Business intelligence is most effective when it can be easily shared with others. The Power BI platform facilitates this type of sharing.

Power BI

Power BI is a web interface designed specifically for working with Excel files containing Power Pivot models and related content. As noted earlier, Power Q&A is only available through the Power BI web site. Power BI provides a way for multiple users to interact with this content in a secure manner. Power BI also provides a way to automatically refresh the data loaded into a Power Pivot model.

Once an Excel file is uploaded to the Power BI site, a user can interact with any pivot tables, pivot charts or Power View reports in that file within a browser window. Excel is not required on the workstation. Excel is required to modify the content of an uploaded Excel file.

Figure 8 shows a Power BI site containing Excel files. Not the thumbnail of the first spreadsheet displayed for each Excel file.

Figure 8

Power BI is part of Office 365. Sliverlight is required for some Power BI features.

Power BI App

In addition to accessing Power BI content through a browser, users can interact with the Power BI site using the Power BI mobile app. Like the web interface, the Power BI mobile app allows users to work with any pivot tables, pivot charts, and Power View content in the Excel files loaded to a Power BI site. The Power BI mobile app does not provide access to Power Q&A.

Figure 9 shows an example of the Power BI mobile app.

Figure 9

The Power BI mobile app is currently available for Window 8.1 and Windows RT.