The Analytics Pane in Power BI

The August 2016 edition on Power BI Desktop introduces a new pane named “Analytics” right next to the “Fields” and “Format” panes. Now, this title probably gave you, just as it did for me, a racing heart and goosebumps. However when you actually go to the pane, you just blurt out a disappointed “oh…”. Well, not that it is bad, you have options such as adding a percentile line, median line, trend line and a few more. But one would expect to see a little bit more with respect to analytics.

One thing that you do find is a forecast line, which for now works on a single-measure line chart. It’s pretty neat, but as advanced analytics go requires enough data points in order give you a good forecast. Of course this is just the start. We’re sure to see more analytic capabilities in the future.

The BI and Analytics Magic Quadrant in 2016 – Power BI rules!

The Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms was released a few days ago by Gartner. This report, released on an annual basis analyses the vendors of business intelligence and analytics, and places them on a quadrant to indicate their capabilities. This year, well, things are different. Many of the key players from previous years have fallen away from the Leaders quadrant with only 3 remaining — Oracle is not seen anywhere in the four quadrants (they did not qualify to be included based on criteria)

Gartner2016
Source: Gartner (February 2016)

The criteria for this latest assessment is based on 5 use cases and 14 critical capabilities of a BI and analytics platform, which mostly focuses on agility and self-service.  Gartner explains that the trend of BI and analytics switching from an enterprise reporting model to a self-service model has now reached a tipping point, and now for the first time Microsoft is seen as a visionary leader in this space. And for Gartner to base Microsoft’s assessment solely on Power BI goes to show the potential of the product. The second iteration of Power BI with it’s desktop module and the online portal, offers an intuitive and simple to use interface for users to build data discovery and visualization solutions. With support for a plethora of cloud-based and on-premise data sources, along with up-coming features such as Cortana-integration, I think Microsoft is on a good path towards what Gartner predicts how the BI and analytics landscape will look like by 2018. Polish up a few cautions indicated by Gartner such as low advanced analytics capabilities on Power BI, and they’d look even better.

Microsoft also had been in the Leaders quadrant for the last 9 years, during the time when enterprise BI was at it’s peak. Couple that with the latest assessment and you could safely say that the collective Microsoft BI stack is a force to reckon.

For reference:

Gartner2015 Gartner2014