Microsoft updates Power BI for Office 365 with data search, natural language querying, and 3D visualizations

Microsoft updates Power BI for Office 365 with data search, natural language querying, and 3D visualizations ...

Microsoft today announced an update to Power BI for Office 365 preview and Power BI in Excel. The former has received natural language search through Q&A while the latter, which consists of two Power BI add-ins in Excel (Power Map and Power Query), has gained improved data 3D mapping visualizations and data search, respectively.

For those who don’t know, Power BI is a set of tools that provide data query, mapping, modeling, and interactive charting usually built on top of Excel. Power Query and Power Map were previously known as Data Explorer and Geoflow, if those names ring a bell.

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Microsoft says it is basically leveraging Bing’s expertise in big data, mapping, and machine learning to boost Power BI. First on that list is Q&A, which lets enterprise customers ask questions of their data and generate visual results in interactive charts or graphs:


The example above shows how you can use Q&A to search an Olympics database to find the number of gold medals received by country in 2008. The result is automatically displayed in the form of a map-based visualization.

Power Map Preview meanwhile plots geographic and temporal data visually on Bing Maps. For example, you can see a 3D representation of a company’s revenue by sales region and opportunities by product category plotted by Bing:


This is just a quick glance at what’s new. If you’re a hard-core Power BI user, or if the above visualizations have caught your eye, you’ll want to get more details about what’s new in Power BI for Office 365 here and what’s new in Power BI in Excel here.

See also – Microsoft brings the Office Store to 22 new markets and adds intelligence tool Power BI to Office 365 and Microsoft launches GeoFlow for Excel, a tool for visualizing time-stamped 3D data built on Bing Maps

Top Image Credit: Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

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