I've always described Power BI as Excel on steroids, but that doesn't mean much for those of us who aren't heavy Excel users. I asked Chief Solutions Architect Jon Webster to sit down with me and demonstrate how and when to use Power BI. For those of you who were not even aware of Power BI's existence, let's start from the beginning. Power BI stands for Business Intelligence and is actually a suite of business analytics tools capable of delivering insights throughout your organization. It is able to connect to hundreds of data sources (not just Excel); an example we use in the Livestream is connecting to Quickbooks.
The feature I like most about Power BI is it's ability to produce stunning reports and I am not just speaking about appearances either. The reports produced in Power BI are interactive so the viewer has the ability to dive deeper into the data, meaning you don't have to create a separate report using the same data. Since Power BI connects directly to the data source, it will automatically update itself based a sync schedule you set. So instead of creating a new report every week or every month, you can continue to use the same report. It's great news for you and better news for the people reviewing your report. As stated in previous blog entries, our company has embraced the Microsoft Teams app to the point where emailing internally is almost non-existent. You can pin a Power BI report to a tab in your Teams channel and that way you'll never have to email the report or tell someone how to get to it again.