PowerBI: Focusing on Driving Time to Value

powerBI driving time to value dynamics 365 for operations

I was very excited when I wrote three blogs on PowerBI about six months ago. There was/is much to be excited about including:

  • Ability to drive insight to end users
  • Pre-built content using Role Centers, Analysis Cubes and KPIs
  • Integration with Machine Learning and Advanced Analytics services in Azure
  • Continuing more and better AX integration

See Blog Posts here:

  • Business Intelligence (BI) Part 1: Microsoft Dynamics AX BI Out of the Box
  • Business Intelligence (BI) Part 2: Adding Power BI to Dynamics AX
  • Business Intelligence (BI) Part 3: Power BI mashing up, refreshing, and on-premise data

Microsoft is encouraging Partners to create templates and “offers” that will focus on Time to Value.  There are a number of templates available today and many more will be developed quickly. Here’s a link to the templates:

https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/solution-templates/

One of the cool templates is for Twitter Analysis which enables companies to gain insight into brand and campaign impact on specific topics.  It used “PowerBI” as the example and showed inbound and outbound tweet analysis, what’s trending, sentiment analysis (remember, unstructured data), authors, related topics, all across a time line.

Microsoft also introduced offers that are geared around customers deriving value quickly.  The offers include:

  • Dashboard & Reports in a Day
  • Solution Template Quick PoC
  • Bring Your Own Data – build PowerBI dashboards

These are normally paid-for event and, the feedback has been very positive since the ultimate goal is to accelerate PowerBI expertise while also generating a working PowerBI model/application/dashboard. Microsoft started with the Azure Marketplace which then quickly became AppSource.  The prebuilt PowerBI templates will end up in AppSource as a means of continuing to drive “Intelligent, Purpose Built,” Azure based applications.  And, the line between traditional reporting and visualizations is blurring with the advent of more sensor-based IoT (Intelligent, Purpose-Built) applications that focus on remote monitoring, alerting, and predictive maintenance.

PowerBI, by itself is already a useful Visualization tool for gaining insight. It is just one solution offered by Microsoft in an impressive lineup of analytics tools covering:

  • Visualization
  • Extraction, Transform, Load
  • Natural Language Query
  • Cortana Intelligence Suite
  • Azure IoT Hub
  • Data Lake
  • Machine Learning
  • Other Advanced Analytics & Integration with external services (R, Hadoop)
  • More to come…

Here’s the take away…  Anything that contributes to the tagline, “Intelligent, Purpose-built Applications” will be an investment target for Microsoft.  Why?  Because it will drive Azure workloads that drive cloud consumption.  Microsoft already has an impressive array of tools in the analytics space.  These will continue to evolve but to be successful, they’ll continue to try to leverage any services, offers, toolkits and partners that can expedite the value derived from these services.  The good news is that the products and strategy already deliver value… and, Microsoft continues to pile on additional services at an affordable cost.

 

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