Power View for Excel: A Comparative Analysis with Power BI

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Excel reporting tools are add-ons designed to improve and broaden the capabilities of Excel’s fundamental functionalities. Made to easily mesh with Excel’s familiar interface, these user-friendly reporting tools function to:

  • Collect and interpret raw data to identify actionable insights. 
  • Let users view and compare historical and real-time data. 
  • Process large-scale sets of data from multiple sources and in multiple formats.
  • Create dynamic, accurate, and engaging data-driven presentations.

Up until recently, the Microsoft Power View platform was one of the most popular Excel report view tools available. Many people are concerned that the Microsoft Excel Power View add-in is missing, but it’s not completely out of the picture. Although Power View has been discontinued, many of its features were adopted by Microsoft’s newer Power BI platform. 

In this article, we will discuss Power View’s role in Excel reporting, how Power View’s functionalities have been adapted by Power BI, and explain how XLCubed helps enhance the user and reporting experience within the Power BI product. 

What Is Power View in Excel?

Microsoft Power View was an extremely popular data analysis and visualization technology released by Microsoft in 2013. Power View was designed to help you bring your data to life through: 

  • Tracking Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
  • Engaging data-driven presentations
  • Extending data-model relationships 
  • Interactive charts
  • Interactive graphs
  • Data maps

So, is Power View still available? As we mentioned in our introduction, Power View in Excel 365 has technically been discontinued. But that does not mean you have to do without its useful features. Microsoft’s Power BI platform has adopted the most commonly used features of Power View and added in new functionalities as well. Let’s explore the features of  Power View vs Power BI  and dive into what Power BI offers  below.

Is Power View the Same as Power BI?

On a basic level, Power View can be described as the prequel to Power BI. Power View was initially created to visualize Excel PowerPivot models, then Power BI took these functionalities and combined them with newer tech like enterprise business intelligence (BI) and dashboarding capabilities. According to Microsoft, Power BI is “a dedicated environment for visual data exploration and reporting, complementing the deep analytics users perform in Excel.” Here are just a few notable Power BI features and functions: 

  1. Access data from hundreds of supported on-premises and cloud-based sources.
  2. Generate actionable insights using features like quick measures, grouping, forecasting, and clustering.
  3. Make data prep easier with data modeling tools.
  4. Find patterns and gain a better understanding of your data.
  5. Predict future outcomes using AI-driven augmented analytics.
  6. Identify data trends, correlations, or discrepancies.
  7. Present findings via data visualization and dashboards.
  8. Uncovering opportunities to take action in real-time. 

As you can see, many of the features of Power BI are simply elevated versions of the Power View add-on. But how can you enhance your Power BI experience? 

On a fundamental level, Power BI is an excellent platform to create and distribute interactive reports and dashboards. However, when a highly analytical project needs to be exported and analyzed in Excel, the process can become muddied and tedious. This is where XLCubed comes in. XLCubed integrates with Power BI to improve the reporting experience by:

  • Using an extended model which connects extended Excel directly to Power BI data.
  • Eliminating the need to save into Excel.
  • Adding a wide range of functionality beyond what’s available in Pivot tables.

Additionally, using the XLCubed plug-in broadens your Excel reporting options and offers supplemental analytics support to derive actionable insights from your data. XLCubed's integrated publisher offers a sharing model for browser and mobile based users, where reports remain data-connected and do not require manual or scheduled updates.  Lastly, XLCubed can deliver highly formatted financial reports such as P&Ls and Balance Sheets to satisfy the specific reporting needs of finance professionals.

Think Bigger, and Work Smarter with XLCubed

We hope this article armed you with a better understanding of Microsoft Power View and how it has evolved into Power BI. Although some were sad to see Power View go, change must occur to propel us towards a more efficient future. Speaking of a more efficient future, that’s XLCubed’s modus operandi. XLCubed is designed to enhance, not replace, the Excel reporting process. Using XLCubed with Power BI allows you to work within a familiar user interface and leverage existing Excel skills to produce advanced and customized reports. At it’s core, XLCubed is all about helping Finance teams truly excel with Power BI data.

Learn more about how XLCubed can strengthen your Excel reporting capabilities with Power BI and beyond here.

Gary Crawford
COO, XLCubed
Fluence Technologies

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