Microsoft announced general availability of Power BI Premium during its Data Insights Summit in Seattle on Monday. The new version of the company’s popular business analysis tool is designed to give enterprises a more powerful and flexible way to analyze their data.
Microsoft launched Power BI in 2015. After just two years, the service is now in active use at more than 200,000 different organizations, including the Seattle Seahawks, CA Technologies and Heathrow Airport, according to a TechCrunch report. Microsoft said its customers have created 11.5 million data models, adding 30,000 more each day.
The new premium version eliminates size limits for data models, offers dedicated capacity so users can publish and share content, according to the report. It will eventually enable companies to run simple what-if scenarios by incorporating Microsoft’s machine learning capabilities.
Many companies today are overrun with data. But unless that data is put to use, it’s worthless. Power BI Premium allows companies to harness a wide variety of data — whether it comes from Excel spreadsheets or ERP software made by another company — and provide an instant picture of how the company is performing.
In a nutshell, the software reduces the need for trained data analysts, and because of that, the popularity of original version, Power BI, has exploded over the last few years. Corporate VP and Power BI head James Phillips said Microsoft uses the tool internally every day to provide executives a snapshot of the company’s performance, according to Business Insider. That means even Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella uses it to keep up with the company's performance.
Microsoft's Power BI does have competitors, including the likes of Tableau, Oracle and Salesforce. But Power BI appears to be doing quite well against them. Part of the success stems from customers that are already Microsoft shops, employing the company's suite of technology. But the more innovative and easy to use tools companies can offer, the easier it will be for vendors to gain loyal customers.