In this big data age, it often becomes difficult to get actionable insights from datasets due to lack of resources and proper tools. So, major tech firms are coming up with better and evolved business intelligence (BI) tools to deal with this problem. This explains why BI tools are immensely popular today. A visual representation of data also becomes necessary to get a quick idea about the metrics at a glance. Microsoft’s Power BI service can visualize a lot more than charts and do a lot of functions like asking questions and analyzing services.
What is Microsoft Power BI?
Microsoft Power BI is a self-service business analytics tool which is designed to convert business data into comprehensive visuals, systematically scrutinize data, obtain insights and finally in making business decision and strategies. The platform also helps the users to keep their business up-to-date and derive solutions through comprehensive dashboards. Power BI dashboards provide a 360-degree view of business users unifying all business data from different sources.
Initially, the tool was planned to launch as an add-in for the Microsoft ecosystem, but now it has evolved into a fully functional product. It is gaining more popularity daily because of the following features.
Advanced and Custom Visualisation
Power BI has many content packs, templates, and tools for different varieties of data services including pre-set reports and visualizations. Customisation is also possible as developers can change the default visualization and reporting tools and import new tools in the platform. It can be used to analyze data from a wide range of systems in the cloud and create dashboards and visualizations to track the targeted metrics. Users can see the content packs without having access to the database. Thus, they can see the visualizations but cannot manipulate raw data. The information dashboards can be customized to suit the need for the businesses. More visualization tools can be added by downloading from office store or creating your own using the open source Power BI Custom Visual Tool.
Secure Report Publishing
With Microsoft Power BI, users can publish their reports and visualizations directly on the internet and can easily target social media posts and emails, making them accessible to whoever may be interested in them.
The on-premises gateway can also be set up to explore data sets on the company’s own server. That way comparing website visitors with sales, or promotions with customer acquisition becomes easier.
It provides a drag-and-drop data navigation and a very exhaustive library of interactive visualizations, report creation, and fast publishing to the Power BI service.
Stories with Data
Stories are a great way to convey information and details that vary over time. The new Timeline Storyteller custom visual for Power BI makes that easier. Whether linear list times or circles, spirals, grids or custom shapes, anything can be comprehended. A chronological list or a sequence showing the duration of events is also possible. Different scale representation like logarithmic and relative can be used.
Comparing different scenario becomes easier by dragging a slider bar to show changes. A calculated measure can be added using the new parameter button to compare the ‘what-if’ scenario.
Question and Answer (Q&A) in Real-Time
The natural language features of power BI can be used to get visualizations in response to questions asked. With the questions, the way the data should be presented can also be specified. The Q&A function may be the top cited capability in achieving self-service BI.
Power BI collects and stores all the on-premise and cloud information in a single centralized location that can be accessed as required. Pre-packaged content packs can also be deployed. The system makes interaction with data fast and quick. The use of the drag-and-drop gesture helps to identify trends and natural language queries to get fast answers.
Ease of Implementation
Little assistance from IT is needed to implement Power BI. To deploy Power BI, managers simply need to create an API key and plug it into the software. No specialized technical support required. Power BI is not only for business users with large amounts of data, it can be used to visualize data for IT monitoring tools as well.
Different use cases require different levels of information in their dashboards. The Power KPI custom visualization tool helps to combine multiple report types into a single tile for a simple overview.
Data is more Accessible
Power BI can connect to 60 common software solutions that businesses already use like Spark, Hadoop and SAP, to name a few, and combine the data into a centralized dashboard. The hybrid deployment support feature allows Power BI to connect with a variety of data sources. Users don’t have to model data in their own systems before integrating it, so that data can be extracted directly from the cloud, on-premise, and hybrid systems. The system is also compatible with leading operating systems – Windows, iOS, and Android.
Without sheer build costs or extensive training, the financial benefits of implementing Power BI are apparent. It doesn’t require any capital expenditure or infrastructure support and integrates easily with the existing business ecosystem. The Basic plan of this product is available for free, while the 10GB per user-version costs only US$9.99 per user/month.
Various BI tools are gaining popularity on account of recent data explosion, but Microsoft’s Power BI stands out due to its advanced capabilities at a reasonable price. Microsoft Power BI is still in early days, but it has already occupied its position in the market. It is going through rapid advancement and will be an increasing component of Microsoft’s BI strategy.