With the explosion of data in last few years, organizations want to analyze their data from different perspectives and want to understand their scattered data with meaningful information in lesser time. To address that, business analysts require new trends and analytical approach that can help them in effective decision making. Due to this, the importance of Visualization has immensely increased.
Microsoft Power BI is an analytical and visualization tool, where users easily connect to multiple data sources and analyze their data with interactive reports and dashboards. Power BI is a next generation Power View technology allowing business analysts to connect, prepare and visually explore data in an efficient manner.
We did some analysis on Power BI and built some interactive reports and dashboards. This involved connecting to different data sources and provide rich visualization experience and at the same time provides meaningful information.
During our journey, we found Microsoft Power BI as a very useful and exciting analytical tool. We have listed out some of the exciting features which might help you to understand your business needs better and provide help in better decision making in lesser time:
- Power BI dashboards – We can create personalized dashboards to monitor our most important data. A dashboard combines on-premises and cloud-born data in a single pane of glass, providing a consolidated view across the organization regardless of where the data lives.
- Excel BI and the Power BI Designer– Excel 2013 which comes stand alone and with Office 365 ProPlus is Microsoft premier business analyst tool, it includes rich business intelligence features (Power Query, Power Pivot, Power View, Power Map) fully integrated with the powerful ad hoc analysis capabilities and familiar features of Excel like Pivot Tables and Excel Charting. With Excel 2013, analysts can publish Excel Workbooks to Power BI and share data, analysis, and reports with Power BI users.
- Stay connected from any device – Native mobile apps for Power BI will allow users to access their Power BI dashboards and reports through immersive mobile experiences for iPad, iPhone, and Windows tablets. iPad app is available today and can be downloaded from the Apple App Store.
- Connectors for popular SaaS applications– Power BI now provides out of the box connectivity to a number of popular SaaS applications. In addition to the existing seamless connection with Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, customers can also connect to their data in Salesforce, Zendesk, Marketo, SendGrid and GitHub.
- Connect live to on-premises Analysis Services models – With the new Power BI connector for SQL Server Analysis Services, customers can realize the benefits of a cloud-based BI solution without having to move their data to the cloud. Customers can now create a secure connection to an on-premises SQL Server Analysis Services server from Power BI in the cloud.
- Powerful data connections – You can create models and reports and publish on Power BI service where reports can be shared so users can view and interact with them and provide new insights to model, build, share and extend.
- Multiple data sources – You can connect to multiple data sources and build insightful, compelling data models and use that model to create reports which others can leverage, build upon and share.
- Power BI Enterprise Gateway – If your model contains data sources from both on premises and the cloud, you required a gateway to connect to your data sources with Power BI. Instead of each employee installing and configuring a Power BI Personal Gateway, IT can configure, manage and deploy central gateways to serve a large group of users. With the enterprise gateway, IT departments can gain visibility into gateway usages, such as most commonly accessed data sources and the users accessing them.
- Direct querying on cloud data sources – Live connection doesn’t require data refresh and dashboard interactions are sent back to the data sources in real time where they are executed and the visualizations are updated through the service in real time accordingly.
- Integrates with R data source – Power BI connects with R data sources using R script and does data cleansing, transformation and also develops a dashboard design that allows you to share the dashboard with your colleagues.
- You can connect, share, report and save that work in Power BI Desktop file format which is the .pbix extension.
- Power BI Desktop files can be shared like any other file but the most compelling way to share Power BI Desktop files is to upload them to the Power BI service. (https://app.powerbi.com/)
Power BI also provides support for Mobile BI access, where reports and dashboards created in Power BI desktop, can be displayed in Mobile. To access these reports on mobile, you need to download Power BI app.
Mobile BI provides touch enabled interactions with high-performance optimized experience and business analysts can stay connected to their business from anywhere. We have listed out some useful features of Mobile BI:
- Mobile BI on any device – Enable users to get business insights, anyway, anywhere and from any device. Mobile reports are optimized for mobile devices and form factors and provide an optimal experience for users accessing BI reports on mobile devices. You can author and manage mobile reports for easy consumption by users across your organization online and on mobile devices.
- Interactive mobile reports – Microsoft SQL Server Mobile Report Publisher is the single point for the creation of mobile reports. We can simply connect to SQL Server Reporting Services to access data sources and easily create stunning reports, then publish them to SQL Server Reporting Services for access by others in the organization via a unified web experience or on mobile devices.
- Mobile reports using a unified Mobile BI experience – Whether we are using SQL Server Reporting Services on-premises, Power BI in the cloud or both as our report delivery solution we will only need one mobile app (for each of Windows, iOS, and Android) to access dashboards and mobile reports on mobile devices. Starting with the Power BI app for iOS all of our BI content will be available at our fingertips from within one single, unified mobile app. The Power BI app for iOS that includes a preview of the SSRS mobile reporting capabilities is available from the App Store.
- New Web portal experience – The addition of the mobile report type in SQL Server Reporting Services is accompanied with an entirely new web portal experience allowing users to access KPIs, paginated and mobile reports in one centralized location.
You can connect with us for any support and guidance in Power BI. We can get involved to understand your business needs and provide any assistance where we can share our experiences and thoughts for better analytical solutions.
Stay tuned for our next blog on using SSRS reports with Power BI.