Introduction to Power BI Service
We are living in a digital era where you can buy a small thing like a toothpick to a large product like a refrigerator online. You could also make your passport from your home or order pizza online.
The entire process produces a large amount of data, some necessary and some legacy, that can be used in the future to upgrade services and avail offers for the customers. So this data needs to be managed.
We have many cloud-based technologies in the market that help us manage, analyse, and use this data for better business offers. One of them is Power BI by Microsoft. It makes the business processes and analytics easier and increases its productivity.
“Power BI may be a cloud-based business analytics service that permits us to conceive and interpret data with higher performance and intelligence. It relates people to a huge sort of data via easy-to-use dashboards, powerful reports, and delightful visualizations that bring our data to life.”
Power BI gives us the freedom to use it for on-premises data as well as cloud-based data. We can use it with big data sources, simple excel files or even cloud-based sources. We can also create detailed and attractive data visualizations with a library available for custom visualizations. So we can customize it according to our requirements.
We also have a feature called Navigation Pane which allows us to work in Power BI and navigate between different datasets and dashboards on which we are working and the reports we are creating.
Power BI Services
Let us understand some features of the PowerBI service.
1. Access to Volume of Data From Multiple Sources
We can access a vast volume of data from multiple sources. It allows us to view, analyze, and visualize large quantities of data that cannot be opened in Excel. Some of the essential data sources available for Power BI are Excel, CSV, XML, JSON, PDF, etc. Power BI uses powerful compression algorithms to import and cache the data within the PBIX file, which is an extension for Power BI files.
2. Interactive UI/UX Features
Nowadays, the user interface is fundamental because of the rat race in the market. Many technologies are available to do a single task in a shorter period. PowerBI helps us with stunning UI/UX features. It makes things aesthetically pleasing. It has an easy drag and drop functionality, with features that allow you to copy all formatting across similar visualizations with a fantastic UI.
3. Easy and Exceptional Excel Integration
Power BI helps us gather, analyze, publish, and share excels of business data. Anyone familiar with Office 365 can easily connect excel queries, data models, and reports to Power BI Dashboards.
4. Accelerate Big Data Preparation with Azure
Integration of Power BI with Azure services allows you to research and share massive volumes of knowledge. An Azure data lake can cut down the time it takes to generate insights and encourage collaboration between business analysts, data engineers, and data scientists.
5. Turn Insights into Action
We can gain insights from data and turn those insights into actions to make data-driven business decisions.
6. Real-time Stream Analytics
Power BI lets us carry out real-time stream analytics. This allows us to get data from numerous sensors and social media sources. It lets us get access to real-time analytics, so we’re always on the ready when it comes to making business decisions.
What Power BI Offers
1. Cloud-based software as a service (SaaS)
It offers us reporting and analytics tools on the web. From here, you’ll hook on to over 50 data sources and use Live Connect. You’ll use import mode, which brings your data closer to the visualization. A good option for smaller data sets is to report live data from your environment using a connector like an on-premises gateway.
2. Power BI Report Server
We have an on-premises version that allows us to deploy our Power BI reports locally in our environments. A good option for those who want their data private and secured and those who are not yet comfortable putting data on the cloud can think of Power BI Report Server as a super-set of SQL Server Reporting Services. With newly added features in SQL Server 2016, we can now position your data locally and not globally(cloud). Power BI reports directly into it with the enterprise edition.
3. Power BI Embedded
This Azure service is based on computing. We pay for the volume we think we will need. With this, we set up our workspaces with our visuals and reports and connect them to the workspace from the application that we want to display those reports in. We choose to display only what we want users to see. Power BI Embedded is great for patrons who don’t want to create their own BI environment and need to display info quickly and securely. We moved towards the Power BI services because of the budget-free usage and the ease in the work environment. We can upgrade and degrade usage space depending on the business needs and requirements.
Let’s have a look at some aspects of the Power BI platform
1. Power BI Desktop
Power BI Desktop is free software that we can download; it allows us to build reports by accessing data quickly. Using Power BI desktop, we do not need advanced report designing or query skills to build the report.
We can do the following things with Power BI Desktop:
- Connect to data
- Transform and clean that data to make a knowledge model
- Create visuals like charts or graphs that provide visual representations of the info
- Create reports that are a collection of visuals on one or more report pages
- Share reports with others by using the Power BI services
- And the most exciting part is that Power BI Desktop is upgraded and published every month, integrating customer feedback and new elements.
2. Data Visualization
Data visualization lets you change all that granular data into clear, visually engaging, and valuable business information. Today’s data visualization tools not only let you see your KPIs more clearly but also unify data by tapping into external data sources. They apply AI-driven analytics to reveal relationships between your KPIs, the market, and therefore the world.
While handling complex data, Power BI’s default standard won’t be enough in some cases. In such a case, you can access the custom library of visualization that meets your needs.
If you harbour the vision of a data driven culture for your organization, we can lend you the expertise to set Power BI up for you. For more information, get in touch with us now.
3. Variety of Data Sources:
Power BI allows us to select from a range of different data sources. It could be anywhere in the spectrum from on-premise to cloud-based, unstructured to structured. And Microsoft updates it frequently and new data sources are added every month.
Some of the latest available data sources are as follows:
- Power BI datasets
- Power BI dataflows
- SQL Server
- MySQL database
- Analysis Services