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What is Power BI Microsoft? Business Analytics and Business Intelligence

All right, what is Power BI Microsoft? Where did it even come from? Power BI is a interactive reporting platform, right? So, data analytics, business analytics, all of those buzzwords that you've heard, that's what Power BI is all about. Working with your data and getting the right answers very quickly. 

What is Power BI Microsoft

In fact, the mantra of Power BI when it first came about, was five minutes to WOW, and it's true. And the actual history of Power BI, it goes back, Microsoft is been involved with business analytics and business intelligence for a long time.

We've got reporting services, analysis services, all of that came together as the roots of Power BI itself. Microsoft Power BI is a cloud platform, for the sake of this video, we're gonna stick with that.

There are some on-premises options, but let's talk about the cloud platform itself. You may be thinking, well, what kind of data can it actually handle? It can handle everything from just your simple Excel file all the way to massive data amounts. If you've got data of any size, Power BI is an option for you. 

And security is also very important. I've got a link down in the description below, to the Microsoft Trust Center, where you can go check out all of the certifications that Power BI actually has, from regulatory and compliance perspectives.

So, if you're worried about that, check that out as well as the security whitepaper, there's tons of great information there. Okay, so the actual journey of Power BI, you're gonna come at it from two different ways.

Either one, you're actually creating those reports, or shaping the data, working with the data, offering the reports themselves, or you're coming at it, you're just consuming the reports, right?

So, you're using those reports make business decisions with that data. Let's look at the offering piece first from an offering perspective, your journey is probably gonna start with Power BI Desktop. This is a free download from You can get going. 

 To begin that journey, you're gonna need to get some data, right? And Power BI can connect to a bunch of different data sources. Whether that's Excel, SQL, relational databases, Cloud Sources or services that you use, like Salesforce or QuickBooks, or maybe it's just an API that you wanna get data or even a webpage.

You can scrape that ton of options, and when you don't even know if it's even available, or maybe you don't see it in the list, check out the ODBC or OLE DB providers, those are always options, that you can go and connect to your data.

After you've got your data, you're gonna want to clean or transform that data using Power Query. This is about massaging your data, right? 

Getting it in that right format, if it's not already done at your data source, you can do that transformation, with a lot of different actions, inside of Power Query to really get your data in that right shape as you pull that into Power BI, to make sure you can get the most out of it.

Once you've got the data in Power BI, then you're gonna wanna do some additional modeling steps, just to tidy things up to make sure everything is actually right. Whether that's hiding fields from the report view, because they're just not needed for actual reporting, to creating measures in DAX.

Those are gonna really bring your data up a level, to really make that data shine inside of Power BI. And I will tell you, that the modeling step is super important. Typically, a lot of conversations I have in a lot of videos you'll see on this channel, it's all about optimization and making that data work, especially at scale.

If you're working with a little bit of data maybe tiny data, it may not matter, but if you're going at the scale of data, the modeling step should not be overlooked, and you should absolutely spend a lot of time there.

Right, so once you get all of that data shaped and modeled correctly, you're gonna wanna build your awesome visuals, right?

So, it's easy as dragging and dropping, learning the clicks, and being able to pick the right visualization for your data, bringing that data in, and then laying it out and keeping in mind things like accessibility.

And just the story that you wanna tell with your data. There's a wide range of visuals to pick from, and also there are AI visuals to even take it beyond the normal visualization.

So, like, key influencers and the decomposition tree and things of that nature. So, definitely check those out. Once everything is done, you're gonna publish it to the Power BI service that's up in the cloud, and then, people will be able to consume that report share it, all of those great items.

Now, there is licensing that comes in here, whether it's Power BI Pro, Premium Per User, Premium Capacity, there's a ton of different options, we won't get into that in this video, there are other videos we have that talk about this, but just know that you will need to be mindful a little bit about that when you wanna go to share out with other folks, there are some implications there that need to be accounted for.

You can take advantage of integration with Microsoft teams. There's a personal app that's available there, as well as just adding a tab in your channel. And also just, quick link embedding, inside of chats themselves. 

You also have a ton of Embed options, with inside for reports and dashboards, whether that's Secure Embed, Published to Web, actual full on Power BI embedding. You can do a lot with those reports, to put them where they need to be. And you can just share a report inside of Power BI.

And you can do that with internal users in your organization or external folks. So, maybe they've got like an address or a Gmail address. You can share reports with them as well. Again, with all of those options just be mindful of the licensing that may be required for those items to work successfully. 

Right, so that's coming at it more from an offering perspective, but from if you're just consuming reports, and you just wanna get the most out of Power BI, just be aware that there are concepts of like a Workspace versus an App.

Those are different ways that you can consume your reports and dashboards, and those are also different ways that you can share as well. Maybe you're a consumer and you wanna share this with another colleague, that's where you would go to do that.

Inside of those Workspaces and Apps, you are also going to be able to work with those reports and dashboards and interact with the reports, explore your data a little bit more, create bookmarks, and customize the report yourself, or personalize it for yourself.

And then also, there's the mobile app. So, you can even on the go, you can connect your reports, and explore those reports on your devices. Whether it's your phone, your tablet, what have you?

The other great benefit of Power BI, is the speed of the cloud, right? So, Power BI has been known for fast updates, regular updates, Power BI Desktops updated once a month, and the actual services potentially updated weekly.

There's always new stuff coming out, and you can check out the Power BI blog, for all of those great announcements and releases that are done.

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All right, that's a ton of information, but where do you go next? So, be sure to subscribe to get all of that information and stay up to date. Also, if you are beginning your offering experience, and you want to take it to the next level, we have a Blueprint course available for you, that we'll walk you through in a lot more detail.

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