Tag Archives: Plus

Esri Plus Subscription for ArcGIS Maps for Power BI is now available

Since Esri introduced ArcGIS Maps for Power BI, we’ve seen many leading organizations use it as an essential element of their data visualization strategy to get more value from their spatial data directly within Power BI. ArcGIS Maps for Power BI enables all Power BI users to easily map their data with a rich mapping data visualization powered by Esri’s ArcGIS technology.

Today, I’m happy to announce that Esri is taking ArcGIS Maps for Power BI to the next level by introducing Plus, a subscription service available for purchase from Esri that allows everyday business users in Power BI to do more with their spatial data. This capability was demonstrated for the first time at Microsoft’s Ignite 2017 conference and is now available in Power BI Desktop and the Power BI service.

Watch Esri’s great video that gives an overview of the capabilities of ArcGIS Maps for Power BI, including the new Plus Subscription features.

What is Plus? In a word: More. More basemaps, more data points, more demographics, more reference layers. It’s a step in our journey to make GIS easy to understand and consume for regular business users. Plus is inspired by many of the feature requests you have made since we introduce ArcGIS Maps for Power BI.

Let’s dig into how you get Plus and what you can get with it. To start, you’ll know Plus is available to you because there’s a new Plus icon in the ArcGIS Maps visual.

Esri Plus Subscription Offer Esri Plus Subscription for ArcGIS Maps for Power BI is now available

Plus is a subscription service you can purchase from Esri through Esri’s website. You can use the learn more link to get all the details. Once you’ve signed up, you’re connecting your user credentials to Esri’s service. This makes for a seamless experience for the Enterprise. The subscription is available at $ 5 per user per month. There’s a 60-day trial period for Plus that’s available at no cost, so you can put it through its paces.

Once you’re signed up and signed in, you’ll see new Plus capabilities identified by the Plus icon,plus icon Esri Plus Subscription for ArcGIS Maps for Power BI is now available.

Here’s a quick summary of everything you get. I’ll go into some details below as well. You can learn more at Esri’s website as well.

Included with ArcGIS Maps for Power BI

Plus subscription

Turn on the power of maps…

No cost, included with Power BI

  • Access US demographics
  • Access public maps
  • Map and view locations
  • Perform spatial analyses such as heat maps, drive times and more
  • Create easy map visualizations with four simple basemaps

Access global data…

$ 5.00 per month, per user

  • Access global demographics
  • Access verified ready-to-use data, curated from authoritative sources
  • Map and view more locations, up to 5,000 address geocodes per map instance, and up to one million per month per user
  • Access 12 basemaps such as satellite imagery, oceans, and terrain to create compelling visualizations that give perspective and impact decisions
  • Conduct the same spatial analyses as Included with ArcGIS Maps for Power BI

Let’s start with more street address geocoding data points, up to 5,000 data points per map instance. One of the major requirements we’ve heard is that often business users want to geocode many street addresses. While at some point it makes sense to incorporate pre-geocoded data into your dataset for speed and predictability, Plus allows you to geocode more street address data points on the fly. This allows you to push mapping even further than previously possible with ArcGIS Maps for Power BI.

One important aspect of showing data on a map is the basemap that underlies the data points. These base maps provide important cues to help relate data points to the environment they reside within. With a Plus subscription, Power BI users get access to 8 additional base map types including topographic, imagery, terrain, and oceans. This means more kinds of analysis can be readily performed in Power BI.

Basemaps Esri Plus Subscription for ArcGIS Maps for Power BI is now available

With Plus you get access to Esri’s catalog of worldwide demographics for use as infographic cards. These data points are often critical to understanding the deeper context of your business data. With Plus, customers get a richer set of demographics in categories like Age, Behaviors, Spending, Keyfacts, Population, and many more. There are really too many to mention in this blog so I recommend you explore them in Power BI.

World demographics Esri Plus Subscription for ArcGIS Maps for Power BI is now available

The reference layers included in Plus are richer as well. Under the new Living Atlas tab, you’ll find layers curated by Esri for each country in the world. You’ll be able to add those to your map and then use them to select data points. For some countries you’ll even find topical reference layers like North American Ecoregions. So, you’ll want to explore the options and see the possibilities they present for a richer experience for your business users.

Reference layer living atlas Esri Plus Subscription for ArcGIS Maps for Power BI is now available

At this point you might be wondering how does this work with your existing ArcGIS Maps for Power BI. Importantly, the free (‘included’) ArcGIS Maps for Power BI continues to be available to you at no cost when you’re using Power BI. If you use a Plus features in a map and share it with other Power BI users, they’ll need a Plus subscription to view the map.

We’re really excited that Esri has introduced Plus, so Power BI users get more value from their spatial data. We’re looking forward to seeing how you use ArcGIS Maps for Power BI together with an Esri’s Plus subscription to make better decisions.

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WATCH: Comedian And Host Michael Colyar Talks New Show Plus The Origin On The “N” Word!

Here is an interview we conducted with comedian and host Michael Colyar as he talks about his upcoming projects, plus the origin of the N Word! Check out the interview! SUBSCRIBE to our channel!

Universal’s Reboot Of ‘Scarface’ Loses Director Antoine Fuqua!

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Nomad 7 Plus Solar Panel and Flip 30 hands-on: Share the power of the sun with your mobile devices

goalzero nomad flip 2 Nomad 7 Plus Solar Panel and Flip 30 hands on: Share the power of the sun with your mobile devices

At the end of the junction box is a green highlighted USB port that you can use to plug in any USB cable in order to charge up your mobile device. The Nomad 7 Plus does not store up any solar power at all, it is just the device that captures the sun and then presents the power for you to connect your mobile device.

After positioning the Nomad 7 to capture the sun, connect your mobile device and watch it power it up. The Nomad 7 has a solar capacity of 7 Watts with a power output of 1.4 amps. Thus, it’s designed to charge up your phone, GPS, or MP3 player, but not powerful enough to charge up a tablet directly. You can charge up a battery pack and then use that battery pack to charge up your tablet though.

The Nomad 7 Plus is weatherproof and should withstand most conditions, but you need to keep the junction box dry so be careful in adverse conditions. I once had to unplug and then plug back in the junction box to see the indicator lights.

I was able to charge up all of my smartphones using the sun in Washington State, while also topping off my LG 360 CAM and Bluetooth headphones.

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With 49 other state conventions, plus a handful of territorial ones, Nevada is weird, not a trend.

 With 49 other state conventions, plus a handful of territorial ones, Nevada is weird, not a trend.

Seriously, everyone, chill. 

So here’s how Nevada went: Badly for the Nevada Democratic Party. Just like it went badly for them when they failed to provide translators and we ended up in a big pointless fight with each other over their mistake. Just like it went badly in the county conventions, when Clinton won the Caucus, and yet somehow Bernie won the Clark County convention. And it went badly again last night, when the entire chaotic process came crashing down and ended up in an ugly, ugly situation.

There are both Clinton and Bernie supporters in Nevada who don’t trust the process now and think their votes were stolen. Clinton folks who are mad that somehow the county convention flipped the other way, and now Sanders supporters furious that the state convention didn’t reflect the county convention.

Apparently, there was some violence and some shouting. Chairs were thrown. There was a medical emergency, but every shred of information I have said it was entirely unrelated to anything which happened at the caucus. At the end of the night the Nevada Democratic Party got kicked out of the hotel they were holding their convention in.

This happened because caucuses are undemocratic institutions prone to chicanery, theft, and other shenanigans. Caucuses never work well, and we ought to do away with them, certainly.

But we are not going to see violence at the National Convention. 

Okay, so sure, there are a bunch of angry folks on twitter and reddit who say they want to disrupt stuff, but as far as I can tell, and I’m good at figuring out who people are based on their profiles, none of those folks are delegates.

One account calling for violence at the convention  is from someone who has boasted in other posts that they aren’t on the voter rolls, and never vote. These are angry people shouting nonsense into the void, many of whom don’t actually vote, and none of whom are actual delegates from where I’ve looked. 

Nevada is sending a handful of people to the convention. I don’t think any of the selected delegates are likely to be from the group of Bernie delegates who — according to WaPo and Ralston — became violent at the Nevada Convention. 

If instead of a chaotic process like the Nevada Caucus, we’d had an actual week-long primary election with plenty of time for early voting, none of this would have happened. 

Think of the Bernie supporters you actually know. Think of the people you’ve interacted with as they’re out canvassing, or who’ve called your phone. 

Those are the folks who represent the vast majority of the millions who’ve voted for Bernie. 

They’re not some horde of unwashed manospherites who think that ethics in games journalism is one of the most important issues facing the United States. Actual Bernie supporters are too busy phone banking to spend much time swarming over pro-Clinton statements like fundamentalists to contrary opinion. 

I know tons of Bernie supporters, including a handful of delegates. I almost was one of his supporters myself. I have too much faith in them to believe that the isolated violence in Nevada was anything but a fluke.

What happened at that caucus was completely unacceptable from the first night.  From start to finish, this has been a mess. After the complete mess that Nevada’s caucus process has been this entire election season, we shouldn’t feel surprised or blindsided by the complete and utter shit show it became at the very end. 

So chill. This is a Nevada problem. Let’s hope they fix it. And while we’re at it, let’s get rid of caucuses altogether.

Beware the media.

There are going to be a ton of people now with a vested financial interest in making it look like violence is coming to the Democratic Primary, that Bernie Supporters are going to turn violent, and that the Democratic party is some kind of powder keg.

If it bleeds, it leads.

They want Clinton folks to feel threatened and under attack by Bernie folks. They want Bernie folks to feel like they’re being universally blamed for the actions of a handful of idiots. They want people to try and justify the idiocy that happened in Nevada.

They want to shake the jar, because if they can get us actually fighting each other at conventions the resulting chaos will bring in a ton of ad money. 

The media is about to attempt to create a narrative out of a single isolated incident. Watch them closely. This should be instructive. If we pay attention, we’ll actually be able to see the gears of the outrage machine as it grinds into motion.

What would be nice though is that maybe, for once, we could all collectively decide not to fall for this sort of nonsense.

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Interview with Kamal Hathi of Microsoft, plus “AMA!”

image thumb Interview with Kamal Hathi of Microsoft, plus “AMA!”

(At left: the many faces of Kamal Hathi:  1 – “Seriously, we have to do formal headshots?”, 2 – Explaining, 3 – Explaining, and… 4 – Explaining. Today, I ask him to Explain some things, and he happily obliges.)

Yeah folks, this is a rare treat. Kamal’s title can be taken at face value – he’s right there at the top of the MS BI org, reporting directly to the VP of BI. Like Ron Burgundy, he is Kinda a Big Deal.  (But me saying that will make him uncomfortable. Ha ha! Nothing he can do about it in this medium!).

Even though I used to work with many of the leaders in BI at Microsoft, it’s not often I get this sort of chance. Everyone’s just so busy – them AND me – so it’s nice every now and then when we get an excuse to talk. Most recently, Kamal was the ultimate approver of MS’s decision to sponsor the ad in the back of our 2nd edition book, and, at the suggestion of the one and only Chris Finlan, we leveraged that as an interview opp as well.  Here goes.

ROB:  a lot has changed since Project Gemini – the original codename of the Power Pivot project – kicked off back in what, 2007?

KAMAL:  Yes and no. The product and the team have matured immensely. Power BI is a complete and attractive product that does so much more than Power Pivot. At the same time it is still the same “soul” of the product at the core. Highly customer centric, solving the problems that our customers have been asking for. In some senses Power BI 2.0 is a return to the approach we had with Power Pivot, moving fast, listening to the user base and delivering a very functional product that is super easy to acquire and get started with.

ROB: You kinda “stole” my second question, which was, what ALSO strikes me is how much is still the SAME – the Power Pivot / Tabular engine, and the DAX language, remain at the heart of things.  It’s amazing to me how COMPLETE that engine is.  Any thoughts on why that original vision has proven to be so robust?

KAMAL:  Yes, a lot IS still the same. The goal of empowering users, the deep desire that the team has to stay in touch with our users and certainly a lot of the technology. We were well ahead of the market in many ways with Vertipaq and Power Pivot with a wicked fast and highly scalable in-memory engine, a business user oriented expression language and a self-service approach.

ROB:  Yeah, let’s focus in on that “business user oriented expression language.”  Kamal, DAX is amazing.  AMAZING!  Every day I marvel at its completeness, and that people like ME (and other Excel people) can learn the same language that is already becoming the language of choice for the long-time MS BI celebrities like Chris Webb, Marco Russo, and Alberto Ferrari.  As a hard-core software critic, I’m telling you that DAX belongs in the Software Hall of Fame.  I often say that DAX’s robustness owes to it being one of the rare cases where a long-running product team got to “re-imagine” itself and sand off rough edges, without sacrificing the power of the original. 

So, how?  How did the team navigate that?  Yes, I was around for part of that effort but wasn’t aware, at the time, that something truly special was happening.  I honestly think there is something profound here that all software teams could learn, but I haven’t distilled it out yet.

going with “user first” instead of “tech first” is in my opinion the magic sauce here.

KAMAL:  DAX is an outcome of our learnings from MDX. (***Note from Rob:  MDX was Microsoft’s “apex predator” formula language for BI before DAX. I was not smart enough to be able to learn it – despite many good teachers trying).

We used to talk about the “steep second step”, of working with MDX. Getting started is easy but to do anything really meaningful requires a lot of work. We also wanted to really speak to the Excel users and so looked closely at Excel’s existing languages and what users did with these. Ultimately it boiled down to being “true to the medium”, Power Pivot is all about the Excel users and so too is DAX. So much so that we deliberately use the same function signatures where possible and extend existing semantics whenever possible.

Rob, you of all people know how we closely worked with the Excel team and had folks like you with Excel in their DNA come over and work on Power Pivot.  As trite as it sounds, DAX was developed with a specific user in mind and going with the “user first” instead of tech first is in my opinion the magic sauce here.

ROB:  It seems to me that you folks have kinda come full circle on Excel – “all in” on the Excel versions for the first few years, obviously.  Then I perceived a bit of a “backing away” from Excel, a bit, but only briefly, in the earliest phases of PBI Desktop.  And now, with Excel Services in PowerBI.com, and PBI Desktop able to import Excel Power Pivot models, and Excel 2016 Power Pivot receiving so many improvements, I think MS is striking a nice balance.  What’s your reaction to that narrative?

KAMAL:  “Nice balance” is exactly what we are after. Excel is an amazing product, it is rich, yet approachable, with a consistent and easily understood interface. We want Excel to be really good at being a spreadsheet and remain true to its roots and core experience. Power BI is a great complement to Excel and a focused BI tool that inter-operates really well with Excel. We still have a few wrinkles to iron out here, but that is what we are shooting for.

ROB:  Yes indeed, Excel is a spreadsheet!  But all of the Excel people reading THIS interview, however, view it as the best BI tool in the world, rather than through the traditional “spreadsheet” lens. 

People who are graduating from pivots and VLOOKUP are *not* spreadsheet users in the traditional “it’s a better calculator” sense.  So for us, the phrase “let Excel be a spreadsheet” makes us a bit uneasy. Let me say it differently:  I have fallen in LOVE with Power BI Desktop.  Love it. And the phrase you used, “complement to Excel,” is EXACTLY how I see it – as a complement to Excel Power Pivot, an extension and magnifier.  So, serious question:  deep down inside, have you come around to truly viewing PBI that way, or are you still adjusting to that phrase?

it makes a lot of sense to provide a companion application from Microsoft and design it to be a real companion and not a competitor the way other products  try to be.

KAMAL:  Well, we actually went back and forth on the relationship between the Desktop and Excel. Should we have another add-in (something we obviously have a lot of experience with) or a standalone app ? Ultimately it became clear that many users were using other products alongside Excel. Pretty much every Tableau or Qlik user also is an Excel user. So it makes a lot of sense to provide that companion application from Microsoft and design it to be a real companion and not a competitor the way other products  try to be. Which is what we have done. 

With all this said and as we continue to deliver capabilities that make the interoperability with Excel tighter and more natural, I am getting more comfortable with the role that the Desktop plays wrt Excel and I think users will as well.

ROB:  Our book is definitely “aimed” at the Excel crowd (even though 2nd edition now incorporates the Desktop), so we are thrilled to have the Power BI team advertising with us.  I guess you see Power Pivot as a bridge to Power BI, just like we do?  Cuz otherwise, ya know, waste of money to advertise in our book, heh heh.

Power Pivot (and Excel as a frontend, too) is a great authoring environment for Power BI.

KAMAL:  Yes, Power Pivot (and Excel as a frontend, too) is a great authoring environment for Power BI. All the way from the simplest lists to the most complex data models. What you create in Excel is easily distributed via and consumed in Power BI. Power BI can amplify the insights from Excel.

ROB:  OK, “rude” question:  it’s still amazing to me how few “Excel people” have even heard of Power Pivot or Power BI.  I estimate maybe 1% of that audience is aware, today, that this amazing “gift” exists.  Whose “job” is it, at MS, to fix that – the SQL team or the Office team?

KAMAL:  To be clear we are one team here, with some organizational nuances. We are a BI focused team and we are working together to make sure that we have a cohesive and user centric product. You will see much clearer and broader messaging coming from us, so that everyone will have the joy of experiencing this “gift”.

ROB:  Oh man, that makes my spidey-sense tingle.  ‘Organizational nuances” – I’m going to steal that joke.  When I hear “we all own it,” I insta-translate that into “no one owns it,” and it’s gonna keep dropping between the outfielders, so to speak.  To be fair, I know the SQL and Excel teams are communicating better than ever these days, so I’m not doubting that part.  It’s whether this is even acknowledged as a real problem, an URGENT problem, that I’m still left wondering about.

KAMAL:  One of the things that has changed over the past year or so is that the “Engineering team” has evolved to being a true “Product team.”

In the past we had a very technology oriented approach and built some really awesome technologies (as you were witness to with Vertipaq and Power Pivot when you were here) and then a bunch of different teams across Microsoft took that technology and “got it to market”. Now the focus of the folks who develop the product, is the full product, from end-to-end. A complete view of everything that makes the user successful with the product. This means the technology, the web site, the documentation, the community, samples and yes the messaging.  Essentially we now start with the user first and not tech first.

In particular, I personally am responsible for making sure that we have a big and growing community of users, who love our products and this obviously starts with awareness of all that can be achieved with our products.

So, yes we have learned that the old ways didn’t quite work when it comes to deeply reaching users and we have changed how we operate.

ROB:  Sounds encouraging.  I’ll be watching closely for sure, but you already knew that.

OK, this question is self-serving but I can’t resist sneaking it in here:  how often do the BI software teams at MS read PowerPivotPro.com?

KAMAL:  I visit your site almost daily. Not because of you, though simple smile Interview with Kamal Hathi of Microsoft, plus “AMA!” . You say all sorts of stuff that I have actually learned to tune out!

But all the users who visit your site and the great comments that they leave, make it really interesting.

Your books also are good resources for new people who join the team and I see these a lot at work.  Even I have one, that I crack open from time to time as I work on demos etc.

ROB:  Wow, that last part rocks!  I want a picture of you prepping for a demo, reading one of the books.  (Then we can add the Reading face to the four-square collage at the top of this post, naturally.)

ROB:  It’s a bit unfair that I’ve gotten to ask all the questions, so let’s change that.  You’re still up for a Reddit-style “open microphone” experience where our readers can bounce questions off of you?

KAMAL:  Absolutely.  Let’s do it.

ROB:  Thanks Kamal! 

OK folks, fire it up in the comments.  Questions, feedback, praise, criticism, whatever, but remember, always be polite to our guests, even when we have “tough love” to share with them, because we want them to listen, to like us, and to come back.

Also:  Kamal is a pretty busy guy so I’m not sure for how long he will be able to answer.  I’ll close comments on this post whenever he needs to cry uncle.

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Are Google Plus Post Ads Over The Top? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Google recently introduced “Plus Post Ads” on Google+ (or Google Plus, for those of you who  Are Google Plus Post Ads Over The Top? [INFOGRAPHIC]recognize symbols don’t work well for SEO — which you’d think Google of all companies would understand) which further adds to the advertising clutter on social networks.

However, Google ignores its own dominance in advertising through AdWords by positioning Google Plus ads differently.

Here’s text directly from the Plus Post Ads page:

[Plus] Post ads amplify your brand’s content by easily turning Google+ posts into display ads that run across the web. People can leave a comment, follow your brand, give a +1, or join a Hangout right from an ad. The Hangout On Air ad format allows you to go beyond clicks to broadcasting live conversations with your audience across the web.

This statement almost makes Plus Post Ads seem altruistic, rather than another revenue stream. Plus Post Ads make Plus content accessible across the web. Users can follow links to Plus pages. They can also interact with Plus content — comment, share, watch videos — on third-party websites.

And, Google’s strategy is working. Major brands have already started using Plus and report roughly fifty percent greater engagement with their content compared to traditional advertising.

Background on Google Plus Post Ads

Google’s mission statement is “to organize the world’s information and to make it universally accessible and useful”. Since being incorporated in 1998, they have done an extraordinarily good job of this. Google processes over a billion search requests daily through over a million servers around the world, making them the most visited site in the world and, for most people, THE portal to the internet. Over 70% of search still starts on Google.

There’s no denying that Google’s search engine is a driving force on the web. They can often squeeze out their competition by offering products that are simpler and better integrated with their heavily used platform. Think Gmail and Google Docs. This appears to be the case with Google Plus, their answer to Facebook. Businesses use Plus optimize search results on Google via social impact factors and as a window into users’ preferences. This allows advertisers to target their ads both on Plus and on Google.

Google Plus Post Ads in 1 infographic

The infographic below shares some great info. regarding “ Plus Post ads”. It highlights some of the benefits of using Post ads and gives step by step instructions on how to create your own. Here are some takeaways:

Before you begin your +Post campaign, you need at least 1000 followers (this is a +Plus requirement). This ensures that newcomers to Plus are adequately networked and that their ads are of interest to at least a few people.

You can target your ads based on different metrics. For instance, you can target based on keywords or interests and remarketing (recommended).

You can create a campaign based on recent Plus posts. This makes it easy to update the campaign with additional content.

If this sounds a bit like Facebook ads, the infographic has a nice comparison between the two — the takeaway is that Facebook is currently better at targeting specific demographics while Google is relying on search queries which allows them to target users based on location and what they want/need.

The impact of Google Plus Post Ads

Google Plus appears to be making a hefty impact in the social marketing world. Google is throwing a lot of money at the platform because they understand the importance of user information and targeted marketing. Their latest implementation, +Post, has some far-reaching implications, foremost being that companies can utilize Google’s expanding Display Network to traffic users to their content.

Google started with the intention of organizing and spreading information. They are clearly continuing in that spirit, now focusing on how to bridge connections between potential consumers and businesses. If Google can gain sufficient traction on Plus, they will have the ability to target users based not only on demographics (from social data) but also on their momentary wants and needs (from search queries). This could be extremely powerful.

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 Are Google Plus Post Ads Over The Top? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Ivan Serrano is a social media and global business journalist from San Jose, California. You can connect with Ivan on Twitter.

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