Power BI, Microsoft'scloud-enabled business intelligence (BI) software and data visualization software suite, already uses artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, machine learning in particular, to help users gain more insights from their business information and ask the questions they didn't even know to ask.
Now, to help users make the most of the software's extensibility in a more targeted manner, Power BI uses AI to suggest apps in Microsoft AppSource, a repository for Power BI, Office 365 and Dynamics 365 business apps, and surfaces those apps that are relevant to specific users.
"These suggestions are powered by a sophisticated model that takes into account a variety of factors, including the overall popularity of the app, and the actions of other users in your organization, and your relationship with those users. Of course, we'll be tuning and constantly improving this model as time goes on," blogged Sirui Sun, senior program manager of Power BI, at Microsoft.
"If you see an app that you're interested in, simply select 'get it now' – the app and all of its contents will automatically be made available to you, allowing you to instantly gain valuable insights from the dashboards, reports and workbooks contained within," added the Microsoft staffer.
Similar to the existing Quick Insights feature in Power BI, the new app-suggestion capability can help users discover solutions that can help unearth business insights faster and with a minimum of hands-on configuration.
Also new is the general availability of email subscriptions through Power BI apps, a service that delivers tailored reports and dashboards directly to users' inboxes. Rather than log into Power BI to catch up on the latest goings-on, the feature sends a snapshot of the data generated by a given to a subscriber's email.
Power BI email subscriptions also automatically reflect the updates app creators make to their solutions, ensuring that new data visualizations appear on both a user's inbox and their Power BI accounts at the same time. Microsoft rolled out a similar feature for the stock Power BI dashboard experience in July.
Other recent updates include a "one-click scale up" feature that allows Power BI Premium users to devote more computing resources to their deployments without migrating their content. Along the same lines, in October Microsoft is adding new, higher-capacity nodes (P4 and P5) and adding new capacity that supports data sets that are 10 times larger than before. Also in October, Microsoft US government and US Department of Defense customers be able to use Power BI Premium, delivered by the company's high-security Azure Government Cloud.
To help spur Power BI adoption among enterprises, Microsoft has made the Power BI Desktop client available on the Windows Store app marketplace.
"Enterprises will now be able to easily push the latest version of Power BI Desktop to their end users, ensuring access to the latest and greatest features. And, as we continue to improve Power BI Desktop, any existing installations will automatically be updated, without the need for end user Windows administrator rights," wrote Power BI general manager Kamal Hathi in a blog post.