Ever wondered how large organizations use data to make quick decisions? They rely on business intelligence platforms like Power BI, Tableau, or MicroStrategy for carrying out important business strategies.
But, as you know there are tons of business intelligence tools available in the market, then why you should choose Power BI?
Power BI allows you to visualize data in proper formats, such as charts to identify patterns and emerging trends. And, helps you to make strong future decisions based on the information.
Power BI also makes it simple for large organizations and business teams to collaborate effectively. But, these two can’t be the only reasons why Power BI is popular.
Therefore, we have written 9 reasons why use Power BI and why it is a powerful business intelligence tool for data analysis. Let’s get started.
9 Reasons to Use Microsoft Power BI for Data Visualization
Here are the top 9 reasons to use Microsoft Power BI business intelligence tool for data visualization:
Create In-depth and Insightful Reports for Your Business
One of the major perks you’ll experience as a Power BI subscriber is its reporting capabilities. Power BI creates powerful reports that drive the effective decision-making power of business owners.
- Microsoft Power BI offers a variety of cloud and desktop-based solutions. Power BI Desktop is one such solution that business intelligence professionals, analysts, researchers, and developers use daily. With Power BI Desktop, it’s an absolute breeze to create reports and dashboards.
- Each Power BI report contains multiple visuals of datasets. These visuals convey meaningful information about different aspects of a business. Business owners then use this information to analyze trends and predict the future of the business.
- A unique feature of Power BI reports is their dynamic nature. So, if the dataset (that your Power BI report is made of) changes, your visual changes too. This interactivity ensures that you quickly understand the meaning of these reports with changing business data.
- Reports in Power BI are also extremely customizable. This makes it quite easy for you to create in-depth reports that analyze different aspects of your business. This way, you can easily generate multiple pages of reports. These reports also allow you to filter and slice the data without affecting the source dataset.
Get AI-Powered Answers to Prepare Data Reports with Technical Knowledge
Power BI also offers you AI insights which help to enhance reports. Microsoft utilizes Machine Learning to create data models that convey the text sentiment, language, and important phrases of a given data.
For instance, suppose your company decides to analyze data for a product release. And you want to know customers’ perceptions and understanding of similar products in the market.
Artificial Intelligence Insights will come to the rescue here. ML tools will extract emotion, language, keywords, and more from the data, explaining the dataset in greater detail.
Therefore, the created Power BI report will be able to express the customer’s language and point of view. This is a huge step towards better customer service and even assists in powerful marketing strategies and ad campaigns.
Although manually using ML will also achieve similar results, using an existing feature like AI-powered insights in Power BI is much more effective and beneficial.
To sum up, AI Insights in Power BI is capable of:
- Analyzing the text by identifying the language, key phrases, & the positive or negative sentiment behind it.
- Tagging images for better visual representation.
- Using Azure machine learning models.
Interactive Dashboard to Improve Your Efficiency in Publishing Reports
Dashboards in Power BI are a single page of data visualizations that display deeper meaning behind multiple datasets. They are also extremely interactive and easy to navigate, with a minimal learning curve.
Although Power BI does not allow fully-fledged customization of your dashboard, a created dashboard will easily contain multiple reports with many datasets. It is essentially a place for a quick view of business analytics. Power BI service is the only platform by Microsoft that supports dashboards, unlike Power BI Desktop.
Image Source: Microsoft
A typical view of the dashboard consists of ‘tiles’ representing various visualizations. It is a canvas that has many tiles. Clicking on one will lead you to a more in-depth analysis of that report.
It is the simple, most effective way of seeing all important reports all at once. These tiles or reports will automatically reflect all changes that its dataset undergoes, making it an effective source of business analytics. Dashboards in Power BI are also extremely interactive.
Easily switching between the tiles and even setting your favourite dashboards to display the most-viewed company metrics are easy to achieve. Such an interactive dashboard makes it easy for you to efficiently publish reports. Get the complete differences between Power BI Dashboards and Reports to avoid any confusion.
Get Integration with More Than 50+ Data Sources
Power BI offers a range of data sources that easily integrate with the platform. Depending on your needs, select from different data source categories that Power BI allows access to.
From GitHub, Google Analytics, Azure Data Storage, Adobe Analytics, SQL server database, Azure SQL database, and MySQL, to Python, R, and Zendesk, you can easily connect to any of the 50+ data sources that Power BI supports.
When you access the Power BI Desktop, you will see the most common data types in the menu, like Excel, Odata feed, and more.
Image Source: Microsoft
Data sources are categorized for easy access as well, making it easier for you to search for the right data source. Microsoft also keeps adding newer sources of data from time to time, so the list only keeps on growing. This is convenient for businesses that rely on data from a variety of sources.
No Restriction to Local Data Access
Power BI allows you to access data from any data source. As mentioned, about 50+ data sources easily integrate with Power BI. But what makes Power BI robust is that there are no restrictions to accessing data locally.
If it is an on-premises server that holds your data, a few additional steps will ensure that your data is safely loaded into the Power BI service.
But remember, you need a Power BI gateway for such data transfer to ensure data security. As the name suggests, the Power BI gateway acts as a bridge between your local data server and the Power BI service. It keeps your data secure during transferring without any vulnerabilities.
As soon the data is read into the Power BI service, the dashboards and reports will refresh to display the most updated visualization. This way of accessing local data is not a daunting task for anyone familiar with the Power BI ecosystem.
Powerful Data Modelling Capabilities to Create Custom Calculations in Tables
Power BI’s reporting capabilities far exceed any other tool’s features. Power BI allows you to import data from any data source based on existing data in the model. You achieve this through the DAX formula or the Data Analysis Expressions formula.
A DAX formula defines the value of each table item. When importing data from an external source, a calculated table adds data based on the result of the DAX formula.
A calculated table also creates a table in memory, and you simply add the DAX expression for whatever calculation you wish to perform.
The benefit of having calculated tables in Power BI is to create role-play dimensions.
So, in a scenario where there is more than one date column (in a sales transaction, for example), forming relationships with the different date columns in a table becomes much simpler.
Yet another benefit is that calculated tables are persistent in memory alone. Hence, the refresh time is very low, making it quite efficient when you perform data modeling.
Get Real-time Information to Streamline Your Data
One of the best reasons to use Power BI is its ability to use real-time information in Power BI dashboards and reports.
Image Source: Microsoft
Real-time data improves the effectiveness and accuracy of a report, which leads to sound business decision-making. Power BI utilizes this capability to display different datasets onto tiles of a dashboard.
Different data sources push or stream data into the dashboard. From social media sources to factory sensors, the updated data is automatically accepted and displayed in the tiles.
Power BI also supports a few different types of datasets:
- Push dataset allows Power BI to create and store the data in a separate database and then push it to the Power BI service. Whenever the data changes, the visuals associated with it also update.
- The streaming dataset allows Power BI to push data stored in a temporary memory cache into the Power BI service. This data is used as a custom data source for visualization as it expires within a timeframe. Something to keep in mind is that the streaming dataset offers a little latency until the visual is refreshed and updated with newer values. This is simply because of the memory cache, which is highly useful in desirable situations.
- PubNub dataset allows Power BI to use the PubNub SDK for data streaming. As the data is read directly from the client side, no database is allocated for this purpose.
Setting up a streamlined report or dashboard is much simpler in Power BI than you think. Doing so will bring less delay in displaying updated values. Since it’s automatic, such a feature is extremely useful for organizations that deal with large, moving datasets.
Offers Different Subscriptions for Using Power BI
Microsoft offers its customers a variety of different Power BI services to choose from.
As an entrepreneur, you may or may not need all of the advanced features that come at a higher subscription cost. Depending on the scope of analysis that you require, one of the following subscriptions will be suitable for your business:
- Power BI Service
Microsoft hosts a cloud service called a Power BI service that you can easily access from anywhere in the world, and on any device. All types of reports that you create are sent to the cloud service.
- Power BI Desktop
Microsoft Power BI Desktop is a Windows desktop application businesses rely upon for report creation and analysis. It’s absolutely free to run a Power BI desktop account. Unfortunately, the Power BI Desktop is not supported on Linux OS or macOS. After you create reports or Power BI dashboards, simply push them to the Power BI service to store them in a more permanent place like the cloud.
- Power BI Pro
In a collaborative environment, the Power BI Desktop application will fall short. Organizations that require inputs from teams on the same visuals or reports need a Power BI Pro subscription. With Power BI Pro features, you can easily share and distribute content within the organization. It is a per-user-based subscription.
- Power BI Premium
Power BI premium is the highest level of Power BI subscription available for Power BI users. Some organizations prefer to keep a dedicated space in the cloud for all their data analyzing needs. In this case, the Power BI Premium is a more suitable option to invest in. Microsoft Power BI premium is capacity-based, so a select number of Power BI premium users from the organization can use it to create the best Power BI visuals and save them in workspaces. Power BI users like you can easily share these workspaces among other team members (or other Power BI users) within the organization, regardless of their license type.
- Power BI Service
Offers Power BI Mobile Apps to Easily Share the Content
In a business, different teams or even team members inevitably need to access the same Power BI report, Power BI dashboard, or visual.
Power BI’s business analytics solution allows team members (and other Power BI subscribers) to collaborate more freely and share insights among a wide audience within an organization.
- Simply share insights on Microsoft’s very own Teams app by creating a report tab. Members that are part of the same Teams channel will then be able to analyze and discuss the insights derived from it.
- The My Workspace section of the Power BI platform allows teams to create a new workspace, assign roles and permission to team members, and share the management of dashboards and reports. This is one of the most effective ways to share ownership of insights among different people within an organization.
- Additionally, you require a Power BI Pro license to share content with different people in a workspace. Collaborators outside the organization will be able to view shared content without making any edits to it.
Image Source: Microsoft
The Power BI mobile app also allows Power BI mobile users to comment and annotate on reports, making it easy to gather more insight into the process.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the main purpose of using Power BI?
Power BI is a data visualization tool businesses use for analyzing data. It turns meaningless company data into insightful information, that’s why Power BI is such a robust tool. The main purpose of Power BI is to help businesses analyze their data better. It is also a highly popular tool among data analysts and business analysts.
Which are the best books to learn Power BI?
Beginners need to take a look at these Power BI Books for getting around the Power BI platform:
- Microsoft Power BI Dashboard: Step-by-Step by Errin O’Connor
- Mastering Microsoft Power BI by Brett Powell
A top Power BI book recommendation for advanced learners is Power BI: An Advanced Guide to Learn the Advanced Realms of Power BI by Daniel Jones explains concepts in depth.
How much time does it take to learn Power BI?
Time required to learn Power BI will be at least 2 months. But with consistent effort, you will get better at it in a minimum of 1 month. Excel users will find it easier to learn Power BI.
We believe that clearly answers the why Power BI question. Having a Power BI account is always a great decision from a business standpoint.
Power BI is not the only business intelligence tool in the market, but it’s clearly one of the most equipped. With Power BI, you’ll always have comprehensive data backing up all your business decisions. Why? Because Power BI carefully combines data visualization, business analytics, and other best practices to help you make data-driven decisions.
It is evident from the many reasons above that as a business intelligence software, Power BI offers you the ability to make more cohesive and better decisions on the business forefront.
Since business data is the driving force of the 21st century, not utilizing it is a waste of good opportunity. This is especially true when the entire business ecosystem is going heavy on leveraging data. Using tools like Power BI not only gives you insight into customer trends but also into organization-level patterns.
A business that uses data to make decisions easily stays above its competition. Tools like Power BI are made to fulfill the business needs of growing organizations. So, investing in it is a simple no-brainer.