Microsoft announced yesterday that it has acquired Datazen Software, a Toronto-based maker of mobile business intelligence and data visualization software, for an undisclosed amount. Datazen allows businesses to create mobile dashboards from data in Microsoft Excel, and also from other cloud and enterprise database sources. The company offers apps for Windows Phone, Android and iOS powered smartphones and tablets. 

Microsoft said the deal will bolster its business intelligence capabilities and market reach. 

Kamal Hathai, partner director for Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise Division said that: “This acquisition accelerates our Power BI strategy to help organizations create a data culture with easy-to-use, accessible tools to extract maximum value from data-from anywhere, on any device.” Microsoft’s Power BI is an Excel add-on that enables rank-and-file Office 365 users to explore business data. The company first released Power BI in early 2014, but its currently testing an updated version that is expected to launch later this year.

According to Martha Bennet, principal analyst at Forrester: “The Datazen acquisition benefits Microsoft from a competitive standpoint”, “Datazen was the most advanced mobile BI specialist with a Windows-first strategy, “ and also said that: “It makes sense for Microsoft to acquire Datazen- their own mobile capabilities weren’t even close.”

Founded in 2002 as ComponentArt, Datazen is a cross-platform, mobile business intelligence vendor. The company provides data visualization and key performance indicator data on Windows Phone, iOS and Android powered devices.

As part of the deal, users of the Enterprise edition of Microsoft SQL Server 2008 or later versions can download the Datazen Server product for free, provided that they have Software Assurance

Toronto-based Datazen is the latest in a “mobile-first” buying spree from the software giant Microsoft. Last December, it bought Acompli, a San Francisco-based mobile app company. And earlier this year, Microsoft again set its eyes on a popular mobile app maker- New York-based Sunrise Atelier. Business intelligence is a hot market, with big competitors like Oracle and many more. But Redmond-based Microsoft see this as a new growth area, and Microsoft thinks that it has the resources and manpower to take this market down.