Many Ideas: Export/Connect Table & Matrix to Excel in Visualization Format; Pre-Built Report Templates; Data Source Compatibility
While you guys have made great strides in allowing tables to be exported in their summarized view form, there are still some very impactful and easy-to-implement ideas that need to be executed.
I'm working on getting my entire company to adopt Power BI as the sole reporting system; however almost every single employee will always need to have some of their reports/data in excel. Currently they are exporting data from our ERP, then building in excel (where they can then further manipulate/ analyze/ merge/ utilize their data). While I have recreated (and optimized/automated) many of their reports in Power BI, they still need to be able to do more than view the data. Since Power BI doesn't allow you to export matrices in their Power BI visualization form- only the underlying data- the process of exporting, then building- while significantly easier- still exists. This makes it less likely for them to really recognize the value and transition away from their current process and fully adopt PBI.
A couple of ideas here:
1) Make it so you can export the exact Matrix Form Reports from PBI Online & Desktop. This would be very easy to do (I can help you figure this out pretty quickly if you'd like ;) ). For starters, the export would be just a flat version of the report. Later on, and if feasible from a data-load perspective, you consider making it possible for users to export excel docs that would be automatically built to contain 3 tabs- 1 with the underlying data; 1 with a prebuilt pivot table to match the report (design>report layout = tabular, repeat all item labels); and 1 with the flat view described above. (Also, can you please make it so I can choose which level in a matrix containing multiple row items will have subtotals and which will not- instead of just all or nothing?!?)
2) Improve the Excel PBI Add-On to allow the same as above. You could add a "Get View" option. Doing this, coupled with the low cost would make Power BI pretty much unstoppable.
Having this, you guys could then pivot to creating pre-built report templates in PBI (such as financial statements, production reports, etc.)- here you would still have the full suite of easy-to-use customization options, and would also then provide the list of "Required Data Inputs/Connections." Ideally the user would enter the "Templates" section, then select an report (ie. "Income Statement"). At that point, there would be a pop-up portal containing a list of the required & optional data points. Next to each one would be a search field where you could choose to select from an existing column. There would also be a "get data" option here in case the column doesn't yet exist.
Long-term, you could work with various ERP, Data Warehouse, and Business Systems Providers to have it so you could select the provider/system, and it would provide the user with the requisite query that would need to be run to get the correct information (huge value to small businesses that lack funds or a strong IT/BI/IS person). Longer term, you could actually enable automatic connections/builds from the compatible providers for those reports.
One last thing- and this one is an obvious one... you guys really need to allow google sheet connections. Excel online is becoming awesome- I am a die hard Excel person and hate it when people use google sheets. That said, the cons of your current strategy of making it impossible to connect to google sheets without publishing the google sheet to the web (ie. by not allowing the requisite auths to enable connections to protected sheets) far outweigh the 1 potential, but largely ineffective pro of having more people migrate to excel online (which itself has connection limitations...). In the game of being the best BI platform, the company with the most flexibility & compatibility will win. Just continue to work on creating a best-in-class service, and make us pay an extra $4.99 per month for an optional extended "Online Spreadsheet Compatibility" or "All the Auths" Package in the meantime.