Business Intelligence (BI) is a framework for the optimization of business processes. In recent years, advanced companies have been widely adopting it due to its numerous benefits. BI allows companies to access, review and share the insights provided by the data generated in day-to-day processes, enhancing productivity. This allows companies to reduce costs, optimize operations and gain a greater competitive advantage.
What is Power BI?
Through Power BI, Microsoft gives businesses the opportunity to gather, organize, analyze and build meaningful reports based on the data that their daily business operations generate. The end result of using Power BI is a complete 360-degree view of the business. A number of tools and features made up Power BI that provide value in a range of different areas. In this article, we will introduce you to its three most relevant tools for business.
The elements of Power BI
Power BI generally consists of three main elements:
- A Windows desktop application called Power BI Desktop.
- An online SaaS (Software as a Service) called the Power BI service.
- Power BI mobile apps for Windows, iOS and Android devices.
When used together, they allow you to create, share and consume business insights in an effective and useful way, tailored to your specific business or departmental needs.
A simple workflow starts by connecting to data sources in Power BI Desktop and building a report. You then publish that report from Power BI Desktop to the Power BI service and share it. This enables business-users in the Power BI service and on mobile devices to view and interact with the report.
The three key features of Microsoft Power BI
Now that we have explained what Power BI is and how it’s structured, we can dive deeper into the three key features of Microsoft Power BI:
- Power Query
- The first step in the BI process is gathering the data that business operations generate. Power Query makes it easy for your business to do that as it allows you to import and transform data from a variety of sources. The big advantage of Power Query is that it gives users numerous ways to connect their data, such as:
- Databases Connector: Where different databases (SQL, Oracle, BigData, etc.) can be connected.
- Microsoft Azure: As both Power BI and Azure are Microsoft products, they can easily be connected to one another.
- File connection: Finally, different files such as Excel, CSV etc. can be connected.
- Power Pivot
- The second big advantage of Power BI is its data transformation capabilities. They allow data from different sources and formats to transform and gather together, allowing it to work as one body of data.
- The Power Pivot is a very useful part of that data transformation process.. It allows you to import millions of rows of data from a number of different sources into a single Excel workbook. This proves to be quite useful as it puts all the data you have from different sources into one single and familiar format.
- Power View
- The third feature is the culmination of all the processes related to data gathering and transformation. The Power View allows you to create interactive graphs, maps, charts and other visuals that put all the pieces of your data together. Power View is available in Excel, SharePoint, SQL Server and Power BI. With it, you can create an interactive visualization that suits the specific needs of your management department’s charts. One particularly valuable visualization is map visualization. It builds into auto-picking a country, region or pin code, converting it into latitude and longitude to plot a data point on a map.
With the right support, Microsoft Power BI gives businesses the insight they need to evolve more easily and effectively. Get in touch if you would like to learn more about harnessing Power BI to support your business growth. Finally, you can also check out our other data management services and learn about our full expertise!