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.

Outlook 2016 for Mac is adding your most requested features

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As written on blogs.office.com
Outlook for Mac is adding several highly requested features for Office 365 customers, including the ability to send an email at the time of your choice and request delivery notifications and read receipts. These additions deliver on four of our top 10 requested features, and are designed to help you get more done quickly and stay in control of the day ahead.
A big part of our prioritization of new features and enhancements comes from the votes and feedback we receive from you at our Outlook UserVoice site, and the input we get from our Office Insiders. We thank you all for your feedback and are excited to hear what you think of our new additions!
Here’s a look at what’s new.

Send your emails when you want

The best time to write an email and the best time to send an email may not always align. With our new Send Later feature, you can write an email now and schedule it to be sent automatically at the perfect time. Once you are done drafting your email, click the drop-down next to Send and then select Send Later. Choose the date and time to send the email and the message is saved to your Drafts folder. When the scheduled time comes, the email is automatically sent—you don’t even need to have Outlook or your computer open!

Outlook for Mac toolbar is displayed with the Send Later button highlighted.

This feature is available to Office Insider Fast users today and coming to Office 365 subscribers in July. For more details, see Can I delay or schedule the delivery of email messages in Outlook 2016 for Mac?

Use read and delivery receipts to track your emails

Sometimes you need to be notified that an important email has been delivered to and read by your recipient. Outlook for Mac now supports both read and delivery receipts. A delivery receipt confirms delivery of your email message to the recipient’s mailbox, but not that the recipient has seen it or read it. A read receipt confirms that your message was opened.

In Outlook for Mac, the message recipient can decline to send read receipts. For more details, see Request a read receipt or delivery notification.

Spend less time writing emails

Sending the same email over and over again? Email templates are great for sending messages that include information that infrequently changes from message to message. Compose and save a message as a template and then reuse it when you want it. New information can be added before the template is sent as an email message. For more details, see Can I create email templates in Outlook 2016 for Mac?

Stay on top of your day by creating calendar events and tasks from emails

Emails contain the important information you need to get things done throughout the day. Often, however, those tasks need to be scheduled as part of your day to get completed on time. You can now drag and drop emails directly to your calendar to reserve that time. The subject of the email becomes the calendar subject, and the body of the email goes in the notes field.
For those of you who are task users, you can do the same thing. Drag the email to your task view to create new items.

Improving the account setup experience

We’ve simplified the Add Account experience in Outlook for Mac. Previously, you needed to know details about what type of account you have (e.g., Office 365 or Exchange, IMAP or POP). Now you can simply enter your email address and Outlook detects your account settings and guides you through the process. And if you’ve signed in to other Office apps before launching Outlook for the first time, you will be asked if you want to add that account automatically. For more details, see Set up Outlook on your Mac.

How do I get all these new improvements?

The Send Later feature is available to Office Insider Fast users today on version 15.36 (170606) and will be available to all Office 365 subscribers in July. The Request a Delivery and Read receipts, email templates, and creating calendar events and tasks from emails additions are available today to all Office 365 subscribers on version 15.35 (170610). The improved account setup experience is available to all Outlook Mac users on version 15.34 (170515).

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Distribute to large audiences with Power BI apps

Distribute to large audiences with Power BI apps

By Ajay Anandan as written on powerbi.microsoft.com

What are apps?

Over the past few years, we’ve seen a steady rise in the importance of a data-driven culture in many organizations. Power BI has been at the forefront of this change by enabling users to easily monitor and analyze their most important business metrics in real time.
As a result, many IT departments and BI teams would like to empower everyone in the organization with Power BI to drive valuable insights and make data-driven decisions.
In many of these cases, business users need multiple Power BI dashboards and reports to run their business. For example, a sales manager might need a dashboard to monitor the leads funnel, another dashboard to monitor the sales leaderboards, and yet another dashboard to monitor and analyze sales forecasts. On top of this, there might be various other dashboards to monitor other key metrics of the business and the organization.
In these cases, managing permissions on each individual dashboard is time-consuming and error prone. It is also difficult for end users, as they must remember the names of all these dashboards and learn how to navigate to them. As a result, BI teams have been asking us for an easier and more efficient way to deploy a set of dashboards and reports to large audiences.
With Power BI apps, now in preview, you can easily deploy a collection of purpose-built dashboards and reports to a large number of business users and empower them to make data-driven decisions. You can distribute to the whole organization or to specific people or groups.

newApps

 

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Business users can easily install these apps from Microsoft AppSource. Once installed, they can access via the web portal or their iOS, Android, or Windows devices. They can easily find and return to your content because it’s all in one place. They get all your updates automatically and you can control how frequently the data refreshes.
End users need Power BI Pro licenses to consume these apps. But if the app content resides in Power BI Premium capacity, end users can access the content without requiring a Power BI Pro license.

App workspaces

To create an app, you first need to create an app workspace. The workspace is the staging area for an app and serves as the container for the content in the app.
You will be able to add other collaborators and admins to these workspaces. Once you add all the content, you will publish the app to end users.
How are app workspaces different from group workspaces?
All existing group workspaces can serve as app workspaces and you can publish apps from any of these workspaces. Over time, we will let you create these workspaces without creating other artifacts like O365 groups in the background. See our roadmap and FAQ section for our plans on how we plan to evolve this functionality in the future.
Now that you understand what app workspaces are, let's start creating and publishing an app.

Create an app workspace

1. Open Workspaces, then click Create app workspace.

app01

This will be the place to put content that other people can access and work on.
2. Give the workspace a name. If the workspace ID already exists, edit it to create a unique ID.
3. Give all members edit access and set the group to private. (These are the recommended settings. See the roadmap section for details on why.)
4. Now add email addresses of people you want to collaborate with in creating the app. You can’t add group aliases, just individuals.
5. Decide whether each person is a member or an admin, and save.
Power BI creates the workspace and opens it. It appears in the list of workspaces you're a member of. Because you’re an admin, you can click the ellipsis (…) to go back and make changes to it, adding new members or changing their permissions.
It’s empty, so start adding content to it. Adding content is just like adding content to your personal workspace (My Workspace), except the other people in the workspace can see and work on it, too. You can upload or connect to files, or connect to services from other companies, just as you would in your own personal workspace.
Note: You can only publish an app from an app workspace – you can't use My Workspace to publish apps.

Distribute an app

When you’ve finished creating and perfecting the dashboards and reports in your app workspace, you can publish the app to your end users.
1. In the workspace, click the Publish app button in the upper right to start the process of sharing all the content in that workspace.

app02

2. First on Details, fill in the description to help people find the app. You can set a background color to personalize it. The app automatically uses the image of the workspace as the image for the app. To learn how to change this image, click here.

app03

3. Next, on Content, you see the content that’s going to be published as part of the app – everything that’s in that workspace. You can also set the landing page – the dashboard or report people will see first when they go to your app. You can choose None. Then they’ll land on a list of all the content in the app.
Note: Content that originated from copying an organizational content pack cannot be published as part of an app.

app04

4. The last step is to decide who has access to this app: either everyone in your organization, or specific people or groups, defined by their email.

app05

5. When you click Finish, you see a message confirming it’s ready to publish.
6. In the success dialog box, you can copy the URL that’s a direct link to this app, and send it to the people you’ve shared it with.

app06

Installing the app

End users can install the app in a couple of ways.
First, you can share that URL with them. The first time they go to the URL, they’re asked if they want to install the app. If they click Add, it’s added to the Apps section of their Power BI site.
Second, they can click Get apps in the Apps section of the Power BI service. Microsoft AppSource opens, where they see all the apps that have been shared with them, including the app that you most recently shared with them. If the organization has a lot of apps, they may need to search for it.
Either way, after that whenever they go to Apps, they’ll see this app in their list.
They can also install the app from their iOS, Android, or Windows device by clicking the link in the email. The app installs automatically and opens in the default landing page.

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Update your published app

You can make changes to the app by navigating to the corresponding app workspace.
1. Open the workspace where you created the app.
2. You can make any changes you want to the dashboards and reports in the app. Note: These changes are not pushed to the app until you publish again. This lets you make changes without affecting the published apps.
3. Once you are happy with the content, go back to the app workspace list of contents and click Publish app.

app07

4. Update Details, Content, and Access, if you need to, then click Update app.

app08

Now the people that you’ve distributed the app to will see the updated version of the app.

Unpublish the app

To unpublish an app, click the “…” icon and select Unpublish app. The app will be removed from Microsoft AppSource and is inaccessible by end users.