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Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024

Introduction to Microsoft Power BI

Leveraging ChatGPT - GenAI as a Microsoft Data Expert
Speaker
Prerita Agarwal
Data Specialist @
23 Jul, 2024 @ 01:30 PM

Introduction to Microsoft Power BI

Microsoft Power BI (Business Intelligence) is a platform offered by Microsoft to support the tasks requiring interpretation and communication of the data from customers and employees. It is a software suite and a collection of various software services, applications and connectors to provide facilities for turning raw and unstructured data into coherent sources of information. It offers ease of access to different data sources and the ability to share that data with everyone.

Source: Link

Components of Microsoft Power BI

Let us discuss the components of Microsoft Power BI and their respective uses.

  1. Power Query - This service is used for accessing, searching and transforming data from various sources.
  2. Power Pivot - This service is used for modelling data collected from the in-memory data and using it for analytics.
  3. Power View - The viewing service is used for graphically representing data through visualization and further using it for analytics.
  4. Power Map - Geospatial Data and Information in a three-dimensional map model are visualized using this service and are used to prepare reports based on it.
  5. Power BI Desktop - It is a collective service used for importing data, preparing it and transforming the data for creating reports using visualization.
  6. Power BI Website - This service is used for sharing and viewing applications or solutions. It is also used for making dashboards.
  7. Power Service - It allows the sharing of workbooks as well as data views, after updating data at continuous intervals with others. 
  8. Power Q&A - It allows users to search for data and discover various insights from it by using natural language for entering the queries.
  9. Power BI Mobile Applications - This service facilitates the view and interaction of users with the reports and dashboards developed using the Microsoft Power BI tools and services.
  10. Data Management Gateway - This part of the suite manages the data and is responsible for periodically refreshing it and supports data feed viewing and table exposing. 
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Microsoft Power BI Architecture

Now, let us understand the architecture of the Microsoft Power BI suite.

The architecture of the Power BI platform is divided into three parts for supporting efficient use of each component and ease of use for its users. The three parts of the architecture are discussed below.

Data Integration

This section of the architecture is responsible for importing data from different data sources into different formats. The data is extracted from various sources and converted into a standard format for processing. After its integration, the data is stored in common storage areas known as the staging area from where it is directly accessible for use.

Data Processing

After the integration of the data, Microsoft Power BI processes the raw data using multiple cleansing and processing operations. Transformation of the data includes removing redundant data, structuring the data, etc. Afterwards, business rules are applied to the data to transform it according to the needs of the business and the modified data is loaded into the data warehouses. Hence, the process of ETL is completed in this way.

Data Presentation

In the final phase, the transformed data is moved to various Power BI services such as Power BI Desktop, Power BI view and query to create reports, dashboards and scorecards. Then, the suite offers multiple services for customizing the visualizations of the data and the generated reports are shared according to the needs and requests of the users.

Source: Link

Advantages of Microsoft Power BI

There are multiple advantages of using the Power BI platform and to name a few, we have discussed them as follows:

  1. It supports real-time analysis by storing the data and updating the data on a continuous basis.
  2. It offers customized visualizations for presenting the data in a visually appealing manner to provide coherent information.
  3. The quick insights feature allows the users to quickly search information throughout the databases.
  4. Data connections whether live or non-live, can be established efficiently through data gateways.
  5. Other services such as SSAS, Microsoft Excel, etc., can be easily integrated through Power BI.

Features of Microsoft Power BI

The diagram below shows the different features of the Power BI platform.

Source: Link

Additionally, Microsoft Power BI provides good support for datasets, including shared datasets, and efficiently composed reports and dashboards. With the presence of these powerful features, Power BI is greatly acknowledged for use in Business Intelligence tasks and related applications.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who are the different users of Power BI?

Analysts, business users, IT professionals and developers are the major users of Power BI platform.

What are the pricing categories associated with Microsoft Power BI services?

The Basic version of Power BI is free of cost and Power BI Pro and Power BI Premium are the services that charge its users according to the additional features. Generally, the price of Power BI Pro is $9.99 per user per month and Power BI Premium is $4995 per month.

What are the commonly used sources from where data can be imported/ accessed using Power BI?

The most common sources of data are files including excel files, JSON files, databases, Power BI datasets, Azure, online services and other scripts.

Conclusion

In this blog, we discussed the Microsoft Power BI suite and its services. Then we also discussed the features and advantages of Power BI along with its architecture and components. 

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Topics covered
1.
Introduction to Microsoft Power BI
2.
Components of Microsoft Power BI
3.
Microsoft Power BI Architecture
3.1.
Data Integration
3.2.
Data Processing
3.3.
Data Presentation
4.
Advantages of Microsoft Power BI
5.
Features of Microsoft Power BI
6.
Frequently Asked Questions
6.1.
Who are the different users of Power BI?
6.2.
What are the pricing categories associated with Microsoft Power BI services?
6.3.
What are the commonly used sources from where data can be imported/ accessed using Power BI?
7.
Conclusion