The world‘s most comprehensive guide to the Power BI ecosystem

On your Power BI journey, you need a GPS

by Donald Farmer

Just about ten years ago, Microsoft shared with the world a new product: Power BI. In these years the application has grown to be the most widely deployed and most used platform in the world for Business Intelligence, both on premises and in the cloud. There are many reasons for this. For sure, this is mostly low cost software, quite easy to use for beginners, but with great power, advanced features and integrations for professionals. Let us not overlook Microsoft’s dominant role in enterprise productivity: Microsoft Office applications, especially Excel and PowerPoint are the default tools most of have ready to use.

In fact, Power BI is so successful globally and deployed in so many different industries and organizations, that even Microsoft cannot keep up with the demand for new features and capabilities. Some users want new types of charts or maps: some need advanced analytics features designed for a particular purpose. Companies with specialized or unusual ERP systems will want analytics that understands their metadata and architecture. Some people just need connectivity which Microsoft don’t always provide: despite their library of over 120 connectors, there are still many more applications out in the world.

Power BI has always supported the concept of self-service. Business users should be able to build at least some of their own visualizations and dashboards. Nevertheless, organizations can have very complex requirements for reporting, security, data management and architecture. Sometimes we need experienced consulting partners who have proved they know how to meet complicated requirements.

A global product with global demands

These demands from global users, rather than being a problem, have led to Power BI’s one greatest advantage in the market: an amazing ecosystem of partners, building and servicing all sorts of extended features and add-ons, and delivering high-quality services.

However, there are so many of these partners in the Power BI world that you may struggle to find the best solution or the right service for your needs. Yes, Microsoft has a partner team and a web page which can be quite helpful. However, the page is not comprehensive and not detailed enough for detailed research needs.

Power BI users have often asked for a powerful, detailed and accurate guide to the ecosystem. Such a service should enable prospective customers to survey the market from a high level to get a sense of what is possible. Then, when they are ready to do more detailed research, the guide should lead them to the detailed information they need to draw up a shortlist of ideas, to make the right comparisons, and to contact the appropriate partners easily and accurately.

powerbimap from BARC is that guide. Already starting with the German-speaking countries (but soon to be available for the Middle East and North America) the service presents details of hundreds of solutions, services and partners. To do this, BARC have drawn on over 20 years experience as industry analysts: they have exceptional research resources, which enables them to reach the wide ecosystem effectively; and they understand the taxonomies which both customers and partners use in the real world, making powerbimap easy to navigate and to work with.

Getting started

You can get started at https://bi-survey.com/powerbimap/. You can look for extensions, connectors and other solutions, consulting services and success stories. There are events listed too.

In short, powerbimap aims to be much more than an alternative to Microsoft’s own partner page. It’s really a comprehensive, powerful guide to the entire ecosystem. If you need specific answers, powerbimap will find them, but the service can also help you discover what is possible, what others are doing and what is the state of the art in your region or vertical industry.

Whether you aim to solve an existing problem, or to get the best out of your current architecture and investment, or whether you want to innovate at the very limits of what business intelligence can do, powerbimap is the GPS for your journey.