Everything You Need To Know About Power BI

What is BI?

Business intelligence is a technology-driven method that helps you to analyze data and to provide actionable information which helps corporate executives, business managers, and other users to make informed business decisions.

What is Power BI?

Power BI Dashboard

Power BI is a Business Intelligence and Data Visualization tool for converting data from various data sources into interactive dashboards and analysis reports. Power BI offers cloud-based services for interactive visualizations with a simple interface for end-users to create their own reports and dashboards.

Different Power BI versions like Desktop, Service-based (SaaS), and mobile Power BI apps are used for different platforms. It provides multiple software connectors and services for business intelligence.

Why use Power BI?

Here is the most prominent use of the Power BI tool:

  • Pre-built dashboards and reports for SaaS Solutions
  • Power BI allows real-time dashboard updates.
  • Offers Secure and reliable connection to your data sources in the cloud or on-premises
  • Power BI offers Quick deployment, hybrid configuration, and a secure environment.
  • Allows data exploration using natural language query
  • Offers feature for dashboard visualization regularly updated with the community.

Types of Power BI tools

Now in this Power BI desktop tutorial, we will learn about types of Power BI tools.

Some Important Power BI tools are:

  1. Power BI Desktop

Power BI desktop is the primary authoring and publishing tool for Power BI. Developers and power users use it to create brand new models and reports from scratch.

Costs: Free

  1. Power BI service

Online Software as a Service (SaaS) where Powe Bl data models, reports, dashboards are hosted. Administration, sharing, collaboration happens in the cloud.

Pro license: $10/users/month

  1. Power BI Data Gateway

Power BI Data Gateway works as the bridge between the Power Bl Service and on-premise data sources like DirectQuery, Import, Live Query. It is Installed by Bl Admin.

  1. Power BI Report Server

It can host paginated reports, KPIs, mobile reports, & Power Bl Desktop reports. It is updated every 4 months and installed/managed by the IT team. The users can modify Power Bl reports other reports created by the development team.

  1. Power BI Mobile Apps

Power BI mobile app is available for iOS, Android, Windows. It can be managed using Microsoft Intune. You can use this tool to view reports and dashboards on the Power Bl Service Report Server.

Power BI data source

History of Power BI

Architecture of Power BI

Power BI was conceptualized by Ruler and Dhers Netz of the SQL server coverage services team at Microsoft.

It was designed by West Chadic George in the year 2010 and named Project Crescent.

In 2011, It was bundled with SQL Server Codenamed Mount McKinley.

Microsoft unveiled the first preview to Power BI in September 2014.

The first version of Power BI released on 24 July 2015. It was based on Excel Based Add-ins like Power Query, Pivot, view, and Map.


Data Integration:

An organization needs to work with data that comes from different sources which can be in various file formats. The data should be extracted from a different source which can be from different servers or databases. This data is integrated into one standard format in a common staging area.

Data Processing:

In this stage, the integrated data is still not prepared for visualization as the data needs processing. This data is pre-processed. For example, redundant values, missing values will be removed from the data set.

The business rule should be applied to the data when the data is cleaned. You can load that data back to Data Warehouse.

Data Presentation:

Once the data is loaded and processed, it can be visualized much better with the use of various visualization that Power Bi has to offer. The use of a dashboard and report helps one represent data more intuitively. This visual report helps business end-users to take business decisions based on the insights.

Power BI Dashboard

The below figure demonstrates the Power BI Dashboard:

Power Bl Desktop is an enlargement tool used to generate dashboards and reports. Power Bl applications will be accessed by other users through desktop and mobile devices.

There are Power BI components are the 5 main components released in the market.

Power Query: It can be used to search, access, and transform public and/ or internal data sources.

Power Pivot: It is used for data modeling for in-memory analytics.

Power View: This component allows you to visualize, analyze, and display data.

Power Map: It brings data to life with interactive geographical visualization.

Power BI Service: It allows you to share data views and workbooks, which you can refresh from on-premises and cloud-based data sources.

Power BI Q&A: It allows you to ask questions and get immediate answers using a natural language query.

Data Management Gateway: It offers periodic data refreshers, view data feeds, expose tables.

Data Catalog: This component allows the user to discover and reuse queries using the Data Catalog. Metadata can be facilitated for search functionality.

Power BI term

Who uses Power BI?

Here, are an important professional who uses Power BI tool:

  • PMO – Project and Portfolio Manager
  • Business & Data Analyst
  • Developer & Database Administrator
  • IT Team, IT Professional
  • Consumer for End User Report
  • Data Scientist

Advantages of Power BI

  • Here are the advantages of using Power BI:
  • Offers pre-built dashboards and reports for SaaS Solutions
  • Provide real-time dashboard updates.
  • Secure and reliable connection to your data sources in the cloud or on-premises
  • Power BI offers quick deployment, hybrid configuration, and a secure environment.
  • Data exploration using natural language query.
  • Feature for dashboard visualization
  • New features frequently added that are great for excel users.
  • Extensive database connectivity capabilities Q&A feature publish to the web.
  • integration with both Python and R coding to use visualizations.
  • Power Query provides many options related to wrangling and clean the data.
  • Post publishing the data into Power BI web service can schedule refresh without manual intervention.
  • Power BI backed by the superpower of artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Disadvantages of Power BI

Here, are the Cons/drawbacks of using Power BI:

  • Dashboards and reports only shared with users having the same email domains.
  • Power Bl will not mix imported data, which is accessed from real-time connections.
  • Power Bi will not accept the file larger than 250MB and zip file compressed by the data of X-velocity in-memory database.
  • Power BI can’t accept file sizes larger than 1 GB.
  • Dashboards never accept or pass user, account, or other entity parameters.
  • Very few data sources permit real-time connections to Power BI reports and dashboards.

We hope this post helped you understand PowerBI and its scope and uses in data science.