Finally, the MS Power BI Public Preview is available to non-US based entities.
This product represents the future of Power BI and on first looks, it is very promising. All the Power BI tools embedded in Excel will continue to be supported and enhanced, which is great and in addition to that, there is the new Power BI Designer (PBID) tool as well – a desktop rich client tool that promises to have everything that Excel has and more. It isn’t there yet, but the word from MS is that PBID will be updated more frequently that Excel. I guess this is understandable – any changes to Excel have to be tested to death to ensure they don’t cause any problems for base Excel functions.
But now, there is Power BI in the cloud that just about anyone can use. For small, low-volume users, it doesn’t even cost anything if you can stay within the data limits and are happy to upload your data to a MS server. I really can’t see why this would be a problem for most people, given the functionality that you get in return.
For larger companies, happy to pay the monthly subscription fee, not only will they be able to build reports and dashboards in the cloud with data they upload, but they will also be able to connect to on-premise data, which is a very big deal.
Microsoft are clearly listening to their customers and also looking at their competitors out in the market and seem determined to deliver a very good product.
Once we have had a chance to play with the Power BI preview we will provide further feedback on the pros and cons on this very promising toolset.