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Microsoft’s Play to Rule Analytics’ 3rd Wave

January 27th, 2015

One billion Excel users may not sleep tonight. It won’t be a problem that keeps them awake, but a new toy. And, get this — it’s free.

Today Microsoft introduces a new Power BI — a service that helps users bring data in, wring value out and visualize the results. It’s geared toward line of business users, not data geeks, and may be pivotal in helping enterprises usher in a “data culture.”

Some may see this new data culture as Microsoft’s birthright (sort of) given that 1 billion workers use Excel today and that analytics is a natural progression. But Microsoft certainly isn’t taking anything for granted. “We’re lowering the barriers to entry by removing the friction and greasing the gears,” said James Phillips, general manager, data experiences at Microsoft.