Why Should You Familiarise Yourself with Power BI

Why Should You Familiarise Yourself with Power BI

Microsoft Power BI is an application created by Microsoft to allow individuals or organisations to aggregate, analyse and visualise data that is easily understood. It is built for non-technical business users and has a simple user interface and easy to use tools. However, no matter how simple the interface is, it is a powerful and intuitive tool that can use data from multiple sources to create brilliant visuals and reports that can be shared to other stakeholders.Being made by Microsoft, it is easy to use for those who are familiar with Excel and offers integration with other products of Microsoft making it a versatile tool that requires little training. Even so, there are multiple Power BI courses that will enable users to utilize the software to its full potential.

There are different versions of Power BI including a free version meant for small to midsize businesses with a 1GB cap and a professional version called Power BI Plus available for a monthly subscription fee with unlimited access to all its functions. It is also available in multiple platforms which include Power BI Desktop meant for PCs as well as mobile apps for windows, android and iOS devices. There is also a Power BI report server which is meant for companies which require reports data to be maintained on servers for the sake of security, privacy or both and require a different version of the software, namely Power BI Desktop for Power BI Report Server, to be used.

Power BI was initially christened Project Crescent and was bundled with SQL Server, codename Denali and was based off Excel features like Power Query, Power Pivot and Power View. In September 2013, it was renamed Power BI for Office 365 and more features were added overtime including enterprise-level data connectivity and security options. And finally, owing to the popularity and extremely positive reception, it was released as a stand-alone product in 2015.

What is Power BI used for?

Simply put, it is used to derive insights in the data of an organisation and create charts or graphs to provide visualisations of the same. It can bring together disparate data from various sources, clean them, transform them into meaningful data models and then to be shared across the organisation among other Power BI users.

These visualisations can help organisations examine various scenarios and make informed decisions based on the data. Power BI can also answer real time queries and help with forecasts and metrics within different departments of an organisation as well as provide executive insights into the functioning of the departments to the decision makers.

Who is it for?

It is a self -service tool meant for individual and businesses of any scale to bring data analytics to their employees. However, it is now more commonly used by data analysts and business intelligence professionals to create visual representation of data to be shared across the organisation. Even though that is the case, it is important to remember there is no requirement for an analytical background or any knowledge of programming to use the software. A simple Microsoft Power BI training is enough to turn even the most technologically illiterate person into a Power BI wizard.

The software is usually used to create reports and forecasts especially for sales and marketing as well as visual representations for management to keep a track on the progress or departments or individual employees. The admin portal of Power Bi allows administrators to monitor usage and track licenses.

Features of Power BI:

Constantly updated with Microsoft rolling out an update every month or so, Power BI has many timesaving features which include:

Normal language Queries which allow users to ask questions and have the software provide intuitive answers from all the data available in any form of visualisation required by the user which can then be pinned on the dashboard to be viewed every time the user logs onto the software.

Drag and drop data into the application after connecting to the data to immediately create clean and simple reports by using the many chart options available, use existing reports and modify them or build your own to suit your needs.

Content packs which are pre-built dashboards and results which can be used in connecting to data from different systems (Google, Salesforce et al.) by simply downloading and installing from the Content Packs section in Power BI and then building pre-configured reports and dashboards.

These are just some of the features of the Power BI and probably just the tip of the iceberg. Power BI is a time saving tool that has helped thousands of users spend less time creating visuals that are informative, intuitive and appealing. So, enrol for the course now and give yourself and your organization that much needed boost.

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