Archive for Visualization

Microsoft is announcing Power Bi for Office 365

Today, during the Worldwide Partner Conference, Microsoft announced “Power BI for Office 365”.

Following the “Empower the end user” trend, Microsoft will provide to Office 365 users it’s self-service BI Tools that has until now been shipped into Excel : Power Pivot, Power View, Data Explorer renamed Power Data and Geo Flow renamed Power Map.

Doing so, Microsoft is also giving a final name to the two self-service bi Tools that are still in preview in Excel 2013: Data Explorer and Geo Flow.

What’s also important to note here, is that through this release, Microsoft will start to address the mobility since the rendering will be done in html5 (was previously done in Silverlight).

You can read the official blog post here : Introducing Power BI for Office 365

… and register for the preview here : Power BI for Office 365

Update : Chris Webb shares his thoughts on this there.


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[Office 2013] New Office aka Office 2013 has been unveiled by Microsoft

Yesterday Microsoft has made available for download a Consumer Preview of the new version of Office aka New Office aka Office 2013 that will be RTM’d early next year.

It’s always a big time for us Microsoft BI professionals as Microsoft Office has always been one of the pillar of Microsoft BI strategy along with SQL Server and SharePoint.

You can go there to try it by yourself…

There’s a long list of new things for us in business intelligence among the following :

– A new Data Model feature deeply integrated into Excel and that rely on PowerPivot : One can now link Excel tables together and query them with pivot tables as if they were one.

Power Pivot has been enhanced and integrated into Excel to support the new Data Model feature

Power View has been integrated into Excel and produce a new Excel sheet full of new reporting opportunities.

Slicers has been enhanced and a new “Time Line Slicer” has been added. You can read about them there.

– New Olap Tools have been added to create “Calculated Measures“, “Calculated Members” and to manage them… You can read about them there.

I’ll try to cover them all in the next few days … Chris Webb has already published two posts on the first three topics here and here.


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Getting help choosing the right chart type in Excel

As a follow-up to my previous post depicting a flow chart for choosing which type of chart can better emphasize our reporting needs, I dig up an Excel add in intending to help you in this task.

Published by Microsoft Office labs, the Chart Advisor add in for Excel “identifies, ranks, and displays an array of charts most relevant to you so you
can make the most out of your presentation.”

Though not very new (it was first published in may 2010), it’s worse mentioning it for those of you who may not have been aware of its existence. One last word to say that there is no Office 2010 version, it only works with Office 2007.


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Having difficulties choosing the right representation for your data ? Try the “Chart suggestions” method …

So you want to propose convincing data representations ? Maybe have you sometimes difficulties choosing between all the form of existing charts the one that will best fit your needs ?

Some times ago, I was asked to discuss with a client involved in our dashboard design workshops, why to choose one kind of chart rather than another. Even if I knew well “instinctively” the different representations you can use for graphing trends or distributions for example, I was searching something formal and exhaustive to share with him, something that can guide him … even without me being around.

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Do you like infographics ? is here for you

As business intelligence professionals, we all realize, sooner or later, and sooner is better :), that data is hardly actionable if not turned into information and that in the process of digesting info, data presentation and how it tells you the story does count a lot.

So I’m always interested when I come across a presentation that goes straight to the goal.

If like me you’re interested in infographics and more widely in data visualizations, here’s a great place to start with !!‘s web site defines itself as “The world’s largest community for exploring, sharing, creating, and promoting data visualizations.”

It helps you to find and browse visualizations and infographics found on the web and to promote your own work.

One last feature should be the corner-stone of what this website will have to offer in the future. It’s a service that will allow you to craft your own infographics. It claims that it will not request any extensive habilities other than knowing what’s the story to tell. You can sign for an early access here.

As a bonus, here’s a short list of some of my favourites :

The tale of early tech rival

Difference between Humans and Animals

The student loan scheme

And you ? What are your favorite ones ?

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