DAX formulas. Anybody who has used Power Pivot before will attest that our integration work will never be complete without the addition of DAX formula authoring capabilities to the Designer. 

    Today we are pleased to announce a series of enhancements to the Power BI Designer that demonstrate the direction we are heading with the Designer modeling capabilities:

    • Initial DAX Measures functionality with Intellisense
    • New DAX functions.
    • Data Types (unified across Model and Query.)
    • Model-level formatting.
    • Rename & Delete fields in Report view.
    • Updated Relationship Creation dialog

    This April update is just another update amongst many more planned to come but it’s a special one as, for the first time, users will get to experience all the “Power” tools in a single tool – Power BI Designer. Much more is soon to come…

    Click here for full details on “What’s New” in the Power BI Designer April update

     
    #Power BI#Business Intelligence#data visualization#power BI Designer#Microsoft#data exploration#DAX#measures

    Wed, 22 Apr 2015 16:35:00 GMT byPower BI Team11 Comments

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  • 16 New Updates to the Power BI Designer Preview

    Try what's coming next for Power BI!

    Today we’re announcing a new update for the Power BI Designer Preview. This update is our biggest one to date, as it brings lots of new capabilities into the Designer; particularly, the ability to create measures using DAX, as well as several other new Modeling & Query features. If that wasn’t enough, there are also some performance and usability improvements waiting for you to try them out…

    The following features are new or improved in this update:

    Modeling Features

    Get Data & Query

    Performance Improvements

    You can continue reading below for more details and videos about each feature.

    Initial support for DAX Measures

    In this update of the Power BI Designer you can now enrich your models by writing measures using DAX.

    • Formula bar: Using the new formula bar in the Report view you can create measures by writing formulas in the DAX language. The formula bar helps you write these formulas by differentiating functions, fields and measures using syntax coloring, it provides intelligent function and field suggestions and tells you if parts of your DAX expression are wrong using error 'squiggles'. It also allows you to use multiple lines (Alt + Enter) and indentation (Tab).

    • Comments: The formula bar also allows you to write comments as part of your measures, just type “//” and everything after these characters on the same line will be considered a comment.

     

    You can also use /* to add your comment */ in the middle of a formula.

    • Saving incomplete measures: How often are you in the middle of writing a complex Measure and wanted to ask your colleague for help but do not have a way of saving this half-written measure? The Power BI Designer now allows you to save measures that are invalid so you can just save your file and take it to your colleague, or continue to work on it another day.

    You can watch these features in action in the following video.

    For more information on Measures, check out these links:

    We’re just getting started with DAX authoring in the Power BI Designer… Over the next few months we plan to enhance the formula bar even further and will update the Designer to add calculated columns to the model. So stay tuned!

    New DAX Functions

    Besides enabling you to add measures in the Power BI Designer, we have also added several new DAX functions that will allow you to solve more complex business problems, here are some of the most exciting new functions:

    Data Types & Formatting options in Report view

    In this update we’re adding the ability to change Data Types and Format for Fields within the Report view. This will make it much easier for you to change column types, without having to go back into the Query view.

    In addition to Data Types, we’re enabling Formatting options specific to each data type (i.e. Date, Number, etc.).

    In order to access these options, select the field you’d like to change within the Fields pane and use the Data Tools – Modeling contextual ribbon tab.

     

    This short video shows you the feature in action:

    Learn more about Data Types in the Power BI Designer

    Rename & Delete fields in Report view

    Another new feature available within the Report view with this update is the ability to Rename and Delete fields within the Fields pane. This makes it much more convenient for you to customize fields, instead of having to go back to rename your columns in the Query view.

    These two options can be accessed in the context menu when right-clicking on a specific field.

     

    Watch the following short video to learn more about Rename & Delete fields in the Report view.

    OData V4 support

    We’re adding support for OData V4 feeds. You can just use the existing OData Feed connector, which will now also accept feeds built using the latest OData version.

    Support for Custom ADFS Authentication Services

    With this update, we’re adding support for using custom ADFS authentication endpoints through our Organizational Account credential type. This allows access to data sources that require ADFS authentication such as some on premise instances of Dynamics CRM. After Power BI is registered by your admin, you will be able to approve a custom endpoint when prompted for access. You can also manage the list of already-approved endpoints within the Options dialog, under “Global -> Security”.

    Updated Facebook connector

    As of April 30th 2015, Facebook will expire v1.0 of its Graph API. The Graph API is what Power BI uses behind the scenes for the Facebook connector, allowing you to connect to your data and analyze it. Unfortunately this expiration means some changes in the Facebook connector as it currently exists. The most important difference is the set of permissions we’re able to leverage and the data those permissions return. For example, Friends Lists and News Feeds are commonly used permissions that are now changed or inaccessible.

    Queries that were built before April 30th may no longer work or return less data. After April 30th, Power BI will leverage v2.2 in all calls to the Facebook API. You’ll likely need to authenticate again, to approve the new set of permissions that we’ll ask for. More details on the change in the Facebook API are available here.

    Option to disable Native Database query prompts

    One interesting capability when connecting to databases is the ability to provide a custom SQL statement. This is useful for customers who already had complex SQL queries to pull data for their reports and wanted to get started with the Power BI Designer.

    However, there is a potential risk for these queries to contain malicious SQL code that could delete or modify content in a database when executed. Because of this risk, we have an existing security prompt whenever users try to run a native database query outside of the data source dialogs. It turns out that lots of customers are using this capability within Custom Columns or similar scenarios, so that they can dynamically build and execute native database queries. The downside of this is that they would get prompted for approval of every distinct SQL statement, which would make the experience very inconvenient.

    In order to enable these customers to achieve their scenarios, we’re introducing an option to disable Native Database Query security prompts. Please use this under your own responsibility and beware of the potential risks mentioned above… You can find this option within the Options dialog, under Global -> Security.

    Learn more about Native Database Queries by watching the following video.

    Unified Options dialog

    We have unified the File Settings dialog and the Options dialog into a single one. This dialog is now organized by scope (current file vs. global) and categories for easier navigation.

     

    See more details about the new unified Options dialog in the following video:

     

    Support for “Fixed Decimal Number” type

    We have added support for “Fixed Decimal Number” type. This new type can be found in the Data Type dropdown menu, in both the Query view and the Report view.

    You can find more information about Fixed Decimal Number and other data types in the Power BI Designer in this page.

    Alternate Windows Credentials

    Added an option to use Alternate Windows Credentials (rather than current user) to the Windows credentials option in the Credentials dialog.

    New Transformations

     

    We continue making incremental improvements to the set of transformations supported in the Query view. This month, we’re adding support for the following new transformations:

    • Remove Blank Rows.

    • Median Operation available for “Group By” and “Aggregate Column”.

    • Convert DateTimeZone value to Local Time.

    Want to see these transformations in action? Check out the following video.

    Performance Improvements

     

    In addition to all the functional improvements described above, we’re also making the Power BI Designer much faster this month, in a couple of different areas:

    • Faster load of medium & large datasets by about 20%.
    • Improved time to open an existing PBIX file by about 50%.

    That’s all for this month. As mentioned previously, we’re making lots of incremental improvements to the Power BI Designer and we hope that you find it better with every new monthly update…

    Please continue sending us feedback using our “Send a Smile/Frown” feature, or by voting for what you’d like to see next.

    Here is also a full version of the video that combines all What's New videos from this announcement.

     

    What can I do next?

    #Power BI#Business Intelligence#data visualization#power BI Designer#Microsoft#data exploration#DAX#measures#Facebook#OData#DAX functions

    Wed, 22 Apr 2015 16:30:00 GMT byMiguel.Llopis23 Comments

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  • What's new in the April release of the Analysis Services Connector?

    This is an in-place upgrade: if you already have the Connector installed, you do not have to uninstall it before installing the new version. Also, you do not have to reconfigure the Connector after installing the new version. 

    What's new in the release

    1. Feature enhancements

    2. Better diagnostics and bug fixes

     

    1. Feature Enhancements

    a. Automated checks for prerequisites during installation & configuration of the Connector to ensure Power BI can connect to the Analysis Services Server via the Analysis Services Connector 

    For example, we'll validate whether the Power BI account can connect to the Analysis Services Server with the effective user name mechanism. If you get the error in the image below, it means that your Power BI username does not match your on-premises username. Hence the effective user name mechanism that Power BI relies on to connect to the Analysis Services Server could not work. 

    To fix it, you'll have to ensure you use your work email address with Power BI or your on-premises Active Directory is synchronized with Azure Active Directory. 

    Learn more about the Analysis Services Connector to understand the role the effective user name plays & why the Active Director to Azure Active Directory sync is needed. 

     

    b. Support for network proxy

    You can now use the Analysis Services Connector within network environments which use proxy servers for HTTP connections. In the previous versions, if your organization's network was using a proxy, under some situations, the Connector would fail to start up. This experience has now been improved.

    c. Notification when a new version of the Connector is available

    You will see a notification in the Analysis Services Connector when a new version is available for download. Click on the link to download & install the new version. You do not have to uninstall the previous version or reconfigure the Connector after installing the new one. 

     

    d. Support for all languages Power BI is available in.  

    Along with Power BI, the Analysis Services Connector is also available in all languages supported by Power BI. For more information check world wide availability of Power BI 

    2. Diagnostics and bug fixes

    a. Improved error messages in the Connector and in the Power BI service to help you diagnose and fix issues. 

    For example: When the password of a Windows user expires, you'll see the following message in the Connector. You'll also see a similar error message in the Power BI service when you try to connect to the dataset or open a report. 

    To fix it, in the Connector click Edit and update the password. 

     

    In addition, we have also taken care of several bugs reported. For example this one.

    We have receive lots of feedback for the Connector and we'll continue to improve it. Stay tuned as updates roll out more frequently!

    #Power BI#Business Intelligence#data visualization#hybrid#SQL server#Analysis Services#Connector#SSAS#On-Prem

    Sat, 18 Apr 2015 02:30:00 GMT byPower BI Team5 Comments

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  • Visualize and Explore your Google Analytics data with Power BI

    When you own a website, analyzing and tracking your site’s traffic is critical. Knowing where your viewers are coming from, what days they come the most frequently, and how long they’re staying are just some of insights that you can use to help improve your site and inform your decision making.

    If you are using Google Analytics for web site usage tracking and digital measurement, we have great news for you.

    Now you can use Power BI to monitor, explore and visualize your Google Analytics data. With an out of box content pack, you can connect and gain insights into your data immediately. You can also connect directly through the Power BI Designer, allowing you to build your own reports and even create mashups with other sources that are important to you, ensuring all your data is in one place.

    Out of Box Content

    Connecting to Google Analytics in Power BI is easy; immediately after you connect you’ll gain insights around the usage of your site in the last 6 months. Using the Google Analytics API, this content pack provides a dashboard, a report and a dataset to allow to you monitor and explore your data.

    Miguel Escobar from Powered Solutions is an avid Power BI customer and was very excited to hear we had support for Google Analytics. Connecting through his account, his out of box dashboard looks like the one below.

     

    When connecting you can choose the account, property and view to connect to. This information can be found in your Google Analytics account, under the Home tab.

     

    After connecting, your data will start to load into Power BI and you’ll be notified when your dashboard is ready. Selecting one of the tiles will drill into the 5 page report built on top of the data set.

     

    You can also use Q&A to explore your data, such as asking questions about the website traffic - “total hits” or “total page views by date in the last 30 days”. You can ask questions about specific data points as well, such as “total sessions by browser where device is a tablet”. Every result can be pinned back to your dashboard to customize it however you want.

     

    You can also pin data from other datasets to your dashboard. For example, if you’re tracking your mail campaigns using Marketo you can see the results of your latest campaign, right next to your site traffic.

     

    Power BI Designer

    The Power BI Designer also allows you to connect directly to Google Analytics to build your own set of reports.

    To get started, download the latest version of the Power BI Designer. In the Get Data dialog, under the Other sources or using the search box in the top left, you’ll find Google Analytics:

     

    This connector leverages the Google Analytics API, allowing you to access all the data provided when enabling Google Analytics for your site. After selecting it from the list of sources, you’ll be prompted for your credentials and to allow Power BI to access your account.

    Once you connect, you’ll see a list of the accounts you have access to. Drill through the account, properties and views to see a selection of values, categorized in display folders. For example, try selecting Session > Sessions and Geo Network > Country to see the breakdown of session for the view by country.

     

    As you select different values, we’ll send a query back to the source to get the result. The output will be a single flat table will all the values you selected. Google Analytics has a limit on the number of items you can select together, so select the initial set and build as needed.

    Additional operations, such as filtering on the dates you selected, will also be sent in a query to Google Analytics. After loading the tables or switching to the Report view, you’ll be able to visualize and explore your data.

    Here’s a view that Miguel built himself, showing page views over time as well as by language and page title.

     

    What will you built with the Google Analytics connector?

    We’re always interested in hearing your feedback – please leverage http://support.powerbi.com to let the team know how your experience was and if there’s anything we can do better. We look forward to your feedback!

    #Power BI#Business Intelligence#data visualization#dashboard#Connector#Google Analytics#Digital Marketing#Traffic#Website Metrics#Website Tracking

    Wed, 15 Apr 2015 15:00:00 GMT byPower BI Team14 Comments

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  • Monitor and track your SendGrid email delivery stats using Power BI

    SendGrid is an incredibly powerful “Email Infrastructure in the Cloud” platform. If you use SendGrid as a means for reaching your customers via email, then it is very easy to use Power BI as a means of monitoring and analyzing your email deliverability statistics.

    Power BI provides an instant, out of the box dashboard over your SendGrid data. Using Power BI, you can analyze your SendGrid data in minutes. This blog post shows you how to connect to your SendGrid data and explore your email deliverability in depth.

    Monitoring your SendGrid data

    The dashboard you can create over your SendGrid account looks like the one below.  The dashboard is fully customizable so you can tailor it to your needs.  You can also combine data from this dashboard with data from other sources to create a single unified view of all the data you need to get your job done.

     

    This dashboard lets you track overall trends for your Requests, Email Opens, Email Clicks, Spam Reports, etc. You get a quick glance at your overall Delivery Rate (%) as well as stats such as Spam Report Rate (%) and Unsubscribe Rate (%).

    Also included, you will find Browser and Device based stats for Click/Open rates. You will also find Click/Open rates by Geography.

    One of our favorite features in the SendGrid dashboard is the ability to view stats by category—more  on this in a bit when we talk about categories.

    Exploring your SendGrid data in depth

    While the dashboard view contains most of the key statistics you would want to glance at, there are a whole lot of insights that sit right beneath the dashboard that are accessible for you via interactive exploration. Clicking on a tile on the dashboard makes it possible to look at a drill down view of the data.

    Here’s an example of a more detailed summary view that shows the key metrics and trends for the last 90 days:

     

    And as another example, shown below is a view of the geographical stats that you can explore:

     

    When you are in the exploration view, you can switch between the pages of your report. Clicking the page number shown at the bottom of the report will open the page navigator that will help you switch to a different report page.

     

    As mentioned previously, the Power BI content pack lets you view your email statistics by custom categories that you may have used to tag your emails. This makes it really easy for you to view email delivery breakdowns by the different types of activities you may use SendGrid for. For example, you may tag your user alert emails with the category “User Alert” and you may send your password reset emails with the category “Forgot Password.”

    Here’s a view of email statistics by category (accessible from Page 6 of the reports view):

     

    Connecting to your SendGrid account from PowerBI

    Connecting to your SendGrid account is easy. All you need is your SendGrid username and password. You just need to make sure that your SendGrid account is configured for API access; Power BI simply uses the SendGrid API to import statistics into your Power BI account.

    The following steps assume that you already have a Power BI account. If not, create one by going to http://www.powerbi.com.   

    Once you are logged into Power BI, click on the Get Data link in the top left corner.

     

    This will take you to the gallery of content packs that are available for you to consume. Each of these content packs will help you import your data into Power BI, from the various sources listed.

    Clicking on SendGrid will show you details of the SendGrid content pack.

     

    When you click on Connect, you will be prompted to enter you credentials.

     

    Once you enter your credentials, the data import process will begin. It could take a couple of minutes for your data to be imported into Power BI – but that’s all there is to getting instant insights out of your SendGrid account!

    If you run into issues or need help getting going, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. You can contact support either by clicking the “?” when you’re signed in to your Power BI account or from the “Contact Support” link on our support site. 

    http://support.powerbi.com

     
    #Power BI#Business Intelligence#data visualization#dashboard#Sengrid#Connector#Marketing#Email Campaign#email deliverability#Email Infrastructure

    Thu, 02 Apr 2015 15:00:00 GMT byPower BI Team3 Comments

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  • Viva la Data! See you at Gartner BI and Analytics Summit in Vegas

    Are you at the Gartner BI and Analytics Summit? So are we! Join us at these various events throughout the Summit, and follow along at @MSPowerBI to hear the latest news from the event.

    • Microsoft Booth #311 in the Expo Hall: Stop by the booth in the expo hall to chat about any BI and analytics questions with members of our engineering team, see the latest demos of Power BI, as well as Microsoft Azure’s big data and IoT capabilities, and of course win some cool swag.
    • Solution Provider Session with James Phillips, Corporate Vice President of Power BI – Tuesday 3/31, 10:45am in Augustus I: You’ll hear about the latest BI offerings from Microsoft and get a chance to see them in action. 
    #Gartner BI and Analytics Summit

    Mon, 30 Mar 2015 17:03:00 GMT byPower BI Team0 Comment

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  • 7 New Updates to the Power BI Designer Preview

    Try what's coming next for Power BI!

    We’re very glad to announce a new update for the Power BI Designer Preview. This month’s update includes new features and improvements across all major areas in the product: connectors, transformations, modeling and reports. We have also addressed lots of bugs and improved performance and stability of the Power BI Designer.

    What’s New in the Power BI Designer

    These update includes the following new features:

    You can see these features in action in the following video, or read below for more details.

     

    Google Analytics Connector

    The first item on the list is a new connector to import data from Google Analytics. We’re adding this connector not only to the Power BI Designer, but soon also to the Power BI Dashboards service. Stay tuned for upcoming service update announcements that will bring this feature.

    In the Power BI Designer, this connector can be found in the “Get Data” dialog, under “Other Sources” category (or “All”).

    After signing in with a Google Analytics account, users will be able to browse analytics data for all sites registered with the account. Users can pick dimensions and measures in the Navigator dialog to construct a single-table output.

    Users can see the table output preview building up as they select items in the Navigator tree.

    Finally, they can click Load to land the entire dataset directly in the Report view, or select Edit to land a small sample of the data in the Query view.

    In the Report view, users can directly start building visualizations for this data. In the Query view, they will be able to apply several data transformations based on preview data that will run against the underlying service, and they can also leverage special operations available only to Multi-Dimensional sources, such as Add or Remove items.

    There are lots of interesting analytics scenarios that open up with this new connector. Think about all other data sources supported in the PBI Designer and how easy it is now to combine data from any of them with Google Analytics data to build Power BI reports.

    Additional Operators for Date filtering in the Query view

    We have added a few additional filter options for Date/Time columns in the Query view:

    -  Is in Year to Date.

    - Today

    - This Week

    - This Month

    - This Quarter

    These options show up under the respective dropdown menu in DateTime Filters.

    Note that all of these filters are dynamically calculated, so for instance, “Year to Date” means between Jan 1st 2015 & March 25th 2015 today, but it will mean a different Year and Date when we refresh our query or report in the future.

    Automatic Relationship Detection

    In this update, we are adding automatic relationship detection for tables loaded in the model. We’re applying this detection in the following cases:

    - Initial load of the table to the model.

    - Refresh

    - Auto-Detect button.

    This is a very powerful feature, which is now also enabled automatically and will allow users to correlate data from different tables and build rich visualizations without having to worry about manually defining these relationships. This relationship detection works for all data sources supported in the Power BI Designer that do not have an underlying schema (such as Text, CSV, Web, HDFS, etc.).

    You can learn more about how to create and manage relationships in the Designer by reading this Help article.

    Enhanced “Add Relationship” dialog…

    The “Add Relationship” or “Edit Relationship” dialog has been improved to include inline previews of the tables/columns being selected.

    Within the “Manage Relationships” dialog, we can click “Add Relationship”… The dialog now gives us two table/column selectors with inline previews of data. This enables us to easily identify which tables/columns to use for the new relationship.

    Reorder Report Pages

    Last but certainly not least… We’re adding the ability to reorder pages in the Report by drag & dropping within the Report Pages pane… This will definitely make it much easier for you to iterate on the content of your reports and move it around as needed.

    Performance Improvements

    We have improved performance for loading queries that do not contain any filters or transformations by ~40-50%. You should see such queries take half of the time to load or less, compared to last month’s Designer bits.

    Bug Fixes and Quality Improvements

    As with every update, we’ve also fixed lots of bugs and issues reported by many of you via “Send a Frown”. We encourage you to continue sending us feedback about the product and reporting any issues that you may find while working with the Power BI Designer.

    We hope that you enjoy this update. Stay tuned for more updates coming soon… 

    #Power BI#Business Intelligence#data visualization#model#power BI Designer#Microsoft#Google Analytics#Relationship

    Thu, 26 Mar 2015 14:30:00 GMT byMiguel.Llopis17 Comments

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  • Better Insights into your Zendesk customer support with Power BI

    An important part of good customer service is ensuring that your customer needs are being met quickly and efficiently. This means not only hearing from your customers, but analyzing how your customers and your team are interacting. This is where Power BI and Zendesk come in. Zendesk allows companies to build better relationships with their customers. Power BI allows users to import data a variety of sources to quickly gain insights into their data.

    When connecting to Zendesk, Power BI gives users an even easier way to explore and monitor their Zendesk data with an out of box content pack. This content pack not only brings in the data, but also offers a dashboard and set of reports to get you started.

    In this post we’ll cover how to get better insights to your Zendesk data using Power BI. For additional details on how to connect and get started, jump to the Connecting to Zendesk section below.

    Exploring your Zendesk data

    Power BI offers an out of box content pack that connects to Zendesk and brings in a variety of important data for you to monitor.

    As soon as you connect to your data, you'll see information about your tickets, agents, organizations and more. For example, at a glance you can see the number of Tickets created, solved and closed over the last 7 and 30 days. Your dashboard can be customized however you like, ensuring you have the data that is most important to you.

    There are even more insights are behind each tile, in the 5 page report that comes with the dashboard. These pages include insights about Tickets, Agent Performance, Recent Activity, Activity by Agent/Group, and Ticket Activity.

    Selecting the top left tile brings you to the Ticket Summary report page - showing a breakdown of tickets by status, group, channel and more. More details about interacting with reports are available here.

    Selecting a visual will bring up options to change the visual type, to pin the visual or to remove it from the report. Pinning a visual will add it to your dashboard, and is a quick way to customize your dashboard with information that's important to you.

    Select a value on the report to cross filter the other visuals. For example, selecting "open" in the top left, will filter the page to all the open tickets. You can also use the filter pane on the right hand side, to change the range of tickets you see based on when they were created.

    Use the navigation at the bottom to browse the other pages of the report, including Agent Performance, Recent Activity, Activity by Agent and Group, Ticket Activity.

    You can also chose to edit the report, which allows you to customize your reports and dashboards based on the underlying dataset. Select Edit Report in the top left corner. The view will switch to show you the field list, allowing you to access any of values and calculations included in this out of box data set – such as additional information about Users, Tickets etc. and customized calculations like Average Reply Time or Average Resolution Time. More details about editing reports can be found here.

    Back on the dashboard, you can also ask questions about your data using the question box. More details about Q&A can be found here.

    You can ask specific questions about your Zendesk data, such as “tickets by status” or one specific to your agents, such as “number of open tickets for Josh”. The results of the questions can also be pinned to your dashboard.

    Connecting to Zendesk

    To access Zendesk data in Power BI, you’ll need to provide your Zendesk company URL and your credentials. Get started by navigating to www.powerbi.com and sign in with your work account. If you don't already have an account, it's quick and free to sign up!

    Once in Power BI, you can connect to Zendesk through the Get Data link in the top right.

    From the list of sources you can search for and select Zendesk. The landing page describes some of the details of the connector, to continue click Connect.

    You've now started the import flow to view your Zendesk data in Power BI!

    Next, enter your Zendesk company URL - this will be in the form "https://company.zendesk.com". You can find more details about what to specify at https://www.zendesk.com/login

    When prompted, enter your Zendesk credentials.  If you have pop-ups allowed you may automatically be prompted. If not, select oAuth 2 as the Authentication Mechanism and click Sign In.

    Follow the Zendesk authentication flow. Note that these credentials must be an Admin for your account.  (If you are already signed in to Zendesk in your browser, you may not be prompted for credentials.) After signing in, click Allow to allow Power BI to access your Zendesk data.

    Click Connect to begin the import process. Once completed, a new dashboard, report and model will appear in the Navigation Pane. Your data is now in Power BI for you to monitor and explore!

     

    #Power BI#Business Intelligence#data visualization#Zendesk#Connector#Customer Interaction#Customer Support#Customer Service#Content Pack

    Tue, 24 Mar 2015 15:30:00 GMT byPower BI Team10 Comments

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  • Monitor and analyze your Marketo data with Power BI

    With Power BI our customers can keep a pulse on their business by bringing all their data together and monitoring it through a single pane of glass. Live Power BI dashboards and reports show visualizations and KPIs from data that reside both on-premises and in the cloud, providing a consolidated view across the business regardless of where the data lives. With Power BI content packs for popular services such as Marketo and others, you can now connect and view your data in Power BI with pre-built dashboards and reports, in a matter of minutes.

    The Marketo content pack for Power BI gives you insights from the valuable data building up in your Marketo account.  In Power BI, you can create a dashboard that includes data from all the services you use to get your job done.  Then you can easily share the dashboard and the insights it contains with everyone on your team. 

    In this blog we wanted to show you the insights you can get by connecting your Marketo account to Power BI. We have a Marketo account that contains details of multiple email campaigns and the leads they generated.  After logging into Power BI, we were able to create the following dashboard with just a few clicks. It includes details like the number of emails sent this quarter, the percentage of emails that were opened, a map showing where your message is resonating, and the sources yielding the most leads. 

    We can ask questions of the data using business terms using Power BI’s Q/A technology – its natural language search right on top of the data in my Marketo account. Below you can see we typed “how many leads do we have by state” and that immediately provided the answer. 

     

    The dashboard also comes with a detail report.   By clicking any of the charts in the dashboard, we can drill through to a detail report. 

    The default report has useful insights you can use to analyze your lead generation.  Below we walk you through the default report.  Before we do, it’s important to know that you can customize the report and dashboard to meet your unique needs. We don’t go into that here, but we’d recommend giving it a try yourself (see how).  This is especially useful since everyone’s usage and needs depend on their goals, so customizability is a key benefit of using the Marketo content pack for Power BI.  When you consider that you can mashup data on a single dashboard from multiple other sources like Google Analytics (coming soon!), it makes it all the more useful.

    The report has a lot of good insights.  This page shows you if your emails are targeting the right people by job title, industry, company size, geography, and see how much potential revenue could come from the leads you have.

     

    There’s a page that drills into lead acquisition giving insights on which lead sources are performing the best, the breakdown of leads by lead status and allows you to slice the metrics by industry, company size, revenue and country. It’s a good reference if you’re actively doing customer development.

    The connector also has a page focused on how your marketing programs are doing.  Especially useful is the top programs by acquisition percentage which helps you compare the programs against each other to ensure you’re focusing on programs that work.  You can also see the top 10 programs by success rate, top 10 acquisition programs and the most active programs.

    The email engagement page lets you see which emails are effective and which could be improved.  You see the number of emails sent, open rate, link click rate, unsubscribe rate, and delivery rate for the emails you send.  You also get breakdowns by device and user.

    The last page helps you understand when users are engaging with the emails you send. You might use this to adjust the time your mails are sent or to ensure there are enough customer support staff to handle high traffic periods with speedy answers giving you an advantage over your competitors and building positive sentiment.

    Setting it up

    To set it up you need to login to your Marketo account and get three pieces of information: the Endpoint, Client ID, and Client Secret.  If this is your first time through, we have a nice article on our support site that steps you through it.  You can find it here: 

    http://support.powerbi.com/knowledgebase/articles/462795-marketo

    If you run into issues or need help getting going, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. You can contact support either by clicking the “?” when you’re signed in to your Power BI account or from the “Contact Support” link on our support site. 

    http://support.powerbi.com

    #Power BI#Business Intelligence#data visualization#Marketo#Connector#Marketing#Marketing Automation

    Thu, 19 Mar 2015 17:00:00 GMT byPower BI Team7 Comments

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  • MySkills4Afrika and Power BI

    by Anand Mariappan, Senior Software Engineer for Power BI

    I am a Senior Software Engineer in the Power BI team working on the dashboard experience. Recently, I had the opportunity to volunteer in Uganda between Jan 19th to Feb 3rd through the MySkills4Afrika Program by teaching startups to use Power BI. Below is a summary about my experience. For more details checkout my blog.

    The MySkills4Afrika program lets all Microsoft employees volunteer their time and skills to help build a successful future for Africa. Since the program launched over 250 Microsoft employees have completed projects ranging 1-2 week in-person in Africa. Emerging markets in Africa have been identified as game changing opportunities for organizations Microsoft is making this investment through the Microsoft4Afrika initiative, of which MySkills4Afrika is a key component.

    In January Microsoft introduced a preview of the new Power BI preview business analytics service. Business users can sign up in seconds and begin connecting with their data in minutes.

    During my two weeks in Africa, I spent hands on time with MMindzsFIT Uganda and five early stage startups at the ICT Center of Innovation and Entrepreneurship to show how easy it was to use Power BI using Power Query to import data into Excel, Power Pivot to define relationships between the imported data and creating live dashboards within minutes from the Excel file.

    On the last day I gave a talk to everyone at the ICT startup hub on using Power BI for analytics and best practices for building a MVP. These were small-medium businesses including students, developers and sales people. 

    Here is a sample dashboard that I created during one of the training sessions, to show how it would be to use Power BI. Everyone loved the Power BI Q&A feature and were super impressed with how easy it was to create informative visuals.

    The most frequent asks from the various startups were:

    • Accessing new Power BI experience outside USA
    • Android app for consuming the dashboards
    • Embedding dashboards
    • Real time alerting

    Some of the quotes from the startups after I showed them the new Power BI preview experience were:

    • "Power BI Q&A is magical"
    • "Microsoft is going to make real money out of this dashboard experience"
    • "I am really blown away now"
    • "This transition from Power BI Office 365 to Power BI dashboarding is similar to the transition from PowerPoint to Prezi. The new experience is amazing"

    Overall it was a great experience to see happy Power BI customers and to see the product we are building solve for the right user problems.

     

    #Power BI#Business Intelligence#dashboard#Microsoft#data visualizatio#Startup#Africa#MySkills4Afrika

    Thu, 19 Mar 2015 15:00:00 GMT byPower BI Team1 Comment

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