Microsoft Power BI (business intelligence) suite has powerful tools and services that enable businesses to have a deeper understanding of business data with strong data analytics and visualizations. With Power BI, data no longer sits in the large databases never to be used. Power BI integrated solutions encompass diverse data sources and visualization types.
Power BI supports a wide range of data sources such as Flat Files, Databases, OData Feed, Blank Query, AZURE, Cloud platform, online services, and other data sources such as Hadoop, Exchange, or Active directory.
Power BI Key Features
Introducing natural language Q&A (Cortana integration)
Power BI has a powerful natural language processing and recognition engine named Cortana. Customers can analyze their data by asking questions in natural language with no special code or syntax required. Customers navigate their data by just asking questions.
Introducing Quick Insights
Power BI Quick Insights are the most valuable feature; the end user can search datasets or dashboard tiles for interesting insights automatically within seconds. Quick Insights are used for outliers, correlations, trends, change points in trends, and major factors right from the dashboard tiles.
Analyzing and Viewing M-Functions
One of the most valuable features of Power BI supported data sources is applying any sort of transformation to data source objects. When changing a column's data type, one or more multiple M expressions are created. These M expressions are automatically copied to M documents and stored within the Power BI desktop file as queries. M is a functional programming language like F#, and it is important for Power BI developers to become familiar with analyzing, writing and enhancing the Mcode that supports their queries.
Building Source Queries for Direct Query Models
Power BI allows users to access real-time datasets and provides immediate visibility into business processes and events as the data is created. Power BI data modeling engine reflects the latest SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) features, including the enhanced Direct Query mode for SSAS 2016, it becomes feasible to design Direct Query models in the Power BI Desktop and thus avoid the scalability limitations and scheduled refresh requirements of import-based models.
Applying Multiple Filtering Conditions
This feature is the heart of Business Intelligence. Power BI supports rich filtering capabilities across the query components, data model components & visualization components. As many scenarios use the Query editor and M functions to filter at the Query Level. It reduces the workload of Import and Direct Query Data Models. Query Editor GUI can be used to configure filter conditions and M Function filter conditions.
Integrating Multiple Queries
Power BI integrates multiple queries using Power BI merges and append functions. Using this feature users can retrieve and consolidate files from multiple network locations or integrate data from more than one source. Reports can be implemented efficiently and securely. SQL and ETL developers are familiar with join types and data transformation patterns and the same will be achieved with the M Language.
Handling Bidirectional and Many-to-Many Relationships
Power BI includes a Data Modeling Feature, and Data Analysis Expressions (DAX) that can be used to support Many-Many modeling relationships for multiple business requirements. Power BI data models contain bidirectional relationships, as well as DAX measures, which contain relationship filter logic through new CROSSFILTER () Function.
Integrating Math and Statistical Analysis
Power BI provides advanced analytics including forecasting, clustering and quick insights of historical data. Many valuable mathematical and statistical analysis are possible by embedding the logic of these methods/functions into DAX measures. Thid analyses can be used to generate new insights and provide the maximum level of validations and confidence in business decisions.
Access Through Multiple Platforms and Devices.
Power BI Reports are available for IOS, Android and Windows devices. Wherever users access the internet, the user will be able to view reports instantly.
Consolidate Multiple Data Sources
Power BI will allow the user to extract the data from all supported data sources. Once connected to all required data sources, the user consolidates it into a Dataset and can begin building their visual reports.
Instantly Share Dashboards
Power BI allows the user to share the data visualizations with others.
Using drag-and-drop functionality, end-users will be able to create their own ad-hoc reports in minutes.
A feature that allows users to go deeper into more specific data or information being analyzed. The user immediately drills into the visualization and can look at the data that comprises it.
Schedule Data Refresh
A feature that allows the user to schedule their data refresh to hourly or daily or any specific time.
Evaluating Power BI With Tableau and QlikView
Besides Power BI, Tableau Data Visualization & Analytics solutions make it one of the best business tools. Considering Power BI vs Tableau or Power BI vs QlikView, Power BI places the program’s decision services above the other tools. Power BI financial management features provide analysis of monetary information. Power BI can be used as a financial analysis software with fraud detection or protection, monitoring compliance, and security features.
The Power BI platform ensures simple integration with several external applications. Nearly every program that works with Microsoft can integrate with Power BI, offering an expansive library of possible collaboration options.
Big Data Integration
Evaluating Tableau vs Power BI or Power BI vs QlikView, Power BI’s big data integrations places the solution above Tableau and QlikView. Power BI allows users to simply select the data sources and start reporting immediately.
- Boost Productivity: Power BI allows the end user to pull data and create reports by enabling the transition from static data representation to fully interactive and dynamic user experience. It helps the customer to understand their business performance and goals.
- Gain Sales and Market Intelligence: Power BI helps businesses win new customers and service and track existing customers and improves the decision-making process.
- Track and Established Goals: With Power BI the user can keep track of information and set their goals accordingly.
- Gain Insights into Customer Behavior: Enhance the ability to analyze the current consumer buying trends, so the organization develops products for consumption and enables real-time analysis with quick navigation.
- Return on Investment (ROI): Better strategic awareness, faster reporting and decreased operating costs/lower overheads help increase ROI.
- Turn Data into Actionable Information: The Power BI System is an analytical tool that gives insights the user needs to make a successful strategic plan for their organization.
Bhaskar Munukuri is a Technical Lead for the Enterprise Application Development at V-Soft Consulting. He holds 8+ years of experience in developing, designing, and delivering enterprise level applications primarily in Microsoft Technologies. He is also skilled in technologies like MVC, Web API, Entity Framework, Angular, Asp.Net Core with C# & Machine learning.