Inside Office 2016
Microsoft said Excel 2016 now includes integrated publishing to Power BI and new modern chart types. It also offers an update to the forecasting function, which Microsoft said has been extended to allow forecasting based on Exponential Smoothing. By offering Power Query as a tool within Excel, Microsoft is moving a step closer to making the product more business intelligence focused. While Excel is unlikely to replace dedicated BI tools, the majority of people use Excel as a data repository anyway, so improving querying is a plus. In fact, the ability for Excel to query central data repository, may very well help IT begin to tackle the big problem of data islands, where people setup Excel to capture data without IT's knowledge. Clearly IT will need to convince users to use central repositories for their Excel data, but Power Query is a step in the right direction to help IT build a bridge between user-generated data and central, corporate data repositories.