A Quick Intro to the Microsoft Power Business Intelligence Desktop

Author Poster

Zeal Nagar

10 June 2024

Microsoft Power Business Intelligence is a tool that understands that data is everything in today’s world. Any respectable business in today’s data-driven scenario generates volumes of data. Examples of such data include customer information, sales volume, sales ratio, financial transactions data, employee information, and more. Truly there is no business without data today.

Most businesses have terabytes of data lying around and lack the resources or expertise to turn this data into a business asset. You’d be surprised at the number of valuable business insights you could derive from minimal data processing and visualization. You could, for instance, figure out that most of your sales stem from a particular geographical region and hence focus on expanding in that area. You could also foresee periods of major demand in your sales cycle and prepare to meet that demand. Or perhaps, you’d like to fix those resource leaks and inefficiencies that are draining your business in a slow and sinister fashion.

But can such insights be derived without heavy financial investments? Enter Microsoft Power Business Intelligence Desktop – the intelligence you need for free.

What is Microsoft Power Business Intelligence / Power BI ?

Microsoft describes Power Business Intelligence as a collection of software tools that turn seemingly unrelated data into insightful business information for you to act upon. It accomplishes this through an ecosystem of apps, connectors, and services. The major components of the Power BI Platform include:

1. Power BI Desktop – A free-to-use application that can be installed locally and used to connect, transform, and visualize data
2. Power BI Service – The SAAS component of the Power BI platform allows you to create and share reports between teams online
3. Power BI Mobile Apps – PowerBI Mobile Apps that let you visualize and interact with your data on Android, iOS, and other mobile platforms
4. Power BI Report Builder – to create paginated reports 
5. Power BI Report Server – an on-premises report server that can be used to share reports within your local organizational report And more!

We will dive deeper into these components individually in future articles. Let us now look at Microsoft Power Business Intelligence Desktop exclusively.

What is Microsoft Power Business Intelligence Desktop?

The Power BI Desktop is meant to facilitate data analysis on your local computer. The tool in itself is free to download and use, with some limitations in place. The tool allows you to connect to multiple data sources, transform data into usable formats with the PowerBI Query Editor, and generate intelligent reports and visualizations. The interface is an easy-to-use GUI that Windows users are comfortable with and includes panes like navigation, canvas, fields, visualizations, and panes.

Getting started with Power BI Desktop is fairly straightforward. If you’ve got historical business data lying around, you can import it and visualize it in a matter of minutes. With hundreds of data sources supported, you can pull business data from virtually anywhere. From there, the PowerBI Query Editor allows you to transform, clean, and prepare data from multiple sources for visualization purposes.

A simple drag-and-drop interface then lets you generate interactive visuals and intelligent reports that can be shared with the stakeholders in your organization. A report contains multiple pages and enables you to generate comprehensive insights according to criteria like sales, expenditure, leads, and more.

Here’s a nearly 4-minute video from Microsoft that demonstrates the simplicity of getting started with Power BI desktop.

Should I Use Microsoft Power Business Intelligence Desktop?

Definitely! Whether you’re a sole proprietor seeking to generate insights for personal use or an organization assessing various business intelligence tools in the market, Microsoft Power BI Desktop offers many interesting and essential features for free!

The tool’s ease of use allows you to dip your toes into data analytics and business intelligence without any significant investments. If you like what you see, you can scale and upgrade to the Power BI Pro/ Power BI Premium versions for additional features and powerful collaboration capabilities that can embed data intelligence at every level of your organization.

Microsoft’s expertise and continued interest in the business intelligence domain guarantee the delivery of the best intelligence capabilities for your business in the years to come. Power BI has already fetched Microsoft recognition from Gartner as an industry leader in the Analytics and BI Platforms space. Trying out such cutting-edge business intelligence solutions at no cost to your business is surely a no-brainer. We definitely recommend taking it out for a spin!

What Next?

So you’ve tried out the Power BI platform and you like what you see. Where do you go from there? If you’ve got an in-house data analyst or a business intelligence professional, they can exploit the extensive features of Power BI to generate insights and drive business expansion.

When you’re ready, you can upgrade your Power BI subscription for more powerful data collaboration, advanced AI and data capabilities, and many more enterprise features.

Working with a proven Power BI services provider can help you chart out your business intelligence adoption strategy, tap into relevant insights today, and capture more opportunities for business expansion.

Cloudesign provides a range of Power BI business intelligence services to ease this journey for you. Hire a data analyst to make sense of your data, integrate Power BI with in-house systems, or develop complex machine-learning and AI-enabled solutions with us that simplify business data for you.

Check out the work we’ve done with Power BI here. You can also contact us for a FREE Power BI feasibility consultation here.

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