Microsoft’s Power BI is a cloud based business-analytics and intelligence software, that allows end users to create visually appealing and dynamic reports on top of existing data sets. Power BI’s deep integration with the rest of the O365 suite make it a really powerful tool for users that are already immersed in the Microsoft suite. The goal of Power BI is to help organizations find insights within their data, by giving the end user a powerful set of tools to transform and clean disparate data sets and the visualization tools to track KPI’s carefully.
Advantages of Power BI
- Power BI has a powerful compression engine that allows you to view large files with ease.
- Power Query Editor provides immense data cleansing abilities that allow you to easily format and clean your data.
- The Natural Language Query feature allows you to ask a question of your data in plain English.
- With personalized dashboards, Power BI allows each individual user to quickly view the data that is important to them.
- Row level security features allow you to easily restrict individual lines of data to be viewed by certain users.
- Dashboards and reports, provide data in real time allowing you to constantly stay on top of whats important to you.
Power BI Desktop vs Power BI Service
Power BI is divided into two essential services, Power BI Desktop and the Power BI Service. Power BI Desktop, is a desktop application that allows users to connect to data and build a data model. The Power BI Service is a cloud based service for editing very light reports and sharing and collaborating between teams inside organizations. Inside of the Power BI Service, Modeling is a little more limited, which is why most individuals use the Power BI Desktop for report building and the Power BI Service to share out the reports between teams. For context, Microsoft describes the differences this way: