What is Power BI? Introduction to Power BI

What is Power BI
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For grasping the actual data out of the raw form information, the help of some tools and techniques is required through which the raw data is transformed into a usable form that anyone can easily read and understand. For data transformation one such tool is being used in the digital market popularly known as Power BI.

Power BI can be defined as a collection of several apps, software services, connectors that work together to transform the raw and irrelevant data from various sources into a usable and very simple form that is coherent and interactive from users’ insights. The information may be in any form such as Excel spreadsheets, any data from cloud-based services, or any other source such as data warehouses. Power BI is used to collect data from sources, visualize and define what is correct and important, then share it with anyone and everyone you want. If you have completed a Business Analytics with Excel for beginners free course, then it’s time to learn about Power BI.

There are various parts or elements of Power BI that assemble to work together. The basic elements are:

  • Power BI Desktop is a windows desktop application.
  • The online Software as a service (SaaS) is known as the Power BI service.
  • The apps for Windows, iOS and Android devices are called Power BI mobile apps.

The above-mentioned elements are designed to create,  share and utilize business circumstances that serve you relevant to your need.

Apart from the above elements, Power BI has other elements that are :

  • Power BI Report Builder is used for creating paginated reports that are shared in the Power BI service. The reports are called paginated as they are designed to be fit in a page well.
  • Power BI Report Server is used to publish all Power BI reports which are created on the Power BI desktop.

In other words,  Power BI is one such tool used for data visualization and analysis by creating sharable reports, apps, graphs, and dashboards. Power BI is a user-friendly tool that offers drop and drag features and has self-service capability. On Power BI a user can deploy on both on-cloud and on-premise platforms.

Power BI features

There are many tools available for data analysis and visualizations in the market but Power BI is having its popularity due to many features embedded with it such as you can work with Power BI and several other data sources including Excel,  SQL,  JSON,  Text/CSV, IBM DB2, Server Databases,  MySQL, etc. It performs very fast when dealing with a smaller volume of data. An interface based on Microsoft Office 365 is provided by Power BI that is user-friendly and easy to understand. It also supports DAX i.e Data Analysis Expression functions and measures. Power BI functions are integrated into the Microsoft Azure cloud platform.

Advantages of Power BI

Let us have a look at the essential benefits of Power BI which make it a very popular and successful tool among other tools available in the marketplace. They are as follows :


The first and foremost advantage of using the Power BI tool is that it is very affordable and relatively at low expenses for performing data visualization and analysis over any other tool available in the market.

The Power BI desktop version is available for free, you can download it and start using it, preparing different reports and dashboards. The more services of Power BI can be made available by publishing your dashboard and reports on the cloud. You may also go for the Power BI cloud solution services for just $9.99 per month per user. Power BI is a cost-effective tool available.

Customized visualization

Power BI is one such tool that offers a wide range of customized visualizations i.e any visualization made on the specific use by the developers. Many custom visuals are present in the Microsoft marketplace, in addition to this general visualization you may proceed to use the Power BI tool for custom visualizations for preparing your reports and dashboards. A variety of ranges are available including charts, maps, R script visuals, graphs, KPIs, etc. That is offered in custom visualizations by Power BI.

Connectivity of Data

Another one of the most important benefits of Power BI is that it allows importing data for the analysis from various sources having different data. Power BI allows you to connect to various data files (such as JSON,  XML, etc),  SQL server databases,  Azure sources,  Microsoft Excel, different online sources such as social media or Google, and cloud-based sources. Apart from this connection of data it also operates by gathering Big Data information directly and works for this and produces different analytics and reports simultaneously.

Embedded Power BI

There is a big advantage with Power BI that it can be used and various reports and dashboards are prepared which then could be embedded by the developers and include these reports to the various sources and can be attached to the emails or different websites to increase the reach of users.

Interactive visualizations

Compared to any other data visualization tool, Power BI has features such as intuitive, attractive, and very interactive visualizations and hence can easily be used or it has a user-friendly format. It has a drag-and-drop function which makes it easy to modify the visualizations. Many filters can be applied and selections are made for the visualizations by using the Power BI tool.

Data Accessibility

The data used in Power BI is collected through various data sources and the data sets for designing the analytical reports can be accessed easily. The data from various data sources and stored at data warehouses all together work with the data at a centralized system location. The data has access by you from anywhere and everywhere through any of the platforms as many times you want.


After going through all elements, features, and advantages in the above discussion of Power BI we came to the conclusion that it is a great tool for data visualizations and data analysis amongst many other tools in the market. Power BI is exponentially a powerful business intelligence tool. This article deals with the introduction of Power BI for the user who wants some knowledge about this visualizations and analyzing tool. Here we have introduced various elements so that you can understand the functionality of the Power BI tool easily. For better data analysis and data visualizations, you might learn the basics of using Power BI tools by starting working with the free version of Power BI desktop available in the marketplace.

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