Gain complete insights with the Visio visualizations in Power BI Preview

Gain complete insights with the Visio visualizations in Power BI Preview

As written on blogs.office.com
Starting today, you can visualize data using Microsoft Visio diagrams from within Microsoft Power BI dashboards and reports. Microsoft solutions work better together—and now, Visio and Power BI work better together than ever before thanks to the new Visio visualization. Any Visio user can sign up for the preview to start using this capability right away.
Both Visio and Power BI are highly visual and naturally complementary. With Visio, you can create illustrative diagrams, such as interconnected workflows and real-world layouts, to pursue operational intelligence. On the other hand, Power BI helps you build intuitive dashboards from various visualizations, like charts and maps, to understand complex datasets, measure KPIs and track goals—all to achieve business intelligence. Using Visio and Power BI together, you can illustrate and compare data as both diagrams and traditional Power BI visualizations in one place, driving operational and business intelligence to understand the overall picture.
With this new feature, you can import a Visio diagram from SharePoint or OneDrive for Business into Power BI. The underlying Power BI data is then automatically and intelligently linked to the diagram based on its shape properties, eliminating the need to do this manually. In just a few clicks, and without help from IT, Visio diagrams become yet another interactive Power BI visualization that can help you make informed decisions faster.

Get more out of your data using Visio and Power BI together

Consider this fictitious example: Contoso is a large retailer working to improve its inventory management. Using Power BI, the current inventory per store can be represented in a series of visualizations, including a treemap that shows stock by item (left-side chart in the image below).

Visualization of Contoso inventory with the Visio tree map displayed on the left and the Power BI data summary on the right.

The visualizations are perfect for an all-up view of inventory at this store. But what if Contoso needs more nuanced details, like sales and inventory data for specific clothing racks? What if it needs to understand where each rack is located in the store and how they are positioned relative to one another? Using a Visio diagram of the store’s layout, Contoso can overlay the data in Power BI on Visio’s clothing rack drawings. The resulting Power BI dashboard provides an accurate, up-to-date representation of overall store inventory while also giving it the ability to drill into specific items.

Visualization of Contoso inventory with Visio tree map replaced with color coded item racks linked to the inventory information from the Power BI data summary on the right.

In the animated image above, the treemap was replaced with individual item racks, color-coded and labeled based on inventory levels from Power BI data. When Tea Dresses is clicked in the Visio diagram, you quickly see that sales are very strong, which helps explain why inventory is low. Similarly, when Suit Coats is clicked in the Power BI bar chart, you see the item is well below its sales target and inventory is still high. You also can see that the suit coat rack is located in a back corner of the store, making it less accessible to customers. Based on this information, the Contoso team might decide to use more rack space for tea dresses and less for suit coats, or reposition the racks for greater accessibility.
Visio visualizations in Power BI offer detailed insights for nearly any diagram type, including:

Visio flowchart illustrating a sample home loan approval process for a bank.

Visio flowchart illustrating a sample home loan approval process for a bank. Using the Power BI charts, the bank sees that actual ticket response times for performing property risk assessments are higher than expected. In the Visio diagram, that process step is highlighted in red and, because it’s so early in the process, could affect other steps in the future if the ticket processing issue isn’t resolved soon.

Fishbone chart showing that poor working conditions.

Fishbone chart showing that poor working conditions—specifically excessive noise and temperature, which are highlighted in red in the Visio diagram—are the root cause of diminished product quality. The diagram relies on the employee ratings of operational categories depicted in the Power BI charts on the right.

Dashboard showing how certain people and departments, illustrated by the Visio hierarchy diagram in the upper left, affect different organizational processes.

Dashboard showing how certain people and departments, illustrated by the Visio hierarchy diagram in the upper left, affect different organizational processes. In this case, the marketing and sales department is over budget on tele sales and tele call efforts, all of which are highlighted in red.

Visio and Power BI are inherently visual tools—each helps you to dissect data in new, meaningful ways. Together, they can uncover even more insights.

Milliman chooses Power BI Embedded for their Integrate application

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Milliman chooses Power BI Embedded for their Integrate application

As written on microsoft.com
Today, we’re excited to share how Milliman, a global market-leader in actuarial-products and services, has integrated Power BI Embedded into its solutions. Saptarshi Mukherjee, Senior Product Marketing Manager of Microsoft Power BI, met up with Paul Maher, Principal and Chief Technology Officer of the Life Technology Solutions Practice at Milliman, to welcome him and talk more about their solutions.
Saptarshi: Can you tell us more about Milliman and your market-leading cloud solution, Integrate™?
Paul:  Milliman is among the world’s largest actuarial and consulting firms, with offices in major cities around the globe. The Life Technology Solutions practice provides products and services to the actuarial community. Powered by the Microsoft Azure Cloud, Integrate is the first solution to effectively tear down silos and replace old tools and protocols with a state-of-the-art platform that improves financial and risk management, maximizes operational efficiency, and enables strategic allocation of human capital. Insurance companies can now access unlimited computing resources with Microsoft Azure to perform compute-intensive, mission-critical work.
Saptarshi: How are you using Power BI Embedded in Integrate?
Paul: Power BI Embedded enables Integrate users to quickly create and share data through interactive dashboards and reports, all in the cloud. Power BI Embedded provides a rich immersive experience that allows Integrate users to visualize and analyze data in one place, simply and intuitively. Using Power BI Embedded, Integrate delivers a scalable and cost-effective solution that meets the ever-growing BI demands of users.
The ability to embed Power BI in Integrate was key to ensuring that the end-user experience was seamless for all dynamic BI requirements.
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Saptarshi: Why did you choose Power BI Embedded?
Paul: After extensive research on so-called “best of breed” offerings in the market today, it was clear that Power BI Embedded was the right choice for Integrate. In summary, some of the key capabilities that made Power BI Embedded so compelling are:
Saptarshi: Data security is obviously very important in your industry and at your company.  Can you tell us more about the security details implemented in Integrate?
Paul: All access to Integrate by our customers, end-users, and by our Milliman team, is governed through industry-standard security processes.  These include customer-managed authentication through SAML 2.0+ and ADFS 2.0+ single sign-on, and role-based access control.
With the establishment of single sign-on, all authentication and role assignment responsibilities are given to our customers, allowing them full control over assigning and configuring access for their personnel. The role-based access control allows customers to craft custom roles based on their needs, using a robust set of granular permissions.
This ensures that each user is only allowed to perform the specific role they have been assigned, and controls what data they have access to. The app-token based authentication and row-level security in Power BI Embedded allowed us to continue using our existing security methods and make it transparent for the end-users.
Saptarshi: What are your customers saying?
Paul: The reaction has been extremely positive from our customers. The addition of dynamic BI in Integrate by leveraging Power BI Embedded and Azure Cloud Services gives users access to data, and the ability to interpret data in ways that have never before been possible! Being able to do all of this in a secure and cost-effective way was a key requirement. Other capabilities include:
Integrate provides business insights and real-time information to help decision makers react quickly to known and unknown risks, and to help them make decisions to protect their company.
Saptarshi: Those are all great insights on Integrate and Power BI Embedded. Thank you, Paul, for taking the time to talk with us. It’s been great to hear how Milliman has been able to fully leverage Power BI Embedded. We look forward to staying in touch with the work you’re doing.

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Alberto Cairo, Power BI & the rise of data journalism

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Alberto Cairo, Power BI & the rise of data journalism

By 
From the election of Pope Francis to the passing of Nelson Mandela to Miley Cyrus’ MTV #twerk heard ’round the world, 2013 was full of big headlines and viral hits. Yet The New York Times’ top story of the year was the humble result of a vocabulary survey of 350,000 randomly selected Americans conducted by a then-intern at the paper.
Instead of presenting these findings in a written article, “How Y’all, Youse and You Guys Talk” achieved breakout success as an interactive data visualization. It asked readers 25 questions such as “How would you address a group of two or more people?” or “How do you pronounce ‘aunt’?” and then heat-mapped their responses to the most similar regional dialect in the U.S. The interactivity and colorful visuals transmuted survey data into a fun, insightful tour through the contours of contemporary American English.
Visualization no longer just complements a written story. It is the story. In our increasingly data-driven world, visualization is becoming an essential tool for journalists from national papers to blogs with a staff of one.
I recently spent two days discussing the state of data journalism with Alberto Cairo, the Knight Chair of Visual Journalism at the School of Communication at the University of Miami. While he stressed the importance of data visualization for efficient communication and audience engagement, Cairo argued that “Above all else, visualizations — when done right — are a vehicle of clarification and truth.”

 

 

Visualize your VMob data in Power BI

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Visualize your VMob data in Power BI

As written by Theresa Palmer on blogs.msdn.com/powerbi
VMob uses real-time contextual analytics to give retailers the ability to create highly personalized marketing campaigns which reach customers at the right time and place. Tracking and exploring your VMob data is easy with Power BI and the VMob content pack. Power BI retrieves your data, including User Statistics, Retail KPI and Campaign Performance, and then builds an out-of-box dashboard and reports based on that data.
This post will provide an overview on how the Power BI content pack helps users explore and monitor VMob data. For additional details on how to get started, please see the VMob content pack for Power BI help page.
Start loading the content pack by connecting to your VMob account in Power BI. Once the content pack is loaded, you’ll see a new dashboard, report and dataset in your workspace marked with an asterisk. Clicking on the tiles will drill into the 4 pages of reports built on top of the data set. For example, selecting the Redemptions by Campaign tile will load the Campaign Performance report which shows details about your campaigns for the last 30 days.
You can hover over any of the visualizations to see additional details about that specific data point. You can also leverage the filters in the report by opening the filter pane on the right.
Navigate between the report pages using the named tabs at the bottom. On each page, you can also switch to Edit Mode, to view all of the tables and fields that are included in the dataset. This mode allows you to add filters, create or modify visualizations and add new report pages. The highlighted tables in the Fields list show where the fields come from for a specific visual.
Any of the visualizations be pinned back to the dashboard to further customize it. When you pin a visual you’re prompted to choose which dashboard to pin to, allowing you to build up a dashboard with tiles from multiple different reports. Each tile can be resized or moved on your dashboards allowing for further customization.
After you initially import the data, the dashboard, reports and data set will continue to update daily. You can control the refresh schedule on the data set as well. The VMob content pack for Power BI helps you visualize and explore an initial set of metrics and reports that can be customized for your scenario.