Last Updated on November 22, 2023

If you are a business manager or a data professional with the responsibility of analyzing large volumes of data, you’ve likely heard about Power Business Intelligence (BI). This is a popular data tool designed to help organizations collect, organize, clean, and visualize data so that they can get practical insights to help them make informed business decisions.

This data tool helps you to improve productivity in your business by providing you with a simple and easy way to make sense of loads of data coming in from different sources every day and use that data to make the right business decisions. Power BI certification from a reliable platform like ONLC can make sure you’re able to do just that.

Power BI’s Launch

The official launch date for Microsoft Power BI was July 2011. Initially, it was known as ‘Project Crescent’ and it was fused with the SQL Server under the codename ‘Denali.’ In September 2013, Project Crescent was renamed Power BI and launched as part of Office 365 (Microsoft 365).

Initially, this data tool was based on Excel features such as Power Pivot, Power View, and Power Query, but over time Microsoft added new features, including more advanced security solutions and enterprise-level data connectivity. In July 2015, the company officially launched Power BI as a standalone program.

Since then, Microsoft has been updating the program periodically with new features. You can also get these updates by downloading the latest model of Power BI from Microsoft or Power BI site. If you’re using Windows 10, you can download Power BI Desktop from the Windows Store.

How Does Power BI Work?

Power BI is a business intelligence program created by Microsoft to help business managers and data professionals to analyze, clean, transform, and visualize loads of raw data from multiple sources so that they can make informed business decisions. This data tool integrates business analytics, data visualization, and best practices to enable businesses to make data-driven decisions.  

To use this tool properly, you have to undergo serious training. So, your first concern when you decide to incorporate this program into your business should be: What is the best way to learn Power BI? Learning to use this data tool takes between one and six months, depending on the amount of time you’re willing to dedicate to training and your ability to understand complex concepts quickly.

Power BI is free to download from Microsoft. So, you shouldn’t have a problem getting it for your data analysis and visualization needs. But if you want the advanced version of the software, you have to go for Power BI Pro, for which you have to pay a small fee. So, how much is Power BI Pro? A subscription license can be had for $9.99 per month for Power BI Pro.

Main Components of Power BI

Power BI is designed to connect you to multiple data sources and provide you with a simple, user-friendly dashboard. It uses both cloud-based and local data warehouses, and can easily connect with an Excel spreadsheet. Data collected from cloud-based sources, such as Salesforce CRM, is refreshed automatically.

But if you’re using apps like Excel Workbook or Power BI Desktop, which are connected to cloud-based or local data sources, you have to refresh your data manually or create a refresh schedule so that your Power BI reports and dashboards have the most current data. Power BI comprises an assortment of apps that can be used on a desktop or mobile device.

Power BI Service is the cloud-based version of the program while Power BI Desktop is the on-premises version. The various components of this data tool enable users to develop and share practical insights simply and seamlessly.

About The Author

Microsoft Certified Trainer and Consultant specializing in Office 365, Microsoft SharePoint, Power BI, Power Apps, Power Automate, Microsoft Access, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Visio, Microsoft Office Development, and Crystal Reports. In Glenn's career as an independent consultant, he provided network design, implementation and administration, database development, support services and training for several firms in the greater Philadelphia area.

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