Power BI | A Complete Guide on Introduction to Power BI

Introduction

Power BI– Welcome to Techntop’ s It tutorial. Before we start the journey of learning the new business intelligence technology called Microsoft It, we need to learn some basics about it. In this introductory tutorial on Microsoft It, we will give you interesting information and ideas about this business intelligence technology. We request that you take some time to explore this in depth, as it will serve as a building block for learning It technology.

We can confidently assume that not many of you here are unaware of business intelligence and data visualization. Especially in today’s world, where data is the robin of all businesses and organizations. And without this Robin, Batman does not exist! Data is a treasure trove of valuable insights and information that those who run a business use to make timely, effective and profitable decisions.

“Business intelligence is about providing the right data at the right time to the right people so they can make the right decisions.”

– Nick Smith of Microsoft BI Solutions Marketing

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Power BI Walkthrough

Before we dive into the introduction to It, let’s take a quick look at business intelligence (BI). It refers to taking raw data from a data source, converting it into usable data, and using it to make informative reports and graphs for data analysis.

The graphical representation of tabular data is known as data visualization. It allows the user to visualize important information through charts, graphs, KPIs, maps, etc. For valuable information just by looking at it. Well, Microsoft It is a tool with business intelligence and data visualization capabilities.

Before we embark on this journey of learning the new business intelligence technology called Microsoft It, we need to learn some basics about it. We urge you to take some time and fully explore this It tutorial, as it will serve as a building block for learning It technology.

What is Power BI ?

It is Microsoft’s cloud-based business intelligence and analytics service. It is a suite of business intelligence and data visualization tools such as software services, applications, and data connectors. We can use imported datasets in It to visualize and analyze data by creating shareable reports, dashboards, and apps. It is an easy-to-use tool that offers great drag-and-drop and self-service capabilities.

Microsoft offers three types of It platforms:

  • It Desktop (desktop app)
  • It (SaaS i.e. Software as a Service) service
  • It Mobile (for iOS and Android)
  • In addition, we can implement It on both on-premises and cloud platforms.

In the image below, take a look at the process flow in It.

Process flow of power BI

Why Power BI?

As we learned in the previous section of the It tutorial, It is an umbrella term that has several different types of services under its umbrella.

  • There is a cloud-based BI service called It Services that is used to display and share dashboards.
    A desktop-based reporting interface known as It Desktop.
  • Another useful service is It Embedded which runs on Azure cloud platform and we can use it for reporting, ETL and data analysis.
  • Also, let’s discuss some points about why It is such an important tool today and why we need it.

Real-time analytics can be done in It by creating direct connections to data sources. Also, it preserves the data till the last second with Data Refresh.

You can use custom visuals from custom gallery. Custom images are divided into many options and categories.
Quickly find important information and data sets within your data with the Quick Info option.

Create a direct or indirect connection to local data sources such as SQL Server and use a secure channel to access data through data gateways. This makes It enterprise-ready, because on-premises connections make data transmission secure and the technology scalable and reliable.

You can connect to other services through It, such as SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS), Microsoft Excel, etc.

It is a new modern software that uses the latest technologies such as HTML 5.0, column storage databases, cloud computing, mobile applications, etc. This helps keep It ahead and popular as it is constantly updated with the latest features.

History

It is a Microsoft product that was initially released on July 11, 2011. It was originally designed and created by Ron George in 2010 who released it under the name “Project Crescent”. Later, in September 2013, Microsoft changed the name to Power BI and released it to the public.

This version was Power BI for Office 365 and had add-ins for Microsoft Excel, Power Pivot, Power View, and Power Query. In the newer versions, Microsoft has added advanced features such as natural language questions and answers, enterprise-grade data connectivity and security, power data gateways, etc.

Power BI’s first public release was on July 24, 2015. As of 2019, Power BI has been officially announced as a Top BI Tool by the 2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Analytics and Intelligence Platform.

Features

  • Beautiful visualizations/custom visuals
  • GetData (Data Sources) / Data Connections
  • datasets
  • boards
  • filters
  • Ad hoc analysis
  • Custom Reports / Reports
  • direction indicators
  • Online Analytical Processing (OLAP)
  • Navigation pane
  • Natural language question and answer box
  • DAX functions and formula
  • Office 365 app launcher
  • Content packages
    Interactive reports
  • You should go through these features in detail in our separate tutorial on Power BI features.

Power BI components

Power BI is a data mining and business intelligence software suite that is a collection of different types of Microsoft services. These services play a specific role and work in concert with each other so that Power BI works as a whole. In this section of the Power BI tutorial, we will learn about each of the Power BI services or components and their functions.

Power Query: We use this service to access, search, and transform data from public or local/internal data sources.
Power Pivot – This service provides tools to design data taken from an in-memory data source for use in analysis.
Power View – This service contains many tools to visualize data graphically and use it for analysis.

Power Map: Comes with the tools and capabilities to display geospatial data or 3D model information on a map. You can use these maps in a Power BI report. Power BI Desktop – is a companion development tool for Power View, Power Query, and Power Pivot. You can import data from a data source, prepare and transform it, and use it in visualizations to create reports in Power BI Desktop.

Power BI website: This is a web-based platform for displaying and sharing Power BI applications or solutions. With the Power BI website, you can create dashboards from reports, share dashboards with other Power BI users, and segment data within a report.
Power Service – The Power Service allows you to share workbooks and data views with other users. Data is updated at regular intervals from on-premises or cloud-based data sources.

Power Q&A: With the Power Q&A option, you can search your data or discover information by entering natural language queries. It instantly understands your query and displays relevant results.

Mobile apps: Business users view and interact with reports and dashboards published in a cloud service through it instances hosted on mobile devices. Android, Windows, and iOS mobile devices are supported by Power BI mobile apps.
Data Catalog – The Data Catalog option provides the ability to search and reuse queries.
Data Management Gateway – This component manages regular data updates, data source view, and table view.
Power BI architecture

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