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Introduction to Power BI

  • Rafat
  • December 16, 2021

In this article, we will understand what Microsoft Power BI is all about and why people prefer to use it. Before we go into Power BI, let us first understand what BI (business intelligence) is all about. I intend to write a few more articles on how to use it, which will basically be like creating a power bi online course in the form of articles.

Business Intelligence (BI)

Business intelligence is the technical infrastructure that aids in the collection, storage, and analysis of data generated by business operations. It parses data and generates reports and statistics that help in decision-making. Businesses that want to make greater use of their data seek for BI solutions. BI is descriptive in nature; it informs you what is going on now and what has happened in the past. Because of that, we are able to derive insights from it. BI essentially seeks to provide executives with honest evaluations of the present condition of events. To sum up, it brings together business analytics, data mining, data visualization, and other tools and infrastructure. These activities/tools assist the management in making more data-driven decisions. In fact, reporting, benchmarking, statistical analysis, and data preparation are just a few of the activities that fall within the umbrella of business intelligence.

Microsoft Power BI

According to Microsoft, “Power BI is a collection of software services, apps, and connectors that work together to turn your unrelated sources of data into coherent, visually immersive, and interactive insights.

In other words, MS Power BI is an application that analyses and visualizes unstructured data in order to convert it into meaningful data.

Power Bi online course
Power BI

The following are some Power BI Tools:

  • Service: Users can browse dashboards, reports, and Power BI apps via the Power BI Service.
  • Apps: Power BI applications connect relevant dashboards through a web browser or mobile app for Windows, iOS, and Android.
  • Desktop: Power BI Desktop, on the other hand, is a free data analysis software that one can download and install on a Windows computer. You can use this tool to make charts and graphs, model data, and produce reports, among other things. It can link to over 70 on-premises and cloud data sources to generate various visualizations. In fact, any report that one generates on this platform is easily accessible and made available to the Power BI Service.
  • Data Gateway: Power BI Data Gateway serves as a point of intersection between the Power BI Service and on-premise data sources such as Direct Query, Import, and Live Query.
  • Report Server: The IT team manages the Power BI Report Server, which tends to update every four months and contains paginated reports, KPIs, Power BI Desktop and mobile reports.

Why do people prefer Power BI?

In certain areas, we will compare Power BI to Excel since they fulfil the same or similar functions.

The following are top three reasons why most people prefer to use Power BI:

  • User-Friendly and Straightforward: Power BI is an incredibly user-friendly and simple to use.
  • Processing speed: Several people consider Power BI to function faster than Excel. In terms of comparing tables or data files, it is also a more sophisticated tool than Excel.
  • Interactive Visualizations: Power BI provides outstanding graphics as well as aesthetically appealing and interactive dashboards that deliver a comprehensive picture of a company’s performance. Its dashboards are more interactive and customizable than Excel’s.

More Reasons

The following are some more reasons why most people prefer to use Power BI:

  • Covers a variety of data sources: Power BI supports the majority of Tableau’s data sources. Tableau is a visualization software that a data analyst frequently uses in business intelligence.
  • Integrated with Microsoft Office 365: Power BI is tightly linked with Office 365, allowing it to connect to SharePoint. MS Power BI’s inventors have previously claimed how their software can be integrated into any software ecosystem.
  • Information Storage: Power BI saves all local data and information in the cloud in one central location that one can view at any time and from any location. It provides unrestricted access to both on-premises and cloud data.
  • Data Modelling: Data modelling is the process of investigating data items and their connections to other things, and Power BI offers powerful data modelling capabilities. This enables you to do specific computations on existing tables, the results of which will be directly visible in Power BI visualizations.
  • Security and Safety: According to Microsoft, “Data protection capabilities in Power BI build on Microsoft’s strengths in security and enable customers to empower every user with Power BI and better protect their data no matter how or where it is accessed.” Power BI is both safe and legal. Every single data that you store on Power BI is safeguarded by default with Microsoft-managed keys. It protects data by offering complex access controls both within and outside.


The following are some terms you should be familiar with before getting into Power BI:

  • Dataset: A dataset is just a gathering or collection of data. It is a set of numbers or figures that make reference to a specific subject. A data set is, for example, the height and weight of each student in a particular class.
  • Visualization: The graphical representation of data is what we consider visualization. We can display data in the form of charts, graphs, and so on.
  • Report: A report made on Power BI is a collection of one or more pages of visualizations that one can build using datasets and then load into a dashboard.
  • Tile: A tile is a single graphical representation of data inside a Report.
  • Dashboard: A dashboard is made up of many tiles. It represents a personalized representation of a portion of the base datasets.

Since power bi has become so important for data visualization purposes, there are many power bi online course available. However, most power bi online course are not free. Good news for you though, my next few articles will be more like a power bi online course. Therefore, stay tuned for it.