Business intelligence tools coming to Microsoft products

9 July 2013

New business intelligence (BI) features will be included in Microsoft's Office 365 service, which should make it an even more attractive option for IT leaders. Able to integrate with a number of other software solutions such as SharePoint and SQL Server, IT professionals may want to invest in BI Microsoft training courses in the near future. 

According to TechWorld, company officials plan to announce that the firm's entire BI tool set will be offered as a service with the cloud-based Office 365 platform at a conference in Houston this week. 

Understanding how to run SharePoint will be important, as the source noted that one of the BI features to be included will be Office 365 ProPlus that provides a SharePoint landing page displaying data sources and analytics processes that users can access. 

Also, Office 365 will be compatible with Power Query, a tool that allows users to input external information onto Excel spreadsheets. With the service, Office 365 users can configure data in a variety of ways that can be easily shared and placed onto an Office 365 platform. TechWorld reported that a new tool called Power Map will also be included. It will enable users to build maps that indicate where certain data points were created. For example, the source stated that a user could map where specific Twitter messages originated from. 

Although a final price model for Power BI – the name of the tool package – has not been settled on, TechWorld indicated that it would feature a monthly, per-user model. No date has been set for the BI release, but IT professionals will certainly welcome the service once it hits the market. 

App and mobile friendly 
The new BI kit will be able to be accessed on mobile devices, according to The Next Web. The source indicated that Microsoft plans to offer apps for Windows 8, Windows RT and iPad tablets that will be able to integrate the BI services. 

It may make it easier to use SharePoint to find business solutions, as Microsoft has made the latest version of the collaborative software more mobile-friendly. 

The source also noted that a new feature will offer workspaces for professionals to connect with each other to share data and analytics results. 

With new offerings, taking additional Microsoft certification courses for BI services may be necessary for some IT professionals. 

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