The impact of Power BI in Business Intelligence

Monitor your business powerfully with the Power BI suite of business intelligence tools and get quick answers through rich Data Visualization with excellent dashboards.

The world of Business Intelligence has been simplified with an easy and quick business intelligence tool for effective Data Visualization – the Power BI. This Business Analytics service by Microsoft brings together raw data from various sources like a simple spreadsheet on a desktop to a cloud-based data. Simple, fast, robust and enterprise grade, it can be used by non-technical people to visually analyze and share data due to its versatility and minimum training. And this deems it ready for extensive modelling, real time analytics and custom development.

Therefore, it comes as no surprise that Power BI has been topping Gartner’s magic quadrant leadership list year after year from the past 12 years.

Let’s take a closer look into what is Power BI made of

This Business Analytics service consists of a Windows desktop application called Power BI Desktop, an online SaaS software service called the Power BI service, and Power BI mobile apps for Windows, iOS, as well as android devices for effective Data Visualization.

The three elements – Power BI Desktop, the service, and mobile apps – are designed so that people can create as well as share business insights for better decision making. And there is the fourth element too. It’s called the Power BI Report Server. It allows you to publish Power BI reports to an on-premises report server, after they have been created in Power BI Desktop.

The key features of Power BI include:

  • The hybrid deployment support- which helps the business intelligence tool to connect to different sources of data and allows automatic application of analytics to information by creating data subsets through the Quick Insights feature.
  • Power Query- that allows integration and transformation of data into the Power BI web service. This data can be shared across multiple users and models for enhanced Data Visualization.
  • The common data model-This allows the use of extensible database construction (schemas).
  • The customization feature- It can change the appearance of the Data visualization tools and can also import new tools into the platform.
  • The Power BI dashboard- can be embedded in other software products through the APIs.
  • Complex data models-They can be divided into separate diagrams using the modeling view. Common properties can be set, viewed, and modified as per requirement.
  • A popular feature on mobile devices is the Cortana integration, which allows users to query data verbally using natural language. This is a digital assistant by Microsoft.

Image Courtesy: Tableau Public

Sounds like a winner doesn’t it?

But what does Power BI have in it for you?

As a whole, the business intelligence tool amazingly helps you connect various sources of data, clean it up and transform it into a data model for clear Data Visualization (graphs, charts etc.) And share it with other users within your organization.

Its advantages include:

  • Reasonable cost for viewing the Power BI dashboard making this Data Visualization tool worthy of your investment.
  • Easy learning if you are familiar with Excel’s Power Pivot and Power Query.
  • As this Business Intelligence tool is powered by Microsoft, there is always help at hand for you to learn from and network with other clients in terms of tips and exercises.
  • Easy and quick sharing of data across all systems like windows, android and IOS.

But how you use each element of Power BI may depend on what is your role within a team or a project at a given point in time. For example, you may be using the Power BI service. But a business report creator within your enterprise who does a lot of number crunching might be using Power BI Desktop extensively to create reports, then publish those reports to the Power BI service, where you can view them. Similarly, another associate, in sales, may require using the Power BI phone app to monitor progress on sales quotas, and to fill in new sales lead details. Developers also use Power BI APIs to push data into datasets or to embed dashboards and reports into their custom applications.

And all this in 2 simple steps to make your life much easier.

This is how Power BI works for great Data Visualization:

  • The business intelligence tool connects to data sources and builds reports in Power BI Desktop.
  • The reports are published from Power BI Desktop to the Power BI service, and shared with end users in the service and mobile devices for viewing and drawing insights.

However, it would be unfair if we let you off without giving you the complete picture. The Power BI has a few down slides.

  • The creator of the data model needs to specify the security permissions, otherwise it is extended to all the consumers of the data in PowerBI.com
  • The user can only create a personal dashboard, and not a system dashboard.
  • Though multiple datasets can be created, the limit per dataset is 1GB and the maximum records that can be created in PowerBI.com is 100,000.
  • Only users with the same email domains can share reports and dashboards.

But despite of the above, Power BI is a powerful business intelligence tool and is here to stay in the world of Data Visualization. It is this Business Analytics service by Microsoft in the world of Business Intelligence that has helped us connect seamlessly to hundreds of data sources and infuse life in our data through appealing dashboards and comprehensive reports.

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