Power BI for Beginners and Dummies
What is Power BI?
Power BI is a data analytics and visualization software from Microsoft.
Microsoft Power BI is a collection of software services, apps, and connectors that work together to turn your unrelated sources of data into coherent, visually immersive, and interactive insights. Power BI has more than 100 data connectors which allows users to easily and seamlessly connect to various data sets.
In simple terms, Power BI is a data analytics software in the Microsoft Office 365 application suit.
Why Use Power BI?
Today’s business world has changed and it is hugely Data Driven. Small to large organizations, all use Data and Data Analytics to make decisions about sales, new project expansions, market trends and many more. Even though every company has access to data but it can be intimidating to try to understand it without a background data-analytics or statistics. Moreover data needs to be represented in an interactive and understandable UI to make it meaningful. Power BI comes to the rescue for such data analytics requirements.
Power BI is free to use but Pay to consume software, which means you can use it for free but you cannot share your analytics reports and dashboards with anyone using free license. So if you are willing to learn data analytics, then you can get started for free by creating a Microsoft account.
Power BI Application Type
Power BI has three different applications, Power BI desktop application, Power BI web app (SAAS), and mobile app. All the three applications allows users to create, share power bi reports effective and easily.
Components of Power BI
The major building blocks of Power BI are: datasets, reports, and dashboards. Some other important components are workspaces, apps etc.
A dataset in Power BI is a collection of data that you import or connect to. Datasets are associated with workspaces and a single dataset can be part of many workspaces.
A Power BI report is one or more pages of visualizations such as line charts, maps, and tree maps. You can create reports from scratch within Power BI, import them or Power BI can create them when you connect to datasets.
There are two modes to view and interact with reports: Reading view and Editing view. By default, the report opens in Reading view. Just select Edit report to open it in Editing view.
A dashboard is a single canvas that contains zero or more tiles and widgets. Each tile pinned from a report.
Okay if we are just pinning reports then why do we need a dashboard ? well, there are a few reasons for creating a dashboard, below are a few of them
- You can see all the information at a glance and no need to go through multiple reports
- You can create different dashboards for different requirements
- Dashboard is a way to ensure that everyone in team is seeing the correct reports / data.
Workspaces are containers for dashboards, reports, datasets, and dataflows in Power BI. There are two types of workspaces: My workspace and workspaces.
My workspace is the personal workspace for any Power BI customer to work with your own content. Only user has access to his workspace.
Workspaces are used to collaborate and share content with colleagues. You can add colleagues to your workspaces and collaborate on dashboards, reports, and datasets.
Power BI apps are just an easy way of sharing Power BI Dashboards/reports with many users (organizations). Moreover, consumers do not need a pro license to access Apps.
Some Tutorial Videos
Videos are always good for learning a new thing. Hence I have included few free and paid videos which you can check if you are interested in learning more about Power BI.
Create your First Report
It is recommended to create Power BI reports in Power BI desktop app but for simplicity, we will create in web app directly. To download desktop app, search for Pwoer Apps in windows app store. After following the below steps, your report should look like the following.
For this example I have used this free data which I found on the internet
- Follow this steps to create your first report
- Navigate to Power BI web service app
- Click on Get data at the bottom right corner and choose Files > Local File
- Choose the above excel file and choose Import Data into Power BI
- After successfully importing the data navigate to My Workspace. You should be able to see a new dashboard as shown in the below image.
- Next, click on the dashboard to open it. Then click on the blank report inside it.
- Next mark the columns as show in the below image.
That’s all I have for this Power BI beginner training course, I hope this training has helped you to learn more about Power BI features and its capabilities. To learn more check this Microsoft documentation.
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Ramiz is a professional working in an MNC as a business and technology consultant for quite a few years now. Ramiz is proficient in various Microsoft tools and technologies. He is a tech enthusiast and an active blogger. Ramiz spends his free time playing games or watching movies. He writes blogs to share his knowledge with the world and to make it a better place to live.