PASSBAC 2014: Empowering the Data Citizen; datacapability on any device

The main theme here is that Microsoft are opening up their data tools to any device. Bringing the power of data to everyone in the organisation. The journey for the data culture starts today!

How successful is it? Over at Copper Blue, we are big Power BI users. As a small organisation, the setup suits us just fine. What about other organisations? Well, according to Amir Netz and Kamil Hathi’s keynote, there’s been over one million Q and A queries in Power BI in the last month. That is amazing adoption.

I love that Microsoft are becoming more open. The truth is, we live in a heterogenous world when it comes to software and devices. Microsoft recognise this, and today their demo showed – not a Surface – but a Chromebook and HTML 5 enabled browser for their demo with Power BI. Microsoft have heard the message that users simply want their data to work, on any device. Although I’m a diehard Surface user, I do like the message. This is further crystallised in the fact that they announced that there will be a native app for iOS, which will be released in the summer.

I was delighted to see that Reporting Services will be in Power BI in the cloud by the end of the summer. For me, SSRS is an old, dear friend and I’m delighted to hear this news. I will always have a special place in my heart for SSRS. Although it’s probably impossible to quantify how many SSRS reports are being run across the world, I’d really love to know. All I know is that my customers often have SSRS reports in play, and they’re usually pretty happy with it when it is in place.

It’s also possible to create dashboards and KPIs using natural language typing.  This was very cool to see. I loved the flexibility and I know it will engage users. I was also happy to see a treemap. It’s something that customers often use.

What does this mean? It means that the full toolset in front of the business intelligence developer and user, in order to answer their questions. It is about making the masses datacapable.

Predictive analytics for the masses – wow! Describing the forecasting models in Power View is a new feature which was announced, and you can find it here.

Overall, the keynote was great, and it set the scene for a great day at the PASS BA Conference.
There was only a slight hiccup in the demo. I’ve said it before and I will say it again: stay away from the pie chart. Everything was great until the pie chart made an appearance, and everything went  fine again when it disappeared. Well, that’s my interpretation and I’m sticking to it…. 🙂