Bring your data to life with Power BI
Connect and visualise any data using the unified, scalable platform for self-service and enterprise business intelligence (BI) that’s easy to use and helps you gain deeper data insights.
What is Power BI?
Microsoft Power BI is a cloud-based data visualisation solution that empowers everyone in your organisation to make data-driven decisions. The solution comprises several products and services to provide an accurate single point of access to all of your business information- on any device, from anywhere.
Power BI helps you connect disparate data sets, transform and clean data and create a huge range of intelligent visualisations that simplify previously complicated and varied business data.
The application connects to a range of data sources, from basic Excel spreadsheets to large databases, as well as a multitude of cloud-based and on-premises apps. It can also integrate with Microsoft products and third-party platforms.
Who uses Power BI?
Power BI is mostly used by data analysts who create data models before distributing reports throughout the organisation.
However, Power BI is built on the foundation of Microsoft Excel. Anyone who is competent in Excel will quickly adapt to Power BI and when used correctly, the results are far more powerful than its spreadsheet counterpart.
Why Power BI?
- Easy deployment
You’ll be able to get insights quickly with an uncomplicated set up, no required training and included dashboards for services such as Google Analytics, Salesforce, and Microsoft Dynamics.
- Real-time data
Dashboards update in real time, as data is pushed or streamed in, which gives viewers the ability to solve problems and identify opportunities quickly. This is especially useful for time-sensitive data streams, for example from social media sources.
Show data trends over time in an efficient way that’s easy to understand using Power BI’s Timeline Storyteller. This tool allows users to customise and visualise a history, or timeline of data to recognise any growth trends or fluctuations in demand.
- Vast volumes
Businesses can input huge quantities of data into Power BI that many other platforms would struggle to process.
- Multiple sources
Using powerful compression algorithms to import and cache the data within the files, Power BI can access vast volumes of data from multiple sources and pull results into one dashboard and/or report.
- Artificial intelligence
Built-in machine learning features can analyse data and help users spot valuable trends and make educated predictions Power BI users can access image recognition and text analytics, create machine learning models, and integrate with Azure Machine Learning.
- Permission driven
Report creators can set up row-level security (RLS) access filters to ensure that viewers only see data relevant to them, mitigating the risk of people seeing data that they should not have access to.
Powerful personalisation capabilities allows you to change the appearance of default visualisation and reporting tools. Company branding can be added to further personalise the reports.
Power BI is integrable with many popular business apps including SharePoint, Office 365 and Dynamics 365, as well as non-Microsoft products such as Google Analytics, SAP, Salesforce, Facebook and MailChimp.
Alerts can be set up on KPIs to keep users up to date on important metrics and measurements.
What versions of Power BI are available?
There are a handful of versions of Power BI to choose from, depending on your budget, needs and how you want to deploy it. These versions range from light use to comprehensive features and from free to premium, so businesses can choose one which best meets their requirements.
You can opt for one of the following:
Power BI Desktop (a Windows desktop application) or Power BI Mobile (available on IOS, Android
Power BI Service is a cloud-based service (or SaaS) and licenses options include Pro and Premium, depending on the size of your business. The advanced features of Power BI Service allow users to share and collaborate on reports and dashboards. Different permission sets are available, meaning users can decide who can view reports in Reading view and who can edit using Editing view.
Most Power BI report designers who work on business intelligence projects use Power BI Desktop to create Power BI reports, and then use the Power BI service to collaborate and distribute their reports.
Other licensing options are available but are more suited to niche audiences, such as an on-premises and a white-label version.
What are you waiting for?
Real-time data visualisation will help you to make more informed decisions and analyse data with greater speed, efficiency and understanding.
By connecting disparate and siloed sources into one dashboard, businesses can extract powerful insights to drive faster and better business decisions.
For more information on licensing or technical support in creating clear and accurate Power BI dashboards and reports,