Technology

What is Power BI and How Does it Work?

We live in the age of excessive information today. Whatever topic you look for over the internet, you’ll find the answer in hundreds of websites, along with images and most probably videos as well. When navigating through a whole lot of information, what kind of information do you tend to remember better? Is it the normal text present in web pages or the visual information? Quite obviously, one would remember the visuals better than textual information. Well, this is how the human brain works. 

Data visualization has existed for years. Presenting information in the form of charts or graphs is commonly taught in high schools. What makes data visualization more important today is the introduction of big data analytics. Two decades ago, the information gathered was quite limited and it could be stored in excel sheets and visualized manually. Today, however, we generate a massive amount of data per day and the traditional ways of visualizing data do not serve their purpose. This is where companies felt the need for powerful data visualization tools that could comfortably handle large volumes of data and allow data experts to find patterns and trends easily. 

When it comes to finding the best data visualization tools, one would inevitably come across Power BI. Professionals who want to start a career in big data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), or data science know the importance of data visualization and often take Power BI courses to enhance their career prospects.

Big Data Analytics empowers undertakings to investigate their information in full setting rapidly, and some offer continuous examination. With elite information mining, prescient examination, text mining, gauging, and improvement, ventures that use Big Data Analytics can drive development and settle on the best business choices. We would like to recommend Intellipaat’s Big data course if you want the right skills to flourish in the Industrial Revolution.

This article introduces you to the Power BI tool and lets you understand how it works.

Power BI: An Introduction

Power BI, as stated on the official website, is a unified, scalable platform for self-service and enterprise business intelligence (BI) used to connect to and visualize any data and gain deeper insights from it. With an aim to bridge the gap between data and decision making, Power BI offers AI-powered answers to any kind of business queries by modeling and visualizing the data and creating memorable reports. 

Here are some of the top features of Power BI that makes it the tool of choice for data visualization.

  • Whether you create reports, dashboards, or data sets and share within or outside your organization, Power BI offers end-to-end data protection keeping your data secure.
  • It easily integrates with Microsoft Azure and Office, and you can pull your data from it and leverage the advanced technology.
  • The users get access to more than 120 free connectors to connect directly with data sources existing on-premises or on the cloud such as Azure SQL database, Excel, Salesforce, or SharePoint.
  • It allows users to extend the protection and governance policies to Power BI data with Microsoft Information Protection. 
  • There are weekly and monthly updates that improve the features and capabilities of Power BI backed by millions of community members across the world. 

Working of Power BI

By now we know that Power BI is a collection of powerful software services, applications, and connectors using which one can visualize data and gain interactive insights. But, how does Power BI accomplish these tasks?

Well, Power BI consists of the following elements that help in creating, sharing, and consuming business insights:

  • Power BI Desktop
  • Power BI service
  • Power BI mobile apps
  • Power BI report server

The data with which the organization works is gathered from different sources and is present in different formats. This data is integrated in a common staging area and converted into one standard format. The next step is to make the data ready for visualization, commonly known as data pre-processing. Any missing values or duplicate entries are found and removed from the data sets. Any other formatting tasks like converting text to numbers, deleting any rows or columns, changing parameters, or naming the headers or footers, is done in this step. Finally, the data is visualized and a dashboard of business intelligence is provided to the users. 

Power BI Desktop is where analysts create data connections, data models, and reports. Power BI service is then used to share the reports with stakeholders. These reports can be accessed on the cloud or on mobile devices. The real-time Power BI dashboards let users get a 360-degree view of the business and decide upon the improvement areas.

Now, where does the Power BI report server fit in? We just now mentioned that the reports can be accessed over the cloud anytime anywhere. However, there are many organizations that do not want their data to be moved on the cloud and remain on-premises. This is where the Power BI Report Server is deployed and using it, the reports and dashboards are only shared with people that the organization approves of. 

Ready to Learn Power BI?

In this age of digital transformation, you cannot ignore the importance of data visualization. Power BI has established itself as one of the most-preferred business intelligence tools in the market. Not only for data scientists or business intelligence developers, but Power BI skills are also helpful for project managers, database administrators, and machine learning engineers.

So, why not consider adding the knowledge of this tool to your resume. There are online training providers who teach Power BI from scratch. It is recommended to take up such courses and get certified as it increases your credibility in the job market. They not only cover data visualization concepts but also train you on how to use the advanced features of the tool. Get on board and enter the world of data visualization today!

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