The world of technologies depends more on sharing data by overcoming the concept of ‘ time and space’. Business Intelligence [BI] is nothing but a platform that enables the clubbing of various data under one forum and enables multiple users to access and edit it. By this means, business firms keep their stakeholders well-informed and are also benefited financially. In this article, we'll discuss 'what is power bi' in detail.
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What Is a Power BI - Table of Content
Power BI is a user-friendly solution developed by Microsoft to handle the business analytics services like data visualization, sharing of such data through your company’s data line, and connecting various data sources from across the world just to enable the end-users to edit, modify and use these data for their own presentations, dashboards and reports.
There are more than 3 versions of Power BI which can be used in different operating systems. Power BI also has the ability to present the data from the past, data from the present and can also make forecasts to predict what is going to happen in the future.
On the whole, Power BI is nothing but a mixture of both SaaS (Software-as-a-service) and a desktop application that uses the properties of the cloud to store various data and to be accessed by various users for multiple purposes.
Power BI, unlike other related applications, has its own difference and properties which has motivated many to use it, since its initiation by Windows.
Here are the Main Features of Power BI that will help you understand it better:
In short, Microsoft Power BI is nothing but a business analytics solution that works on the cloud to get the data edited visually and be analysed by the end-users without much strain.
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While these points constitute the merits of using Power BI,
There are a few disadvantages when one uses Power BI and they are:
Even when Power BI seems to have these many disadvantages, it is still one of the most popular and most-used forums for accessing, storing, sharing and editing data across the globe.
Do you Know -- What is Power BI Slicer
One needs Power BI :
Accessing, analyzing, and monitoring the required data from any application or device.
Developing an interesting set of data with more visuals, graphs, and other extra elements which help in explaining the concept behind those stored data, better.
Creating attractive and informative reports and
Bringing inconsistency in the reports and analysis submitted in the company.
These are the reasons which motivated the developers to develop a program like Power BI which is now praised and used by many and also by some of the top-most business companies in the world.
The Launch and Development of Power BI:
The following table of details will provide answers for Who and How Power BI was developed.
|First Conceivers||Thierry D’Hers & Amir Netz|
|First Developer||Ron George|
|First Name of The Project & Details||Project Crescent in 2010. This was available for the public in 2011.|
|Initial Properties of Power BI||Consisted of various SQL Server Codename Denali.|
|Launch of Power BI||Project Crescent was renamed to Power BI and was released by Microsoft in 2013 under the name of “Power BI for Office 365”.|
|Power BI' Base||Microsoft Excel’s add-ins: Power View, Power Pivot and Power Query.|
|Data of Power BI's Launch to Public Use||24th July 2015|
|Recent Valedictions||Due to the merits and features of Power BI and also its success stories, the “2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Analytics and Business Intelligence Platform” declared Microsoft as the “Leader”.|
Power BI is not an independent element but has many branches and various versions to keep itself updated, equipped and multi-dimensional.
Different Versions of Power BI Based on Pricing are:
Apart from these 3 versions, Power BI also has other versions like:
The comparison between these 2 types is presented in the picture below.
3. POWER BI MOBILE.
4. POWER BI EMBEDDED.
5. POWER BI REPORT SERVER.
These are the various other versions of Power BI which you can choose after analyzing the rate, functions, merits, and demerits of each version. Most importantly, see which version best suits your interest and work culture and choose accordingly.
In terms of getting new updates from the developer of Power BI, one need not worry as Microsoft releases a new update frequently/monthly and has been consistent so far in doing the same.
In order to grab these regular updates, the user will have to either get the latest version of Power BI installed on their device or can use Windows 10 to claim Power BI Desktop and then use the updates.
The architecture of Power BI to connect various technologies just to make them work as one is not a complicated business but is quite a simple structure which consists of different functions like Data collection from various data sources, followed by Data cleaning, verification, processing, and transformation.
Once the collected data is edited, reports for those data are prepared and published in either Power BI Service or Power BI Report Server platforms. These published reports can then be used to prepare dashboards that can be shared both inside and outside of the firm.
[Related Page: Power BI Architecture Detail Guide ]
The Structure or architecture of Power BI mainly revolves or depends largely on the following components:
1. POWER BI DESKTOP.
2. DATA SOURCES.
3. POWER BI SERVICE.
4. POWER BI GATEWAY.
5. POWER BI REPORT SERVER.
6. POWER BI EMBEDDED.
7. POWER BI MOBILE APPS.
8. POWER VIEW.
9. POWER BI QUERY.
10. POWER PIVOT.
11. POWER Q&A.
12. POWER MAPS.
The process in which Power BI works is relatively easy to understand as there are no complex steps involved. Here are 4 steps on how Power BI works:
INTEGRATION OF DATA: As the first step in the working of Power BI, data from various sources, serves and dashboards are collected and compressed as the maximum limit to import is only 1GB [Free version]. The compressed data will be transferred to a standard format for storage at the “Staging Area.
TRANSFORMATION OF DATA: Apart from the visual effects of the data, it has to be first cleaned and checked for any missing or redundant or duplicate values or should be pre-processed. These are then loaded in and saved in data warehouses.
REPORT & PUBLISHING: The user can prepare various reports like graphs, charts and others, in reference to the data stored, in their Power BI Platforms and publish them in On-premise Power BI Server and also in Power BI Services.
DASHBOARD AND ITS CREATION: Dashboards are created in order to withhold the individual elements in the data and these are usually performed after publishing the reports of the respective transformed data to Power BI Services.
Power BI application has various key terms and data sources that are for carrying out its functions. As soon as a user opens Power BI this is what they will see:
The above picture depicts the new Homepage of Power BI.
Power BI also consists of Dashboards, Datasets, Dataflows, Reports and Workbooks which are created using Capacities [Shared/Dedicated] and are all placed and maintained in Workspaces [My Workspace/ Workspaces].
Comma Separated Value (.csv)
Excel (.xlsx , xlxm)
Power BI Desktop (.pbi)
Azure Cloud Platform
Power BI has a lot of functions which makes it more useful for numerous reasons. Some of its common uses are:
The most common and frequent users of Power BI are those data analysts and those professionals who deal with business intelligence in order to generate various data models. Even the management uses Power BI to analyze and monitor their firm’s functioning and growth through a clear-cut study about their employee’s performance.
The Department reps use Power BI to understand the current rate of sales and marketing in order to help develop a better forecast.
Here is a list of professionals who frequently use Power BI:
|S.NO||TYPE OF CUSTOMER||USAGE|
|1||Report Consumer||Power BI is used to gather reports to gain specific information in short, without much detail.|
|2||Report Analyst||The collected data are analysed to draw insights. The spreadsheet, cross filters and report filters are all used.|
|3||Self-Service Data Analyst||Uses Power BI to handle and understand larger data volumes. They also interpret a pre-built data model to either create them or to share it with new insights.|
|4||Basic Data Analyst||Creates his/her own datasets using Excel but misses on important data in the models that already exists, instead is enriched in their own spreadsheet.|
|5||Advanced-Data Analyst||Unlike the Basic Data Analyst. The Advanced data analyst uses data sources that are both managed and unmanaged to create his own data models. This data analyst is also an expert in data modelling, analysis and structures. On the whole, a new insight is drawn from the old and new data, put together.|
It is important to understand these major types of Power BI users in order to categorize the employees in your firm accordingly and generate work accordingly as well.
Here are only a few major companies who use Power BI on a large scale:
Grant Thornton LLP
The steps involved in installing and running Power BI in your systems or devices is quite easy as there are no complex steps involved as all one needs to do is to go to the official Power BI site and Power BI download, developed by Microsoft.
After going to the website, the “DOWNLOAD FREE” option should be clicked, after which the “GET” option should be chosen on the new page. Once this is done, the ‘INSTALL’ option has to be selected and the license agreement should be agreed upon, the destination folder to save the application must be chosen as well.
Even when the App is downloaded, one has to REGISTER in order to RUN it. Now, Power BI Desktop is ready for use.
[ Related Page: Power BI vs Tableau ]
Power BI and Tableau are quite similar but in terms of efficiency and effectiveness, they differ on different scales. While Tableau was established by Mountain View in 2003 in order to carry out various Data Analysis, Power BI was developed by Microsoft in 2013 for Data analysis, Data collection, and Data transformation along with publication.
Tableau is, however, an older version when compared to Power BI and this makes it more prone to offer full support while Power BI offers only limited support. In terms of infrastructure, Power BI works only on SaaS while Tableau is flexible.
Though Tableau seems to have scored more than Power BI, it has its own disadvantages to pull it down. Power BI is also a well-developed BI software that is also growing every day. However, there’s no clear winner here which makes both winners in their own way.
One can choose either Tableau or Power BI based on their requirements and needs and this is the best conclusion that can be drawn from this comparison.
Power BI is one of the famous BI solutions which is also affordable which makes it more approachable and famous. Power BI usually has 3 plans namely: Free, Pro and Premium.
Power BI Desktop is called the free version and can be used by small level users, Power BI Pro can be used by moderate level users and Power BI Premium, as the name suggests is more suitable for enterprise-level users.
However, the rate of Power BI Pro is $9.99 per user per month while the rate of Power BI Premium varies according to the number of users and also the level of deployment.
Apart from these 3 versions, Power BI Embedded is also considered to be a different version of Power BI which can be accessed after paying a price that deals with cost-per-hour features. The rate of this version depends on the “node” chosen by the users as each node type has a different set of processing power.
Note: All these price packages include the licensing cost as well. Therefore stay cautious of any fraudulent activities as there is no separate pay for Power BI licensing.
Details about Power BI Market:
Power BI is stated to have a relatively moderate share in the overall market for BI products.
Here is a graph that showcases the market share of Power BI along with its other competitors:
The future of Power BI is bright as it is growing rapidly every day, both internally and externally, and is evolving as the Data Visualization and BI leader in the international market. With this name and the merit of being a big brand’s (Microsoft) product, the demand for Power BI is never going to drop, at least not in the near future.
The recent update of Power BI that happened in 2014 has emerged Power BI as a tool that’s available for almost all and has also made it possible to access it both in mobile devices and in the desktop as well.
Another factor adding to the growth of Power BI’s demand is the feature of Power BI that enables it to act as the perfect substitute for Excel users which leads to an increase in the user’s count as well. All of these factors make Power BI an unstoppable application in the fast-growing techno-driven world.
Career scopes related to Power BI are as effective as Power BI’s scope of growth as they are both interlinked and are directly proportional as well. One who is interested in Power BI applications can pursue a career as a Data Analyst / as a Business Analyst / as a Business Intelligence Architect / even as a Power BI Developer.
In order to be unique and different from the crowd, one can also complete different certifications on Power BI, like MCSA and MSCE. IBM has published a report saying the scope or the demand for Data developers, data scientists and data engineers in companies will rise to around 700,000 in number by 2020.
Therefore, the Power BI career scope seems sound and effective which calls for immediate action and training in Power BI.
Power BI is a Business Intelligence tool that is created and maintained by Microsoft just to make data collection, data analysis, data modeling, data warehousing, data visualization, dashboard configurations, report making, and data sharing an easy task.
These work on SaaS platforms around various plans and versions with their own merits and demerits, thereby encouraging users with various demands to use Power BI to meet their needs. 2020 is going to be the year of Power BI, even in terms of career opportunities.
|Name||Usha Sri Mendi|
|Author Bio||Usha Sri Mendi is a Senior Content writer with more than three years’ of experience in writing for Mindmajix on various IT platforms such as Tableau, Linux, and Cloud Computing. She spends her precious time on researching various technologies, and startups. Reach out to her via LinkedIn and Twitter|