Microsoft Power BI is a suite of Business Intelligence (BI), reporting, and data visualization products and services designed for individual users as well as entire teams. Power BI is also part of the Microsoft Power Platform, which you can read more about by clicking below:
Power BI features include improved publishing and distribution capabilities, the ability to display interactive dashboards, provide insight into a wide variety of information through a single window, and convenient integration capabilities with other Microsoft products and services.
It is a tool that allows you to easily get to specific data using the right filters, combining and consolidating data, thus allowing you to get a full view of how your business is performing. There are many different data sources that can be integrated with Power BI, such as SQL databases, Microsoft Dynamics environment, or data coming from file servers such as Excel.
It is worth noting that Power BI navigation dashboards are not limited to pulling data from Microsoft tools. There are a number of data connectors available that allow integration with various cloud-based solutions. It is also possible to connect to legacy applications using a REST API.
Why should you start using Power BI?
Standard configuration is straightforward, and with pre-configured dashboards for services such as Microsoft Dynamics, Google Analytics, and Salesforce, you can get a convenient view of your data very quickly.
Streamlined data publishing and distribution
Data analysts can push reports and data visualizations directly into Power BI without the need to upload them to a shared drive or send emails.
Dashboards update in real-time as soon as data is uploaded. This gives you constant insight and the ability to quickly identify and resolve issues. Data sources can include sensors in the factory, social media, or anything from which data can be collected and transmitted.
The app navigation experiences feature gives those responsible for creating reports the ability to customize the navigation to help viewers find content quickly and easily understand the relationships between individual data or entire reports.
Customisable security policy
Report creators can set row-level access filters to ensure recipients only see data that is relevant to them, reducing the risk of inappropriate people seeing data they shouldn’t.
Power BI users can use image recognition and text analytics, create Machine Learning models and integrate with Azure Machine Learning.
Every organization needs to work with data that comes from a variety of resources, which may be in different formats. With Power BI, information is integrated and standardized in one place.
With Power BI, processed data can be conveniently visualized using visualization tools. The use of dashboards and report templates helps in the effective presentation of data. Visual reports help business users make better decisions based on a full understanding of the data.
Which Power BI license should I choose?
The range of Power BI functionalities varies significantly depending on the license you choose. That is why we have decided to present the most important ones in order to help you make an optimal decision.
Power BI Desktop (free license)
Power BI Desktop is a free license that allows users to connect to data sources, analyze data and create reports. This license is aimed at individual customers who want to create reports for personal use and do not need to share content with others via a cloud service.
- build reports in Power BI Desktop (on a local computer)
- export data to tools such as Excel, Power Point or a .pdf file
- building data visualization
- storing data and reports in a dedicated workspace in the cloud within Power BI up to 1GB per user
- integration of multiple data sources
Power BI Pro ($9.99 per user/month)
The biggest difference between Power BI Desktop and Power BI Pro is the ability to collaborate with other users. Power BI Pro allows you to distribute reports and data visualizations to other Power BI subscribers across your organization. Power BI Pro is sold in a per-user model, and the capabilities of this tool are best suited to small and medium-sized businesses where users need to create, share and view reports from other users.
- Share data and reports with other users who have a Pro license,
- cloud storage of up to 10GB per user,
- ability to export reports to a website or SharePoint site,
Power BI Premium ($4995 organisation/month)
Provides an organisation with space and capacity in the Microsoft hosted cloud for sharing reports. The organisation can decide how to use the dedicated capacity, allocating it based on the number of users, workload needs or other factors – and scale up or down as needed.
- the flexibility to publish reports across the enterprise, without having to license audiences individually for each user
- greater scale and performance than shared capacity in Power BI
- the ability to maintain on-premises BI resources with Power BI Report Server
- Single API footprint, consistent set of capabilities, and access to the latest features for embedded analytics
- No user/month charge
- As part of the subscription, the organization receives access to shared, dedicated disk space up to a maximum of 100TB
- Power BI Desktop users receive the ability to view and analyze reports published by Pro license users
Power BI Premium per User ($20 per user/month)
This is a fairly new license that was enabled by Microsoft in April 2021. It combines the benefits of a Power BI Pro license and a Power BI Premium subscription. It allows access to the capabilities and functionality of Power BI Premium, without having to pay $4995 per month for the entire organization.
- access to shared disk space up to a maximum of 100GB per user
- fee model of $20 per month per user
- full range of Power BI Premium functionality
Power BI is a tool with enormous possibilities, thanks to a rich library of fully customizable data visualizations the user can present data in many different ways.
Thanks to the customized visualization SDK the user can create many interesting and useful visualizations. These can be tested and debugged in real-time and can be scheduled into redistributable ready-to-use visualizations that can be used across all Power BI products. Visualizations created in-house can be shared with clients and customers.
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