What is Power BI?

There are many tools that provide analytical reporting but not all tools do Business Intelligence reporting. Also, most of these tools take time and effort to install, setup, configure and build reports for end-users or Management Team. Having understood this gap, Microsoft came up with a new tool that overcomes all this, naming it POWER BI.

Power Business Intelligence (in short, Power BI) is a Microsoft analytical reporting solution that lets you visualize your data and share insights across your organization. It ranked as a leader in BI and Analytics Platforms for ten consecutive years.

How do I try this tool?

  1. Sign up – All you need is a business email address and you’re in. There are 2 versions of Power BI – Online and Desktop.
  • Power BI Online is used to connect online data sources, transform, and visualize your data and build reports. It also helps to publish the reports to other users.
  • Power BI Desktop can be installed on your local computer allowing you to connect, transform, and visualize your data. With Power BI Desktop, you can connect to multiple different sources of data, and combine them (often called modelling) into a data model that lets you build visuals, and collections of visuals you can share as reports, with other people inside your organization. Most users who work on Business Intelligence projects use Power BI Desktop to create reports, and then use the Power BI service to share their reports with others
  1. Connect – Connect to your data in minutes, with built-in connectors and pre-built dashboards and reports from a wide variety of

Data sources

Are classified into File, Database, Power BI, Azure, Online Services

File types

Includes Excel, Text/CSV, XML, JSON, Folder, SharePoint Folder

Database engines

Includes SQL Server Database, Access Database, SQL Server Analysis Services Database, Oracle Database, IBM DB2 Database, IBM Informix database (Beta), IBM Netezza, MySQL Database, PostgreSQL Database, Sybase Database, Teradata Database, SAP HANA Database, SAP Business Warehouse Application Server, SAP Business Warehouse Message Server (Beta), Amazon Redshift, Impala, Google BigQuery, Snowflake, Exasol

Power BI category

Includes Power BI datasets

Azure Category

Includes Azure SQL Database, Azure SQL Data Warehouse, Azure Analysis Services database, Azure Blob Storage, Azure Table Storage, Azure Cosmos DB (Beta), Azure Data Lake Store, Azure HDInsight (HDFS), Azure HDInsight Spark (Beta), HDInsight Interactive Query (Beta), Azure KustoDB (beta)

Online Services Category

Includes SharePoint Online List, Microsoft Exchange Online, Dynamics 365 (online), Dynamics NAV (Beta), Dynamics 365 Business Central, Common Data Service for Apps(Beta), Common Data Service (Beta), Microsoft Azure Consumption Insights (Beta), Visual Studio Team Services (Beta), Salesforce Objects, Salesforce Reports, Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics, appFigures (Beta), comScore Digital Analytix (Beta), Dynamics 365 for Customer Insights (Beta), Data.World – Get Dataset (Beta), Facebook, GitHub (Beta), MailChimp (Beta), Marketo (Beta), Mixpanel (Beta), Planview Enterprise One – PRM (Beta), Planview Projectplace (Beta), QuickBooks Online (Beta), Smartsheet, SparkPost (Beta), Stripe (Beta), SweetIQ (Beta), Planview Enterprise One – CMT (Beta), Twilio (Beta), tyGraph (Beta), Webtrends (Beta), Zendesk (Beta), TeamDesk (Beta)

Other Category

Includes Vertica (Beta), Web, SharePoint List, OData Feed, Active Directory, Microsoft Exchange, Hadoop File (HDFS), Spark, R Script, ODBC, OLE DB, Blank Query

  1. Use – Power BI Designer – that allows business analysts to connect to, model and visually analyze your data. You can effortlessly publish the report. A preview of Power BI for iPad is now available for download from the Apple App Store. Later this year Microsoft will introduce iPhone, Android and Windows universal apps.


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