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What Is Business Intelligence?

Business Intelligence is a group of architectures, technologies, and processes that transform the raw data into meaningful information that makes the right business actions. BI has an impact on the company’s tactical, operational, and strategic business decisions. Business Intelligence tools create dashboards, reports, charts, and perform data analysis to provide users with precise information about the essence of the business.

Why Do We Need Business Intelligence?

Business Intelligence assists the companies in making the best decisions by displaying past and present data of their business. Business Analysts can use BI to build the competitor and performance benchmark for making the company run smoothly. Through Business Intelligence, Business Analysts can easily identify the market trends for increasing revenue or sales. Following are some ways that business intelligence assists the companies in making data-driven and smart decisions:

  • It helps the companies in analyzing the behavior of the users.
  • Through BI, Business Analysts can compare their data with their competitors.
  • It helps businesses to identify ways to increase profits.

Introduction to Power BI

Nowadays, every business is using data to make decisions about objectives, hiring, sales, and all the areas in which they have data. Every business will have access to the data, but it will be difficult to understand the data without any knowledge of data statistics and analysis. Even though we understand the data, we may face challenges in displaying the data and communicating it to the user.  Power BI handles these challenges and helps the companies in data analysis and data visualization.

Power BI is a Business Intelligence and Data Visualisation tool that converts our unrelated data sources into interactive, visually immersive, and coherent insights. Whether our data is an Excel workbook or a group of cloud-based data warehouses, Power BI allows us to connect our data sources, and it models and cleans our data without changing the basic source. After that, we can share the data with anyone we want.  Following are the important elements or services of Power BI:


  • Power BI Desktop: We use Power BI Desktop for creating the reports. We can download the new version of the Power BI Desktop through the following link: https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/downloads/
  • Power BI Saas(Software as a Service) Service: We use this service for publishing the reports.
  • Mobile Power BI Apps: We use these services to view the dashboards and reports.

Along with the above three, Power BI also has two other elements: 1) Power BI Report Builder 2) Power BI Report Server.

Why do we Need Power BI?

Following are the reasons to use Power BI:

  • A rapid start: We can get the data insights rapidly without any Power BI training. By using Power BI, we can also get the dashboards for the services like Microsoft Dynamics, Salesforce.
  • Efficient Distribution and Publication: Rather than emailing large files or storing them on the shared drive, business analysts can upload the visualizations and reports to Power BI Service, and after that, they can refresh the data according to the changes in the basic dataset.
  • Capability to Personalise the Power BI App Navigation: By using the “app navigation experiences” feature, Report developers can personalize the navigation to assist the viewers in finding the content quickly and understanding the relationships between different dashboards and reports.
  • Artificial Intelligence: Power BI users can use different Artificial Intelligence Features like Text Analytics, Image Recognition and they can also develop machine learning models and integrate with the Azure Machine Learning.
  • Capability to Personalise the Security Features: Report Developers configure the Row-Level Security access filters to assure that viewers can see only data that is required to them.

How Did Power BI Come into Existence?

For the growth of the business, we have to make the right decisions according to the data provided. It is important to retrieve the relevant data and display it in a clear structure. Power BI is useful for doing this task. Power BI converts the raw data into useful information in a small period.

West Chadic George developed power BI in 2010, and He termed it as “Project Crescent”. After that, it was accepted by Amir Netz of the SSRS(SQL Server Reporting Services) team at Microsoft and renamed as Power BI. In September 2013, Microsoft released it as Power BI for Office 365. On 24 July 2015, Microsoft released the first version to the general public.

Working with Power BI

In Power BI, we perform the following processes:

Connecting to our data

Power BI allows us to connect different types of data sources. We can use Power BI Services or Power BI Desktop for connecting to our data.  For connecting to our data, we have two ways: either upload our file to Power BI or import the file into the Power BI.

Transforming the Data

After loading our data, we can transform it according to our requirements. The transformation of the data includes renaming the tables or columns,  converting the text to the numbers, eliminating rows, etc.

Modeling of the Data

This process is useful for improving the data through calculations, measures and relationships. We use Measures, calculations to get in-depth knowledge of the business.

Data Visualisation

Through the custom visual gallery and various visual tools, we can create amazing reports for our business. For creating the reports, we can choose any area from our data file or CSV file, and after that, we have to select the tool that we have to apply on our data for generating the required report.

Example for Data Visualisation:

Data Visualisation

Image Source

Publishing the Data Reports

By using Power BI services, we can publish or share our reports securely. By using the “Publish” menu, we can publish the reports. Reports provide live analytics of the business trends to users.

Companies using Power BI

Several Companies are using Microsoft Power BI for effective decision-making. Software Companies represent the biggest segment that uses the Power BI. Following are some companies that use Power BI:

  • Oracle
  • SAP
  • IBM
  • Microsoft
  • Dell
  • Tableau Software
  • Gartner
  • Adobe
  • Martin-Brower
  • Johnson Controls

Conclusion

Business Intelligence helps us to analyze the data and gives information that helps business managers to make reported business decisions. Among many business intelligence tools, Power BI is the best and leading business intelligence tool. By using Power BI, we can build creative dashboards and reports for making the best decisions. This article provides you with basic information about Business Intelligence and Power BI.


Vinodh Kumar, postgraduate from the Business Administration background. He is currently working as a content contributor for Mindmajix and loves to write tech related niches.

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