Microsoft’s Power BI service left its limited preview today, and it is now generally available for Office365 subscribers.
Microsoft corporate VP of the data platform group Quentin Clark announced the release in a blog post, explaining how the self-service business intelligence application is designed to enable enterprise customers of offerings such as SharePoint to deploy a cloud-based BI environment. The service pulls data from a variety of sources and presents it for analysis in a robust, interactive format within a SharePoint Online site.
The cloud-based Business Intelligence service gives SharePoint Online users an interactive view to use Excel workbooks, as well as access to other BI features such as the Manage Data Portal. The Power BI sites app can be applied to a new or existing site in SharePoint Online Enterprise.
Power BI gives users access to both public and corporate catalogs of data sets and BI models, including information searchable through Windows Azure. The data can then be used to create collaborative BI sites, and to manage and share data queries created in both Excel workbooks and Power Query while maintaining a catalog of searchable data.
There is also a Q&A feature where users can type questions about the data in a natural language. The system will then interpret the question and present answers in the form of interactive visualizations. The service also has HTML5 support for mobile data access.
Power BI is only available as an add-on to existing Office 365 subscriptions. For more information, read the official Power BI team blog post.