Everywhere you look these days, it seems that more and more data—whether structured, semi-structured and unstructured—is being generated. It’s this “Big Data” that is in turn driving an even bigger demand for Business Intelligence (BI). After all, if you are going to have access to lots of data, you might as well make the most of it by mining it for actionable information you can use to guide your decisions.
That sentiment may be one reason why the BI market is expected to grow to 20.8 billion by 2018, at least according to the global market research and consulting company MarketsandMarkets. And, it may be why companies like Microsoft are working to expand their reach in the BI market. Microsoft took a step in that direction earlier this year when it announced that its Power BI product (preview version) would be available for free. Power BI is Microsoft’s cloud-based business analytics service for non-technical business users.
Just recently, Microsoft announced enhancements for Office 365, one of which includes a content pack for Power BI. The content pack is expected to be available in coming months and will enable Office 365 users to leverage the reporting and analytics capabilities of Power BI to analyze and create interactive dashboards like that shown in the figure.
If you’re interested in finding out just what Power BI can do, check out how the tool was used to bring together different 2015 Cricket World Cup data and create some clever visuals from the results. You can find more examples like this, along with tips, ideas and Power BI product updates from the experts at Microsoft’s Power BI Blog webpage.
In the meantime, for more general information on BI, check out the Enterprise Data and BI Conference later this year or go to Microsoft’s BI webpage at http://blogs.msdn.com/b/microsoft_business_intelligence1/. If you’re an IT or business executive involved with higher education systems and services and want to find out how BI can help, check out the upcoming 2015 Administrative IT Summit, scheduled for June 22-24 in Seattle, Washington.
This blog about storage and networking is sponsored by Microsoft.
Cheryl J. Ajluni is a freelance writer and editor based in California. She is the former Editor-in-Chief of Wireless Systems Design and served as the EDA/Advanced Technology editor for Electronic Design for over 10 years. She is also a published book author and patented engineer. Her work regularly appears in print and online publications. Contact her at [email protected] with your comments or story ideas.