Power BI is cloud-based business analytics service that allows you to build your own BI dashboard using data from a variety of sources. The solution can also be available on-premise through the Power BI Report Server.
Power BI comes in multiple versions:
• Power BI Desktop – Perfect for companies just starting to use dashboards to visualize data, the desktop version is FREE for authoring and publishing! If you’re familiar with using Microsoft Excel, you’ll find Power BI works much the same way – but with better-looking graphs, charts and reports. Power BI Desktop is a great way to proto-type and try out the SaaS.
• Power BI Premium – Power BI Premium is a paid cloud-based service designed for the larger enterprise, corporate user. The Power BI premium has built-in collaboration capabilities and provides dedicated capacity (to ensure high speed service). This option is designed for large scale deployments and large “reader” audiences. Estimate the pricing here.
• Power BI Mobile – Whichever version of Power BI you have, adding Power BI Mobile will keep you connected to the latest office insights. This solution is automatically available with the Cloud version. Simply downloaded the Power BI app on your smartphone and sign in.
• Power BI for Developers – Pull Power BI data into your apps so you can make better real-time decisions. Companies are combining Power BI with applications to visualize customer data, customer defects, scheduling in real-time. Because Power BI is embedded within the application, users retain the ability to drill down into source data.
• Power BI Report Server – This is the only version of Power BI that is deployed on-premise. This software is a customer version of SSRS. You can deploy on-premise today, and move to the cloud whenever you are ready. If you are already using SQL Server Reporting Services, Power BI Report Server help you find patterns quicker, and an easy-to-explore visual format.
Developers can take Power BI to the next level, creating custom visuals and using an API key to push data into a dataset. Those charts can then be embedded into a software application to be shared internally or externally. Streaming data for IoT (Internet of Things) initiatives is also available, and become popular with Azure and Cortana Analytics. Power BI is putting analytics into the hands of users who need real-time insight.
All Power BI deployments are not created equal. Having a partner who understands Business Analytics best practices can help you maximize your technology investment and insight.
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Author: Kevin Ballew, Solution Architect