As we ramp up our excitement for the Microsoft Business Applications summit in July, there’s plenty of banter about BI platforms. It’s not unlike to the iOS/Android or MacOS/Windows debates, really. Data nerds can be passionate about their platforms of choice.
Like Keith (and like most dataviz geeks) I cut my teeth on Tableau. I will always remember the moment when those lights first clicked on, and I suddenly grasped the enormity of what was possible with a set of data and the mindset to build the tools to let that data tell the story it had been aching to tell.
You never forget that first time, do you? I will always love Tableau.
And yet, in the space of a couple of years, Microsoft has disrupted the BI landscape. For the first time this year, Gartner’s Magic Quadrant report shows Microsoft equal to Tableau in ability to execute. And substantially ahead in completeness of vision. In 2018, Microsoft stands alone on the plot. Besides Tableau, and maybe Qlik: everyone else is an also-ran.
Speaker : Yana Terukhova
Why does this one lead my list? Because Excel is still the most widely used analytic platform in the world. And in Microsoft’s vision, that market share isn’t going away, no matter how excited any of us are about newer approaches. Microsoft has continued to extend the strengths of excel with many of the same services that drive Power BI. Recently, Microsoft announced that Excel would be able to leverage the same open visualization library that Power BI uses. As these capabilities become available across the enterprise to users of excel, this is only going to increase the quality and quantity of 3rd party interest and contributions to the ecosystem.
Speaker : Stephen Siciliano
Microsoft Flow is Microsoft’s workflow and business process management platform. It is the connective glue used by end-users and developers alike for digital transformation, no matter what application they are using. There’s a growing buzz about using Flow and the common data service in conjunction with Power BI to automate data feeds for all manner of reporting requirements. I can think of limitless applications for this tool, and I’m excited to learn more about where it is going.
Speaker : Ryan Cunningham
Microsoft recently released the ability to embed PowerApps inside PowerBI reporting back in January. You can also embed PowerBI reporting inside Powerapps themselves. This extends the platform to include not just reporting, but full-featured applications to take action on the data. There’s no need to keep the functions in separate silos any longer. I’m thrilled to see where Microsoft is extending this vision to their customers.
Speaker : Errol Schoenfish
Dynamics 365 Business Central is designed for businesses looking for an all-in-one business management solution that’s easy to use and adapt. Connect your finances, sales, service, and operations to streamline business processes, improve customer interactions, and enable growth. I’m intrigued to hear how Microsoft’s vision for Dynamics is developing, and how it converges with the other pieces of the Business Application platform.
Finally, the closing keynote is to be delivered by Malcom Gladwell. Enough said, right there. He’s scheduled to speak on how data and analytics can drive large-scale change, and how business intelligence can help you positively disrupt your org. If that doesn’t sound like a big picture vision for the platform, I don’t know what does. I’m really looking forward to finishing the summit on this keynote!
In short, Softcrylic are thrilled to be attending the Business Application Summit this year. The convergence of Dynamics, Office 365, Power BI, Flow, and PowerApps into a cohesive stack seems to be the big picture for this event. And we can’t wait to see the expanding possibilities in what I believe is rapidly becoming the most robust BI ecosystem available!