Microsoft's Power BI hits 5M subscribers, adds deeper Excel integration

Microsoft has a ton of new features planned for its cloud-based BI service

Microsoft's cloud-based business intelligence service is celebrating a major user growth milestone with a handful of new features, including the ability to import data from an Excel spreadsheet and turn it into live-updating charts and graphs.

Power BI now has more than 5 million subscribers, who are using the service to take in business data and create dashboards they can use to better understand their businesses. Starting Tuesday, those subscribers will be able to use an Excel connector to easily "pin" live-updating data from the Excel desktop app to a Power BI dashboard.

Both that feature, and one that allows users to analyze data from Power BI in Excel, were previously available for beta testing and are now generally available.

The service will also get role-level security for cloud models and direct query. One user with access to a set of company data in Power BI can create one dashboard that will show users a subset of information based on what they're allowed to see.

To help organizations understand how their employees are using Power BI, Microsoft by the end of the month will also add tenant-level usage reports that will show how people are using different features of the service, including reports and dashboards. It's an important feature because licensing Power BI Pro costs $9.99 per user every month.

In addition to the Power BI news, Microsoft Research also released SandDance, a new data visualization tool that takes information and shows data points as cubes on a three-dimensional graph. It's currently available in beta for Windows and Power BI, and aims to make it possible for people to look at data in interesting ways, like showing where events occur on a map, and then stacking data points on locations to show where they occur most frequently.

The news comes as Tableau, one of Microsoft's competitors in the cloud-based business intelligence space headquartered in nearby Seattle, has seen its stock hammered following missed revenue projections.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Microsoft

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Blair Hanley Frank

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Brother MFC-L3745CDW Colour Laser Multifunction

Learn more >

Mobile

Exec

Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?