Power BI (Business Intelligence) is a widely used business analytics tool developed by Microsoft. It is designed to help users visualize and analyze data, create interactive reports and dashboards, and share insights across organizations. Power BI is particularly effective for quantitative data analytics and visualization due to its user-friendly interface, connectivity to various data sources, and robust visualization capabilities.
Some key features of Power BI are:
- Data connection and import: Power BI allows users to connect to a multitude of data sources, including databases, Excel files, cloud services, and online sources. Users can import data seamlessly, and Power BI’s Power Query Editor enables data cleaning and transformation.
- Data modeling: Power BI includes a data modeling feature that allows users to create relationships between different tables, define calculated columns and measures, and build a structured data model.
- Visualization: One of Power BI’s strengths is its visualization capabilities. Users can choose from a variety of pre-built charts, graphs, and maps or access custom visualizations created by the Power BI community.
- Dashboards: Power BI enables the creation of interactive dashboards that consolidate key visualizations and reports on a single page. Dashboards provide a real-time snapshot of performance metrics and KPIs, allowing users to monitor trends and make data-driven decisions.
- Sharing and collaboration: Power BI allows users to share reports and dashboards securely within an organization or with external stakeholders. The sharing options include embedding reports in websites, sharing links, or publishing to the Power BI service for broader accessibility.
- Integration with other Microsoft services: Power BI seamlessly integrates with other Microsoft services such as Excel, Azure, and SQL Server. This facilitates a cohesive data ecosystem, allowing users to leverage their existing Microsoft infrastructure.
List of recommended resources #
For a broad overview #
This blog post by Toptal gives a broad overview of the best data visualization tools, including Power BI, along with pros and cons of the popularly used tools.
This YouTube page by Microsoft gives video explanations and guides to various features of Power BI.
For in depth understanding #
This beginner’s guide to Microsoft Power BI gives an in-depth understanding of the data visualization tool on how to build solid data models.
This course on Udemy created by Maven Analytics, Chris Dutton and Aaron Parry gives an in-depth understanding of data modeling using Microsoft Power BI.
Case study #
This article deals with the interactive visualization of educational institution databases using Microsoft Power BI Tool with different modules. It focuses on process model, operations of Microsoft Power BI, types of data sources available in Tool and its different related types of visual insights or context.
This paper by Steven M. Graves and Lauren He uses the data visualization tool of Microsoft Power BI to create a map and dashboard of the data collected on Covid-19.