Menu
Microsoft expands Power BI's visualizations with help from users

Microsoft expands Power BI's visualizations with help from users

New gallery shows off custom graphs and charts for anyone to use

One of the challenges that business intelligence software users face is generating the right sort of visualizations for the data they have.

That's why Microsoft announced support for custom visualizations across its Power BI service Monday. Developers can now use tools provided by the company on Github to create .pbviz files that can then be imported directly into Power BI's web interface for use in analyzing data. (Microsoft will also be making that functionality available to the Power BI Desktop client next week.) 

Users who don't want to build or buy bespoke visuals can also pick from ones submitted by community members to a new Power BI Gallery site. Microsoft is hosting that site so people can more easily find and share custom visualizations with the world. Right now, there are a slew of options for users to choose from, including an animated fish tank with fish that resize based on the data source they're fed. 

Because those visualizations are all built using the same framework, they work similarly to native graphs and charts that come built into Power BI. When users click on a section of a chart, all of the other visualizations on a page will narrow down what they're showing to highlight what just got selected. 

Microsoft will be reviewing all of the submissions in its gallery, Technical Fellow Amir Netz said in an interview. It won't be going over them with a fine-toothed comb, just looking hard enough to make sure that they work and aren't hiding malicious code. 

Adding all of those user generated visuals is a massive boon for Microsoft, since the Power BI community produced more custom visualizations now than the team working on the product was able to create in the past four years. Moving forward, Netz said that Microsoft hopes to constantly add new visualizations to the service, moving them through review in less than 24 hours. 

Visualizations provided through the gallery are free, but Microsoft always links back to their publishers, so developers who want to make money from creating custom visualizations can offer a taste of what they're capable of through the Power BI gallery and then sell more bespoke graphs to customers outside Microsoft's ecosystem -- which can still be imported into Power BI and used like those visuals that come from the gallery.  

What's missing from all this is a system that helps users pick the right visualizations for the data they have loaded into Power BI. While having a massive selection of different graphs and charts is a boon for the service, Microsoft will need to find ways to better organize charts so people have an easier time finding what they need. 

Netz said that Microsoft will be adding functionality in the future that will allow people to rate and categorize visualizations to make high-quality ones in different fields more accessible. 

It's all part of Microsoft's ongoing push to compete with entrenched players in the business intelligence space like its Seattle-area neighbor Tableau. Microsoft laid the groundwork for all of this in July, when the company announced its tools for creating custom visualizations alongside the general availability of the Power BI service and Power BI Desktop app. 

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Microsoft

Featured

Slideshows

Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel

Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel

​As the channel changes and industry voices deepen, the need for clarity and insight heightens. Market misconceptions talk of an “under pressure” distribution space, with competitors in that fateful “race for relevance” across New Zealand. Amidst the cliched assumptions however, distribution is once again showing its strength, as a force to be listened to, rather than questioned. Traditionally, the role was born out of a need for vendors and resellers to find one another, acting as a bridge between the testing lab and the marketplace. Yet despite new technologies and business approaches shaking the channel to its very core, distributors remain tied to the epicentre - providing the voice of reason amidst a seismic industry shift. In looking across both sides of the vendor and partner fences, the middle concept of the three-tier chain remains centrally placed to understand the metrics of two differing worlds, as the continual pulse checkers of the local channel. This exclusive Reseller News Roundtable, in association with Dicker Data and rhipe, examined the pivotal role of distribution in understanding the health of the channel, educating from the epicentre as the market transforms at a rapid rate.

Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel
Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017

Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017

After Hours made a welcome return to the channel social calendar last night, with a bumper crowd of distributors, vendors and resellers descending on The Jefferson in Auckland to kickstart 2017. Photos by Maria Stefina.

Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017
Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel

Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel

Arrow Electronics introduced Tenable Network Security to local resellers in Sydney last week, officially launching the distributor's latest security partnership across Australia and New Zealand. Representing the first direct distribution agreement locally for Tenable specifically, the deal sees Arrow deliver security solutions directly to mid-market and enterprise channel partners on both sides of the Tasman.

Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel
Show Comments