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All round view of Power BI capabilities & how end users can make efficient use of Power BI

Power BI is a powerful business intelligence tool developed by Microsoft that offers a wide range of capabilities for data cleaning, analysis, visualization, and reporting. It has a huge demand as reporting solutions due to its extensive capabilities.

Some important and commonly used features used by various user personas like report developers, data analysts, data engineers are listed below:

Data Connection - As an excel user, we usually get the data in the form of an “Excel Workbook” for in a text file or in the CSV file. Power BI can connect and get data from a wide variety of sources, almost from everywhere. Microsoft has developed data source connections with a huge list of sources like SQL, Azure, Excel, Text, CSV, PDF, Cloud, on-premises data. It doesn’t matter where the data is and what format it is; users will get a detailed view of the data.

Custom Visualizations - Power BI comes with a lot of built-in visuals to build dashboards and reports. Apart from these built-in visuals, users can download the custom visuals from marketplace as per their requirement.

Data Security - Power BI enables user to do the single sign-on using Microsoft multi factor authentication. It has features for data level security using AD groups or emails

Embedded BI – Power BI provides APIs based support to securely embedding dashboards and reports into custom applications, SharePoint Online, Microsoft Teams, or Salesforce

Data Experiments - Integration with R and Python makes it a strong tool for Data Engineers & Data Scientists

KPI Mash ups - Power BI has a very robust functionality of “Pinning” the visuals/KPIs on personal or shared, existing, or new dashboards allowing users to create personalized views on top of multiple applications

Storyboarding - Power BI features like bookmarking, highlighting, and grouping/binning can help you to build a persona-based story board for executives. A live storyboard with intelligent narratives will be a nice to have, hoping Microsoft will release this functionality in the future releases

Power BI brings in key differentiation with multiple advanced cognitive capabilities:

Quick Insights will help users can automatically get insights from the dataset and help business users to detect any trends or differences

Power BI Forecasting provides a functionality to forecast the figures based-on algorithms written in Power BI. Power BI will look at your data and select the best algorithm to run the forecast (Below illustration is for revenue forecasts over month and year, forecasted revenue highlighted in light brown)

Power BI Question and Answers - Power BI can answer your queries regarding the uploaded data. After the data uploaded to Power BI, it would help you with the information required, like “what are the total sales for the year 2018?” you just type the question, and it would immediately show the result with a beautiful visual or chart. Q&A visual allows users to ask natural language questions and get answers in the form of a visual

Some of the key benefits of Power BI which will help bring in wide data adaption:

  • Low-cost model, compared to other business intelligence tools in the market, Power BI offers lower prices, making it accessible to a wide range of organizations

  • High Scalability, helps to visualize on large volumes of data

  • Worldwide acceptance of Microsoft products

  • Ease of use and accessibility across devices to bring in ease to access data

  • Data Insights

  • Analytics capabilities

  • Multi-language flexibility

  • Self Service BI

  • Conduct Data Experiments with no code & low code constructs


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