What is Power BI?

Power BI Tutorial: (01) Introduction to Microsoft Power BI

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This blogpost discusses the introductory concepts to Microsoft Power BI. With changing dynamics of the world, you are into sales every second. If you are a businessperson, chances are you get into the hustle of searching GBs of data daily to check profit, loss, trends etc.

Business Intelligence is an emerging technology to analyze data that helps the top management make decisions for the business. Microsoft Power BI is here to make this journey simple.

What is Power BI?

Power BI lets you present information as visuals. It is a powerful tool that lets you gather data from various resources and transform them into reports.

You can fetch data from unrelated resources and manipulate it as needed. You can also share your calculations with your clients and colleagues via the same platform.

Why Use Power BI?

Here are few reasons why you should start using this tool for data analysis

Quick Visualization

To create your very first report, all you need to do is drag and drop “tiles” onto your Power BI dashboard. You can also choose a premade theme to edit and connect to your data.

Easy-to-share reports

With this tool, you no longer will have to email large files to other stakeholders. You can upload analysis reports on the server and share dynamic reports online.

Instant Updates

Power BI keeps updating the changes done across the network. Thus, you can make quick and accurate decisions through full infographics.

Secure Environment

While setting up a Power BI network, you can customize the access level for each user. This way, they can only view the reports relevant to them.

Who can use Power BI?

Following professions are taking advantage of using Power BI across the world

  • Data Analysts, to fetch data and design data model fitting best to a particular business
  • Developers, to integrate reports into their applications using API
  • Business Men, to see and comprehend the statistics shown in reports
  • BI enthusiasts, to take decisions in the business’s best interests

From Which Files You Import Data?

Data sources for Power BI are

  • Excel Files (.xls)
  • Comma Separated Value Files (.cvs)
  • SQL Database
  • Azure Cloud Platform
  • Hadoop etc.

What are the types of Power BI tools?

Microsoft Power BI is not a single software but a collection of tools. These tools work together or individually as well, depending upon the business it comprehends. They are

Power BI Desktop

The primary author, Power BI desktop, is used to create and publish reports from your local machine. You can install it free and create data models from scratch using multiple data resources.

You can also run python scripts to do simple ETL processing and create Machine Learning models on the desktop version.

Power BI Service

A cloud-based SaaS (Software as a Service), this paid tool supports editing of reports and collaboration among the teams. You can connect this tool with data resources as well, but the data modelling is limited here.

While working on business intelligence projects, you can create reports on Power BI Desktop and publish them using the Power BI Service tool.

Power BI Mobile App

Available for windows, android and iOS, Power BI mobile allows you to look into insights from anywhere. You can use natural language to ask queries, view the latest updates and access your reports securely with few taps.

Power BI Report Server

An on-premises solution that is cloud compatible, the Power BI report server lets you share reports across your local business network. Using the desktop version, you can create appealing visuals and publish them directly onto the report server for wide distribution.

It is a part of the Power BI premium version.

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Power BI Gateway

Gateway to your on-premises data and shared report, this tool lets you query large datasets without moving them on different platforms. With this tool, you can keep your Power BI dashboard refreshed by a secure supply of the latest data.


About the Author:

Arsala Zahid, is a Software Engineering graduate and a passionate content writer. She aims to make these technologies easy to learn, so that you get motivated to gain a skill up your sleeve.

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