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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 on Business Intelligence. So, let us have a glimpse on BI and its importance.

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?

Business Intelligence is a key function to smart decision-making in an organization. BI plays a strategic role in planning and decision-making, so as to enable organizations to take the right decisions to drive specific goals and growth. It allows organizations to act quickly on internal and external trends 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.

Why Do We Need Business Intelligence

Why Do We Need Power BI?

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.

Why Do We Need Power BI

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How Did Power BI Came into Existence?

For a successful growth of an organization, it is important to make 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.

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.

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.

Working of 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. There are two ways to connect your data, 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 case of Excel Online.

  • 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, you are going to add some functions, calculations, relationships, measures, etc. 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.

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  • 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 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.

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:

  • Microsoft
  • Oracle
  • IBM
  • Tableau Software
  • SAP
  • Dell
  • Wipro


In this session, we learned that 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 about 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 about the Building blocks of Power BI in the next session.

Table of Content

Components of Power BI

Power BI Key Components

Let us have a glimpse of these components: Power Query Power Pivot Power View Power Map Power Q&A Power BI Desktop Power BI Website Power BI Mobile Apps Let us discuss these components in detail: Power Query Power Query is one of the important components of Power BI. This can be included in your Excel or Read More

Installation of Power BI

Power BI Installation in windows

To install any software, we need to know the system requirements. Similarly, to install Power BI, we need to have the following system specifications: Microsoft Power BI Desktop is available for Windows 10, 7, 8, 8.1, for both 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x64) platforms. It is also available for Windows Server 2008 R2, 2012, 2012 Read More


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