Why you should use Microsoft Power BI
Power BI is a suite of products and services aimed at providing individuals and teams with business intelligence (BI), reporting, and data visualization. As well as streamlined publishing and distribution capabilities, Power BI integrates easily with other Microsoft products and services. Is Power BI right for you?
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Power BI allows you to visualize and share your data across your organization or embed it into your app or website, according to Microsoft. The solution consists of several products and services whose value comes from leveraging the individual pieces and taking advantage of their interplay.
Does your organization need Microsoft Power BI? How do you know? Here are seven reasons to consider Power BI – and one reason you might want to consider another option:
- This is a quick start. With an easy setup, no training required, and dashboards for services like Salesforce, Google Analytics, and Microsoft Dynamics, you’ll be able to gain insight quickly.
- Streamlining publication and distribution. By uploading reports and visualizations to the Power BI service, analysts no longer need to email large files or place them on a shared drive. Their data will be refreshed whenever the underlying dataset is updated.
- A real-time feed of information. Data on the dashboard is updated in real time as it is pushed or streamed in, so viewers can pinpoint problems and identify opportunities more quickly. Data and visuals can be displayed and updated in real-time in any report or dashboard. Data from streaming sources can come from factory sensors, social media sources, or anywhere that time-sensitive data can be collected or transmitted.
- Power BI app navigation can be customized. A feature called “app navigation experiences” enables report developers to customize navigation so viewers can find information quickly and understand the relationship between different reports and dashboards.
- Customization of security features. A report developer can set up row-level security filters (RLS) to limit viewing to data that is relevant to them, reducing the risk that someone might see data they shouldn’t.
- Integrating Cortana. Using Microsoft’s digital assistant, Cortana, users can access charts and graphs using natural language by asking questions to Cortana. Users with mobile devices will find this particularly useful.
- AI (Artificial Intelligence). The Power BI system supports image recognition as well as text analytics, machine learning models, and integration with Azure Machine Learning.
So, why would you choose not to use Power BI? Although Power BI online services – including Pro and Premium – can be accessed through any browser, the Power BI desktop software is not available for Linux or Mac. Microsoft Power BI Desktop is not appropriate if you work on a Mac exclusively. You can click here for more information.
Power BI requires you to replicate data from all of your sources into a data warehouse before you can analyze it. With an ETL tool, you can replicate data from all your sources into a cloud-based database, such as Microsoft’s Azure Synapse, to get a holistic picture of your business.