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How does Power BI work?

  • Vrinda Mathur
  • Nov 22, 2022
How does Power BI work? title banner

Power BI is a set of software services, apps, and connectors that work together to transform disparate data sources into coherent, visually immersive, and interactive insights. Your data could be in the form of an Excel spreadsheet or a collection of hybrid cloud-based and on-premises data warehouses. Power BI makes it simple to connect to your data sources, visualize and discover what's important, and share it with whoever or whatever you want. 

 

Power BI wants to make it simple to create a data-driven culture in which everyone has access to and understands business-critical data. Knowledge is power, and so on. They refer to it as "bridging the gap between data and decision-making." And because Microsoft has so many other products, such as Teams, collaborating and communicating on this data in a familiar environment is made even easier.

 

It's all about visualization, just like the other BI tools ScreenCloud Dashboards integrate with. You can gain a deeper understanding of what's going on in your business if you can see what's going on in a clear, structured manner.


 

What is Power BI

 

When attempting to answer the question "What is Power BI?" we need only look to the tool's creator, Microsoft. Power BI is defined by the company as "...a collection of software services, apps, and connectors that work together to transform your disparate data sources into coherent, visually immersive, and interactive insights."

 

The term "business intelligence" refers to the tool that provides non-technical users with all of the resources they need to aggregate, visualize, analyze, and share data. Power BI is regarded as one of the best drag-and-drop tools available in the business world today.

 

Power BI is a Business Intelligence and Data Visualization tool that converts data from various sources into interactive dashboards and BI reports. Power BI suite includes a variety of software, connectors, and services, including Power BI Desktop, SaaS-based Power BI service, and mobile Power BI apps for various platforms. Business users use this set of services to consume data and create BI reports. 

 

Power BI is a well-known Data Visualization and Business Intelligence tool. The Power BI tool is a collection of apps, data connectors, and software services that are used to collect data from various sources, transform it, and generate useful reports.

 

Power BI services are built on SaaS and mobile Power BI apps for a variety of platforms. Business users use this set of services to consume data and build Power BI reports.

 

Power BI is a tool in the Business Intelligence category (BI). The goal of BI is to track Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and uncover insights in business data to better inform organizational decision-making. Power BI is used in a variety of ways depending on the individual's role, ranging from developers to analysts, managers, directors, and everyone in between.

 

We should first define business intelligence while we're at it.

 

Business intelligence, according to CIO, "...leverages software and services to transform data into actionable insights that inform an organization's strategic and tactical business decisions." The tools access and analyze relevant data before presenting findings in the form of charts, reports, graphs, summaries, maps, and dashboards to provide users with accurate and detailed intelligence about the company's state.

 

In summary, business intelligence employs tools to transform raw data into smart plans and actions that can benefit a company on multiple levels—Power BI is one such tool. There are numerous business intelligence courses to choose from if you want to learn more about it.

 

Also Read: Top 10 Data Visualization Techniques


 

Key Features of Power BI:

 

Power BI's data handling capabilities are exceptional. Let's take a look at some of its key features:


 

Key Features of Power Bi 1. Power Content packs 2. Hybrid Connectivity 3. Natural Language Queries 4. Integration 5. Visual representation that is unique 6. Data Analysis 7. Sharing Compatibility

Key Features of Power BI


 

  1. Powerful Content Packs: 

 

Power BI includes numerous content packs, such as dashboard reporting, visual models, and embedded queries. Many well-known software companies and applications have adopted Power BI content packs.


 

  1. Hybrid connectivity: 

 

Power BI includes built-in connectors that enable its tools to quickly connect to a variety of data resources from vendors other than Microsoft. Every month, it expands its arsenal with new data sources. These data can come from virtually anywhere and in any format, structured or unstructured. The data source can be on-premises or in the cloud.

 

Also Read: Cloud Computing Tutorial: Types, Benefits & Future Scope


 

  1. Natural Language Queries: 

 

Natural Language Queries are one of the most useful features. You can ask questions as a user via its National Language QnA. It has a large collection of assumed questions that can answer numerous questions. The Power BI Desktop feature interprets your data using common phrases.


 

  1. Integration: 

 

Power BI includes an API code that allows you to easily integrate it with a variety of popular software modules. The dashboard can be embedded in software such as Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Dynamics, Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics, Salesforce, MailChimp, GitHub, Azure Mobile Management, and others.

 

Also Read: A Guide to Application Programming Interface (API)


 

  1. Visual Representation That Is Unique:

 

You can customize the Power BI dashboard to meet your specific business requirements. You can customize its appearance using the templates provided. These are useful because you can customize them to your organization's needs. It creates detailed representations and rich graphical models from complex business data.


 

  1. Data Analytics: 

 

Power BI allows you to create subsets of data and apply analytics to them automatically. It currently has over 200 functions, with new ones being added on a daily basis. It generates some powerful analytics models using its DAX formula language.


 

  1. Sharing Capability: 

 

Using the Power BI Service, you can quickly share reports with colleagues and users. It can share as well as print live data metric dashboards and reports. It can also send data-driven notifications to mobile insights.


 

How to use Power BI?

 

When learning how to use Power BI, it's best to begin by becoming acquainted with the tool's various elements. Power BI includes the following components:

 

  1. The desktop version of Power BI. The desktop application for Windows

  2. Service for Power BI. Software as a Service (SaaS).

  3. Apps for mobile devices. These apps are intended for mobile devices running Android, iOS, and Windows.

  4. Report Server for Power BI. You can publish your Power BI reports created in Desktop to an on-premises report server.

 

Users use Power BI Desktop to connect to the desired data sources and create reports. When the report is finished, users publish it to the Power BI service, which allows end users to view and interact with the data.

 

And don't forget about the Power BI Report Server if you're not ready for people outside your company's firewall to see the reports just yet!

 

The beauty of Power BI is its simplicity, even for those who do not consider themselves to be technologically savvy. You can use Power BI to process the information, create the necessary reports, and send them to the appropriate teams or individuals as long as you have access to the data sources, the dashboard, and a working network connection.

 

Once you've mastered Power BI, you should look into the various job opportunities available to skilled individuals.

 

Power BI Desktop is a free application that you install on your local computer to connect to, transform, and visualize data. With Power BI Desktop, you can connect to multiple data sources and combine them (also known as modeling) into a data model. 

 

This data model allows you to create visuals and collections of visuals that you can share with others in your organization as reports. Most users who work on business intelligence projects use Power BI Desktop to create reports before sharing them with others via the Power BI service.

 

Also Read: What is SAAS? Services, Advantages & Challenges


 

How to Incorporate Power Bi into your Role? 

 

Your role in a project or on a team may influence how you use Power BI. Other people in different roles may use Power BI in a different way.

 

You might, for example, use the Power BI service primarily to view reports and dashboards. Your number-crunching, a business-report-creating coworker may use Power BI Desktop or Power BI Report Builder extensively to create reports, which are then published to the Power BI service, where you can view them. Another coworker in sales may primarily use the Power BI phone app to track sales quota progress and to drill into new sales lead details.

 

As a developer, you may use Power BI APIs to push data into datasets or embed dashboards and reports in your own custom applications. Have a new visual concept? Create it and share it with others.

 

You may also use each component of Power BI at different times, depending on your goals or your role in a given project.

 

Which Power BI feature or service is the best tool for your situation will determine how you use Power BI. You can, for example, use Power BI Desktop to create reports about customer engagement statistics for your own team, and you can view inventory and manufacturing progress in a real-time dashboard in the Power BI service. Based on a Power BI dataset, you can generate a paginated report of mailable invoices. Each component of Power BI is available to you, which is why it is so versatile and appealing.

 

 

Real-life Uses of Power BI:

 

Some of the prominent companies using Power Bi are:

 

  1. MediaCom: 

 

The module that can easily measure and represent the health of a large number of diverse datasets was required by MediaCom, the world's most famous media agency and the largest cable television provider.

 

They discovered a solution for this problem in the form of a 'health check,' which is capable of capturing every surface of a multi-platform media in a single score, including paid media effectiveness, earned media effectiveness, the earned-to-paid media ratio, realized customer value, and longitudinal performance. The 'health-check' feature is built on Power BI, which provides a campaign dashboard and a collaborative site where the account team can ask customers questions


 

  1. University of Carnegie Mellon:

 

Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), a global research university known for its world-class studies, was looking for a solution to optimize power (energy) and operational efficiency in buildings worldwide.

 

The university installed a PI system as well as an integrated building automation system. They also installed data sources for lighting, ventilation, air quality, weather, and security.

 

At the time, they included Power BI for Office 365 to provide custom-reporting capabilities to all the consistent information generated by the various frameworks, providing employees with maps, visualizations, and dashboards indicating data such as building types, geographic areas, and power consumption. This data enables employees to identify the environment and demonstrate how to reduce energy consumption. CMU discovered a 30% reduction in energy consumption after installing Power BI.


 

  1.  Heathrow Airport:

 

Heathrow Airport, a UK-based trip, and transportation industry employ Power BI to make passenger travel less stressful. This airport employs Power BI to visualize real-time passenger traffic at the airport and to prepare employees for changing traffic conditions. 

 

With the adoption of Power BI, they will be able to connect to a broader range of data sources with fewer efforts and use this data to run Heathrow airport more efficiently than ever before.


In the end, Power BI is a business analytics service provided by Microsoft that lets you visualize your data and share insights. It converts data from different sources to build interactive dashboards and Business Intelligence reports.

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