What is Powerbi? Data Visualization


In today’s model data world where every minutes countless amount of data generated by humans which are yet to explore and data visualization is an easy method. Many different visualization tools are available in the market those who use excel and sql for reporting, power BI is boom to them because all the functionalities of excel and SQL can be implemented in power BI with better visualization.

In this article I am going to explain power BI, its architecture and its applications.

Power BI is Microsoft product and it is cost efficient than most of the other competitors in the market.

What is Powerbi

Power BI is a data visualization tool used to create interactive charts, tables and Key performance indicators (KPI) which will be useful for the business professionals to take decision.

Sample visuals:

Area Chart
Donut chart

Dashboard and Reports

Dashboard is a single page which contains charts, kpi, tables and maps and filers. All the visuals in powerbi are interactive, if you select any bar in chart then all other visuals will be highlighted based on the selected value.

Report consists of multiple dashboards which will be useful to narrate a story from visuals.

Dashboard 1
Dashboard 2


The main components of powerbi are:

Data Source:

Data is very important for visualization and all the outputs obtained are based on the input provided. Power BI supports wide variety of data sources and user can create custom connectors for those that are not pre-defined .Most popularly used data sources are:

  • Excel
  • SQL Database
  • Azure Cloud platform
  • Online Services
  • AWS, etc.

Power BI Desktop:

Power BI desktop is the environment where the user will create the dashboard and reports.  As this is Microsoft product, most functionalities of excel and SQL can be done here and user can slice and dice the calculated or aggregated data by using filter or by clicking on any column in the chart.

 If a beginner knows SQL and excel, it will be additional advantage to understand Power BI in a short span of time.

Power BI online/ Report server:

Power BI provides two different types of service.

  1. Power BI online service.
  2. Power BI Report server

Once the developer finishes the development and then comes to publishing the dashboards and reports for the end user interface.

Power BI online service is a cloud based service where user can access the dashboard and report from anywhere using the login credentials.

Power BI Report server is an on-premises report server with a web portal in which you display and manage reports and KPIs where users can access those reports in different ways by viewing them in a web browser or mobile device, or as an email in their in-box.


  1. Streaming the live data from different data sources serves as live monitoring tool and have the options to set alert mails to user based on the threshold value.
  2. Crunchy report table to simple charts. Power BI have market place in which user can import the different types of visual.
  3. Data security and accessibility. Data base level security and user level security also possible in Power BI.
  4. Usage of insights from visual reports by top level management to take business decisions.
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