Power BI – Introduction

As data professionals, we all have heard a lot about Power BI.  However, some may not be familiar with what exactly it is.  Therefore, I am going to use this post as an introduction to Power BI.

What is Power BI?

Microsoft’s basic slogan for Power BI is … Any Data, Anywhere, Any Time

So, what does that really mean?

  • Power BI can be used to connect to a variety of data sources, including cloud applications and data stores, as well as company data that resides on premise.
  • Power BI can be used on any type of device (i.e. computer, tablet, phone).
  • Power BI can be used when you are in the office or on the road in a mobile fashion.

Power BI is a full-scale business intelligence (BI) solution tool set.  That means you can use the tool to extract data from source systems, transform it into the desired look, and load the data for reports.  Essentially, Power BI allows you to create a “data model” for reporting.  Also, when it comes to reporting and analytics, Power BI provides interactive visual reports, live streaming dashboards, and embedded reports and dashboards (web pages, PowerPoint, etc.).

Additionally, when people refer to Power BI, they may be actually speaking about one of multiple applications:

  • Power BI Desktop – This desktop self-service analysis tool is used to author reports.
  • Power BI Service – This cloud service handles the delivery, collaboration, and enables mobility.
  • Power BI Mobile – This mobile application that works on major mobile devices (iOS, Android, Windows 10) that also integrates with Reporting Services (SSRS).

Best resources for Power BI:


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