What is Microsoft Power BI & How Can It Help My Business?

Posted by Daniel Cohen-Dumani on January 25, 2017

what is microsoft power bi? “Business intelligence” and “big data” are some of the latest buzzwords appearing in the top trends for 2017. By now, your company may even be exploring new business intelligence solutions – like Microsoft Power BI.

But what is Power BI? What’s the difference between Power BI on premise and other solutions? And how can Power BI help your business?

In this brief primer, we’ll share what professionals need to know about one of the top business intelligence solutions...

What is Microsoft Power BI?

As mentioned, business intelligence (BI) is one of the top trends for 2017. Soon, every function – from sales to management to HR – will need to be familiar with Power BI because they will have to use it daily.

Business analytics platforms enable companies to join data from disparate systems, analyze data through visually stunning dashboards, and easily share insights with colleagues and executives. It brings the power of big data to everyone through easy-to-understand visualizations.

Microsoft Power BI is one of the leading BI solutions. Its ease-of-use and high reconfigurability give it flexibility and accessibility. This makes it ideal for organizations looking to quickly implement BI without sacrificing key features.

How Power BI Works

Microsoft Power BI uses datasets which you import or connect to. For example, customer data, sales data, and internal supply chain data can all be connected to Power BI. The software comes in both on-premise and cloud service options, giving your organization flexibility.

This data is used to create reports. A report is a page or more of data visualizations – tables, charts, graphs, etc.  Since each dataset can be reused, the same data can appear on multiple reports.

This gives users the data they need across functions. It also enables reports to visually display multiple sets of data as needed. Users can refresh, explore, and reuse data according to the permissions set by administrators.

Ready to join disparate data, visualize it, and glean transformational insights? Click here to contact us and we'll build you a custom Power BI dashboard, absolutely free.

Power BI Services & Features

Power BI’s robust analytics suite gives users the ability to create powerful, insightful dashboards and reports. Microsoft uses several key components to flexibly meet your specific business needs:

  • Power BI Gateway: Acts as the central core for Power BI, delivering reports and visualizations to users while helping keep database access controlled and secure.
  • Power BI Mobile: Enables users to view their reports in real-time on their tablets or smartphones. This ensures users are always connected to the data that matters to them.
  • Power BI Desktop: Lets analysts create reports, explore data connections, and add more data sources. It also allows users to publish reports and data into easily shareable docs.

What Can Power BI On Premise Do?

All these features are great, but is Power BI available on-premises?

While at the time Power BI cannot be used as a private, internal cloud service, it does offer flexibility to organizations who work primarily on-premise. Power BI and Power BI Desktop allows you to connect your on-premise data sources securely. As Microsoft continues to roll out more and more features, I expect its functionality on-premise to grow.

How Power BI Help Your Business

If your business is still using spreadsheets, email, and database files to share data, then Power BI is for you.

Power BI joins all your data from disparate systems (including SharePoint, Google Analytics, Azure, Marketo, Facebook, Quickbooks, and much more) into a centralized home for your data. This allows everyone in your organization to focus on metrics important to them.

Power BI’s drag and drop UX lets you quickly find the insights you need and visualize them. Employees at every level can now:

  • Identify trends
  • Maximize profitability
  • Make smarter decisions
  • Pick out business opportunities easier
  • Anticipate and overcome challenges earlier

Since harnessing big data will be critical for businesses to remain competitive in 2017, a business intelligence solution like Power BI is essential. The cost and time-saving benefits, as well as the ability to identify new opportunities, make the difference between growing or losing market share.

How Portal Solutions Can Help You

Now that you can answer the question, “What is Microsoft Power BI?” you may be ready for your business to reap the benefits. As a Power BI partner, Portal Solutions’ team of consultants have the knowledge and experience to take your business analytics to the next level.

Our team can help strategically plan, design, and develop visually stunning, data-driven dashboards. We’re also able to provide continuous support and training so your business can always leverage the latest Power BI features.

Now, you can try Power BI for yourself for free. Contact us today and see how your organization can get a free, customized dashboard that will reveal the insights for you.

Topics: Power BI, Microsoft

Daniel Cohen-Dumani

Daniel Cohen-Dumani is the founder and CEO of Portal Solutions. He has more than 20 years of experience in the field of computer science and software development. He is a frequent speaker at SharePoint conferences and user groups, and a recognized SharePoint and Office 365 subject matter expert.

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