Microsoft's Power BI-focused Day 1 keynote (watch now) at the PASS Business Analytics Conference took a tour through shark attacks, Hawaiian tourism, and growing adoption of the cloud-based self-service BI suite, featuring crowd-pleasing announcements about a native app for iOS and SQL Server Reporting Services support by end of summer, a new Power BI KPI editor using natural language, and the availability now of Power View forecasting and upcoming Tree Maps visualization, drap-and-drop chart combining, a new Data Exploration mode, and more.
Back by popular demand, Microsoft's Kamal Hathi and Amir Netz showcased powerful new Power BI for Office 365 features in their hallmark entertaining style, including demos analyzing shark attacks (if you go in the water, you’re safer with a weapon), Hawaiian tourism (Japanese visitors prefer Hawaii in the fall), and the adoption rate of Power BI (over 1 million questions answered by the natural language Power BI Q&A in April alone).
As Kamal looked at data usage by browser via Power View running in Chrome with HTML5 on a Chromebook, Amir noted that the goal is to support any data on any devise and build a “data culture,” where everyone can enjoy the power of data.
Amir also introduced Michael Carper as the winner of Microsoft’s Power BI demo contest, with his entry analyzing if tweeting in the third quarter of an NBA game can help win the game.
The opening keynote included Dell Software’s John Whittaker talking about the promise of Big Data and predictive analytics for the middle market – informed by a global survey of midmarket executives.
PASS President Thomas LaRock led off with a warm welcome to more than 750 attendees from 300+ industry-leading companies and a call for data professionals to embrace their passion for data and get involved in the business analytics community: “Regardless of your title, if you work with data, you are the lifeblood of your organization.”