How to Make Power BI Work for You

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If you’re searching for software that will enhance your analytics process while making it simpler and more flexible, Power BI is worth looking at. It provides tools that the non-technical users on your team can use to perform analytics with minimal help from the IT team. You can create intuitive models, data visualizations, and dashboards and share them with whoever you want.

What is Power BI? -Power BI is a cloud-based analytics software service consisting of a combination of tools (i.e., visualization, self-service data analysis, etc.) that allows users to connect to multiple data sources—no matter where the data resides--- and create customized, coherent insights. It’s not exactly new since many of its components were in the market prior to its 2015 release. For instance, Microsoft released Power Pivot as an Excel add-on in 2010. This tool alone is a game changer as it gives analysts the tools to import large volumes of data, create relationships between the data, and perform powerful analysis using PivotTables and Pivot Charts. Using Power BI, you can further manipulate these datasets to perform more complex analyses.

Utilize All Components of Power BI - Power BI consists of many components. Users find some more useful than others depending on their roles in the company. To get the most out of it, you should do your best to ensure all users are informed of the capabilities of each, so everyone can decide for themselves which components are a better fit for the work they need to perform.

Power BI Desktop -A tool that combines the three main components of Power BI, Power Query, Power Pivot, and Power View into one solution. Power Query helps you extract data from various sources such as SQL Server, Oracle, CSV files, Excel files, Azure, Outlook, and even Facebook. It mashes up the data into a dataset you can load into Excel or Power Pivot model. You can use the model from Power Pivot in Power View to create interactive reports or in Power Map to create 3D geo-spatial visuals. One point to note is that sharing the reports requires publishing to the cloud-based Power BI service.

Power BI Website/Service - An online SaaS (Software as a Service) that connects to your data source and allows users to create dashboards, slice data online, and build reports and other visualizations on the website.

Power BI Mobile Apps - Using mobile apps, viewing and sharing dashboards and reports on the Power BI website is simple. The apps are available on Windows phones and tablets, as well as iOS and Android devices.

Power Q&A - It’s a question and answering engine built on top of models in Power BI. After you build your data model, users can ask questions and receive answers quickly.

Use Power BI within Excel - While it’s true you can use Power BI online as well as on the desktop, it can also be used effectively within Microsoft Excel. Three of the primary components we have discussed are add-ons within Excel, Power Query, Power Pivot, and Power View. This means you can use these tools to create reports and visualizations based on traditional Excel data.

Share Your Visualizations, Reports, & Dashboards with Anyone - You no longer have to email tons of Excel reports or build in a budget for expensive software licenses. You can easily embed live reports into any web page and share with anyone inside and outside of your organization.

There are many business intelligence solutions available today, but how many provide the value that Power BI provides at such a reasonable cost? Power Desktop is free! The Pro version is less than $10/month per user, and the premium version is based on capacity. Give your business leaders access to the analytics they need to thrive in 2019 without breaking the budget.

Dobler Consulting is a full spectrum database service with 10 years of experiencing helping companies strategize and execute workload management solutions. Dobler Consulting is a Microsoft Gold Partner and can help you plan or execute your database strategies no matter where you are in the process. For more information about how Dobler Consulting can help you manage your SQL Server, visit or call us at +1 (813) 322-3240 (US) /+1 (416) 646-0651 (Canada).