By Stephanie Baskerville on December 13, 2016

Power BI, Your Business Intelligence Tool – Features & Benefits


Do you have a huge amount of data that you want to turn into business insights? Do you want an easy-to-use business intelligence tool that is user-friendly and efficient? Do you want to automatically port your data in Excel to your business intelligence tool so that no time is wasted transporting data? From years of experience, we can tell you that Microsoft Power BI provides you with the benefits you have been looking for. Our blog series has discussed BI benefits, BI capabilities, planning your BI project, and gathering your BI requirements. This blog post is focused on Power BI to assist you with your BI tool selection process.

The blog content is from an ebook “Bring your data to life, with Office 365”. Click here to download the ebook.


What is Power BI?

Power BI is a cloud-based business intelligence tool that provides interactive visualizations with self-service business intelligence capabilities. It’s a user-friendly business intelligence tool that is extremely easy to use. When creating reports and dashboards, users can do it by themselves without having to depend on any information technology staff or database administrator.

6 things you need to know about Power BI

Power BI is continuously upgraded by Microsoft’s community of developers, partners and users. With recent changes, here are 6 things you want to know about Power BI:

  1. The new experience, known as Power BI, is different from the earlier Power BI for Office 365.
  2. It is an online service where you can quickly create dashboards, capture important data and share reports that are important to you.
  3. We’re also introducing Power BI Desktop, a dedicated report-authoring tool that lets you transform data into easily published reports.
  4. Power BI includes native mobile apps that support your mobile Android™, iOS® and Windows® devices.
  5. If you’ve been using Power BI for Office 365 and want to migrate to Power BI, you can download this migration guide to learn how.
  6. Whether you used the earlier version or not, prepare to be wowed. The new Power BI incorporates a massive amount of learning from partners and tons of useful feedback from over a half million unique users around the world.


10 things you can do in your first 10 minutes with Power BI



  1. Skip the training

Manuals? Data analysis platforms are often complex, and you already have enough things to do. We’re not going to add special training to that list for you to access the benefits.

  1. Minimize IT help

Microsoft Power BI easily integrates with your SQL Server Analysis Service and other popular on-premises databases. Once that connection is initialized, there’s little or no additional need for IT help.

  1. Directly import Excel spreadsheets

Use Excel? Automatically port your data to Power BI, and begin generating insights immediately.

  1. Access partner data sources

Using Microsoft Power BI partner spreadsheet products? Good news! Power BI supports them, too.

  1. Speak

Microsoft Power BI doesn’t require any special language or programming skills. Simply input a question into a search bar or ask it out loud using your device’s microphone.

  1. Access your data from the cloud

Work anywhere, anytime when you create with Microsoft Power BI in the cloud. Save and share your visualizations to Microsoft One Drive.

  1. Collaborate with others

Cloud-based collaboration lets you improve data and visualizations, up-level your development efforts and make real-time adjustments to changing market conditions and user requirements.

  1. Explore data risk-free

Sometimes, looking at data from a fresh perspective enables us to see new possibilities. Power BI’s extensive search capability helps you see your business world in new ways.

  1. Browse from the web or from a mobile device

Microsoft Power BI lets you create, collaborate and share your data through your Windows, iOS or Android native mobile app. Get alerts on any important changes.

  1. Monitor your data live

Microsoft Power BI lets you create dashboards and reports that are updated continuously via data streaming. Track your data in real time, pin new visualizations and respond to alerts immediately when necessary.


6 main benefits of Power BI

  1. Say goodbye to dull data

Compelling visualizations, seamless links to external data sources, interactive dashboards, automated report generation, and extensive data set support from third-party providers are the core of Office 365 solutions for insights.

  1. Explore your data by asking questions

Once Microsoft Power BI is connected to your data, you can begin exploring new visualizations immediately.

  1. Make it all visual

Would you like to see your data presented as a retail report? By geography? As a three-dimensional balloon graph? Explore these and many more options for any of your supported data services.

  1. Join our community of experts

Microsoft Power BI was created using input from over a half-million early users from around the world. These users represent school systems, hospitals, nonprofits and thousands of companies, ranging in size from startups to global leaders, all relying on business insights as a key strategic tool.

  1. A complete data makeover

Power BI has a multitude of features to help you get through your project quickly. For example, data acquisition is extremely simple. When you select Get Data, you’re presented with four simple choices: Files, Big Data, Services or Samples.

  • FILES. A shortcut to your Excel or Power BI Designer files.
  • BIG DATA AND MORE. Connects directly to your on-premises SQL Server Analysis Services or Azure™ data sources.
  • SERVICES. Contains all the SaaS content packs (QuickBooks Online, Salesforce, Google Analytics™, Microsoft Dynamics CRM and many more).
  • SAMPLES. Provides easy-to-use content packs based on common use cases, such as retail sales.
  1. Business intelligence tool done better

Throughout the Power BI preview period, Microsoft Power BI team has sustained a blistering pace of innovation. They update the Power BI service every week, adding new features, capabilities and at least one new third-party content pack. Power BI Desktop is updated each month.


Let us help you with your Power BI journey!

Our team of Power BI experts will be happy to help you start your BI journey and answer any questions you have. Contact us today. We will be happy to discuss how we can help you!

This blog content is from an ebook “Bring your data to life, with Office 365”. Click here to download the ebook.

Published by Stephanie Baskerville December 13, 2016