What is Power BI?
Microsoft Power BI is a tool that converts data from various data sources to interactive BI reports and dashboards. In the Power BI tutorial, you can quickly connect your data, wrap it, visualize your data as you need, and share it on sites securely.
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What Is Business Intelligence?
Before we learn in-depth about Power BI and concepts in Power BI, it is better to have some basic knowledge of Business Intelligence. So, let us have a glimpse of BI and its importance. Power bi tutorials will help you to learn all these important topics.
Business Intelligence is a collection of methods and tools to analyze raw data accumulated in various organizations. It refers to strategies and methods used by a company for performing data analysis of any business information. The BI tool works on ETL processes, i.e., extraction, transformation, and loading data into a database which also includes data mining, online analytical processing, and business reporting. Most of the organizations use this BI tool to improve their company’s performance and operations efficiently.
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Why Do We Need Business Intelligence?
Power BI tutorial will Business Intelligence plays a key role to smart decision-making in an organization. BI plays a strategic role in planning and decision-making, so as to enable organizations to make the right decisions to drive specific goals and growth.
Power BI allows organizations to act quickly and make timely data-driven decisions. The main goal of BI is to analyze a company’s raw information to make better decisions based on that data. Microsoft Power BI is one of the BI tools which convert the data from various data sources to interactive BI reports and dashboards.
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Why Do We Need Power BI?
This power bi desktop tutorial will give a clear idea of power bi’s need, Power BI provides an interactive visualization of data with self-service BI capabilities. With Power BI, end users can create their own interactive BI reports and dashboards without having to depend on information technology staff, database administrators, or others. Most of the organizations use Power BI as their business analytics solution.
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How Did Power BI Come into Existence?
For the successful growth of an organization, it is important to make the right business decisions based on the data presented. It is necessary to fetch relevant data and present it in an understandable format. To do this, Microsoft Power BI was designed. It turns raw data into meaningful and useful information in a short duration of time. Power bi tutorial will help you to understand the existence of power bi.
This application was originally designed by Ron George and he named the project as Crescent. Later on, it was accepted by Thierry D’Hers and Amir Netz of the SQL Server Reporting Services team at Microsoft and was renamed to Power BI. It was then disclosed by Microsoft in September 2013 as Power BI for Office 365. It was first released to the general public on July 24, 2015.
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Power BI Tools
Next in this Power BI tutorial are some of the essential Power BI tools:
Power BI Desktop is a free data analytics and visualization tool that allows the user to create data models, dashboards, and reports.
It’s a Software as a Service(SaaS) tool that hosts and Power BI models, dashboards, and reports. Sharing reports, administrative operations, collaboration, and cloud all happens with the help of Power BI Service. However, it’s available in the pro license, for which the user has to pay $10 every month.
Installed by BI admin, the Power BI gateway acts as a bridge between the Power BI Service and on-premises data sources like Microsoft Excel, DirectQuery, PowerApps, Azure Analysis Services, etc.
The Report Server hosts paginated reports, dashboards, Power applications, and KPIs. Here, the users can also modify existing reports created by the development team and use filters to get a customized experience.
These are the mobile applications available for Windows, iOS, and Android devices. Using Microsoft Intune, you can share reports and dashboards with other users, which they can access on their smartphones over the internet.
Working of Power BI
In power bi tutorial you will also get to know about working of power bi. In power bi, you should first connect your data to the tool, transform the data that you have uploaded, model your data as you need, visualize your data, and share the results generated by Power BI.
Connecting Your Data
You can either use Power BI Desktop or Power BI Services to connect variety of data from various data sources like MySQL Server, MySQL, Oracle, etc. we have explained two ways to connect your data in power bi tutorial for beginners, i.e., either upload your file to Power BI or import the file into Power BI.
Uploading your file to Power BI:
Connect to the data in your workbook so that you can create Power BI reports and dashboards for it.
Importing your file into Power BI:
In order to view your file, you will have to fetch it in Power BI, and you can interact with it just as you would do in the case of Excel Online.
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Transforming Your Data
Once your data is loaded, you can transform the data as per your need. You can do this by using the Transform menu. It has a set of operations like reverse rows, count rows, rename, replace values and errors, pivot and unpivot columns, etc.
Modeling Your Data
In this power bi desktop tutorial, you will learn to add some functions, calculations, relationships, measures, etc in this section of working of power bi. to your data for better visualization and analytics so that it can be used for business insights. You can even write a query to your files so that you can accomplish different tasks in a short duration of time.
In the Microsoft power bi tutorial, you’ll learn about data visualization. Here, you can create your reports, dashboards, etc. based on your modeled data and depending on the company’s requirement. Report creation can be done in many ways, you need to select any field you want from your CSV file or data file and then choose the tool you want to give to your data so as to generate the desired report. You can use a variety of tools and even add a custom visual gallery effectively.
Sharing the Generated Reports
You can share or publish your reports securely using Power BI Services and set up automatic data refresh. You can do this by the Publish menu. It provides near real-time analytics of trends and indicators for everyone. This Microsoft power bi tutorial for beginners will teach you to share and generate the report as well.
DAX in Power BI
Data Analysis Expression(DAX) in Power BI is a formula expression language used to create calculated fields and apply them to the dataset. DAX offers a collection of operators, functions, and constants that can be used to create formulated columns and rows for better understanding.
Data Analysis Expressions have different data types such as numeric, decimals, currency, integers, binary objects, string, etc.
Companies Using Power BI
There are many companies that use Microsoft Power BI for efficient decision-making. Computer software companies constitute the largest segment that uses Power BI. Here are some companies which use Power BI:
- Tableau Software
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Advantages of Power BI
Below are the advantages of using Power BI:
- Has a short learning curve as compared to other BI tools like a tableau
- Simple and easy-to-use interface with drag and drop features for data visualization
- Introduces new functionalities and data analysis functions almost every month
- Crowning features allow the user to create customized dashboards and meet the exact demands of an organization
- Power natural language interface lets you run database queries through voice commands
- Allows the author to connect with live data sources and provides the information to the stakeholders in real-time
Disadvantages of Power BI
Here are the disadvantages of using Power BI for Business applications:
- Reports and dashboards can only be shared with the users having the same email domains
- You cannot merge data from live connections with On-premise datasets. Instead, you have to connect all data sources with Power BI Server and publish your dashboard on the website
- Power BI only accepts the datasets of a maximum size 250Mb to its in-memory database. If the dataset is larger in size, you have to run direct queries on the database, which makes the process much slower
- Few data sources and parameters as compared to the tableau
In this power bi tutorial step by step, we learned that Microsoft Power BI is a Business Intelligence tool through which you can make creative reports and dashboards for better decision-making and the results are really fast. We also discussed Business Intelligence, it’s importance, how Power BI came into existence and it’s importance, working of Power BI and companies using Power BI. Now, let us discuss the Building blocks of Power BI in the next session
You must have come across questions related to power bi while learning about it. So, here is a few important power bi interview questions and its solutions for your reference.
If you have any doubts or queries related to BI, do a post on the BI community.