Power Bi an Overview for Beginners

By Web Desk May 16 2020 3:06PM

Power BI is a business intelligence and data visualization tool from Microsoft that was conceptualized by Ruler and Dhers Netz of the SQL server coverage services team in 2010. The version designed by Ron George in 2010 was named Project Crescent and later it was renamed to Power BI. Normally, Power BI is a collection of software services, apps, and connectors that works together. This platform enables non-technical business users to aggregate, analyze, visualize and share information.

The power BI tool can be connected to hundreds of data sources and users can create real-time updating dashboards and reports. 

With the Power BI platform, users can convert unrelated sources of data into coherent, visually immersive, and interactive insights. The users require little upfront training to begin with this versatile self-service tool and once they are familiar they can visualize and share information effectively. Microsoft Power BI tool is commonly used by professionals like data scientists, IT professionals, developers & database administrators, data analysts, etc… 

Free and professional versions of the Power BI tool is available. The important elements of Power BI are Power BI Desktop, Power BI service, Power BI Mobile, and Power BI Report Server. The Power BI Desktop is a free windows desktop application that is downloaded to access different data sources and to visualize the data.

This visualized data is published on the Power BI service, which is an online Saas service. Authorized users can view data published from the desktop application on this Power BI service. The native apps for Windows, iOS and Android devices that enables users to view data real-time from anywhere is Power BI Mobile. Unlike from the mentioned three elements, that are designed for creating, consuming and sharing business insights, the fourth element Power BI Report Server publishes Power BI reports to an on-premises report server.

The Power BI architecture contains three important stages that include data integration, data processing, and data presentation. The data will be extracted from different sources and the integration of these data into one common format is data integration. Data processing is the stage before visualization, the integrated data will be processed to eliminate redundant values, missing values, etc… The last stage of Power BI architecture is data presentation, in this stage, the processed data is visualized into interactive dashboards and BI reports. 

Benefits of Power BI

Power BI, the cloud-based business intelligence platform is popularly used by professionals to create an attractive range of visualizations(in dashboards and reports) such as bar charts, waterfall charts, pie charts, treemap charts, and more. This is a user-friendly tool with drag-and-drop features and self-service capabilities. The Power BI tool can import data from local databases/data sources, cloud-based data sources, big data sources, simple Excel files, and other hybrid sources. Other features of Power BI is listed below.


  • Secure data democratization
  • Can access image recognition and text analytics
  • Unparalleled Excel integration
  • Stream analytics in real-time
  • Increase collaboration between team members
  • Hybrid deployment support 
  • Allows users to verbally query data
  • Customizable
  • Provide a secure and reliable connection to data sources 
  • No memory and speed constraints

The major drawbacks of the Power BI tool include its limitation to accept Zip files and files larger than 250MB. Also, files can be shared in the Power BI platform only between users having the same email domains. 


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