With the explosion of data in the 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 approaches 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 through interactive reports and dashboards. It is a collection of different software services, apps, and connectors that work together to turn your unrelated sources of data into intelligible, visually immersive, and interactive insights.
It is one of the smartest self-service BI tools and the preferred choice when it comes to data warehouse capabilities. It is a powerful tool in the hands of Business users who want to extract data from multiple different sources to derive meaningful insights out of it. All this helps to look at the same data from multiple angles and the reports and dashboards can be created by anybody in the organization without the assistance of IT developers and administrators.
Power BI consists of:
- A Windows desktop application called Power BI Desktop
- An online SaaS (Software as a Service) service called the Power BI service
- Power BI mobile apps for Windows, iOS, and Android devices
These three elements are designed to let users create, share, and consume business insights in the way that serves them, or their role, most effectively.
Power BI Architecture
Data Sources: Power BI can source data from a vast number of file types, Databases, and online services. Users can import the data into Power BI or they can establish a live connection to service to get the data.
Power BI Gateway − You can use Power BI on-premises gateway to keep your data fresh by connecting to your on-premises data sources without the need to move the data. Data transfer between Power BI and the gateway is secured through Azure Service Bus.
Power BI Desktop – This is a free application you can install on your computer that lets you connect to, transform, and visualize your data. This application offers you to connect to multiple different sources of data and combine them (called modeling) into a data model that lets you build visuals, and collections of visuals you can share as reports, with other people inside your organization.
Mobile Reports Publisher – With SQL Server Mobile Report Publisher, you can quickly create Reporting Services mobile reports, optimized for mobile devices and a variety of other form factors. Mobile reports feature an assortment of visualizations, from time, category, and comparison charts, to treemaps and custom maps. Mobile reports can be accessed in the Power BI mobile apps for iOS and Android.
Power BI Publisher for Excel – Analyze in Excel is supported for Microsoft Excel 2010 SP1 and later. With Analyze in Excel, you can view and interact with a dataset that you have in Power BI and access PivotTable, chart, and slicer features in Excel based on the dataset that exists in Power BI.
Power BI Mobile Apps − 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.
Power BI Service − This is a cloud service (https://app.powerbi.com/) and is used to publish Power BI reports and data visualizations.
Power BI dashboards – Dashboards are a feature of the Power BI service. You can create personalized dashboards to monitor your 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.
Benefits of Power BI
- More real-time dashboard updates
- Has Pre-built dashboards (Content Packs) for popular SaaS solutions
- Secure connectivity to all data sources, dashboards, reports etc.
- Quick Insights feature that helps smart data exploration using natural language query (Q&A)
- Easy integration with familiar Microsoft products and utilizes the cloud for scale & availability (i.e. Azure)
- Fast deployment, hybrid configuration, secure, and integrated with your IT systems.
- R (Machine Learning Language) integration to leverage everything that R can do, such as prediction, clustering, association rules, and decision trees. R custom visuals allow users to apply the power of R without writing one line of R code
- DAX (Data Analysis Expressions) is a formula expression language and can be used in different BI and visualization tools. DAX expression is very much like EXCEL formula expression