Microsoft Power BI

Power BI is a Business Analysis/ Intelligence (BI) software from Microsoft. It is one of the most popular and powerful visualization tools. It helps you get actionable information from unstructured data. You can get this data from various sources through visualizing. If you are familiar with Microsoft’s Excel, then Power BI will be fairly easy to understand. In this article, we will discuss Microsoft Power BI in detail. We will look at Power BI tools, uses of Power BI, Power BI online course, job opportunities. Further, we will also look at Power BI pricing. Business analysts use various tools. Such as Power BI, Jira, Microsoft Visio, Google Docs.

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Microsoft Power BI

What is Power BI

Power BI is a tool by Microsoft that is mainly used by Power BI developers and business analysts. Although, it is also used by data scientists. It helps you identify important information from the data. Most importantly, it also allows you to share it with anyone. MS Power BI has various tools. Such as, Power BI Desktop, Power BI mobile apps (Android/IOS), Power BI Service that is an online SaaS. A Power BI dashboard is the page that shows you information about a business in the form of visualizations. On the other hand, Power BI reports are a more detailed form of data. It is represented in graphs, charts, etc. You can connect Power BI to these sources:

  1. SQL Database
  2. Azure Cloud System
  3. Blank Query
  4. Online Services
  5. Power Platform
  6. OData Feed

Power BI online course

You can learn Power BI online from many different sources. There are many online platforms that offer Power BI online courses. Online courses are similar to offline. In addition, software such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom makes it possible to learn online. This software offer video calling, voice calling, and screen sharing features. Many platforms allow you to get recorded videos. You can watch these videos at your convenience. Examples of these platforms are Udemy and Coursera. There are sources from which you can learn Power BI for free such as YouTube.

Power BI tools

Power BI has different tools and you can use them based on your requirement. Some important tools of Microsoft Power BI are:

  1. Power BI Apps- Power BI offers mobile apps for android, IOS, and Windows. You can connect to the cloud or on-premise data to the Power BI app. It also allows you to interact with the dashboards and reports. You can get information about the business quickly.
  2. Power BI Data Gateway- Data gateway helps in the transferring of data between Microsoft Cloud Services and on-premise data. On-premise data refers to the data that is not on the cloud. However, the data gateway can only be installed by BI Admin.
  3. Power BI Service- Power BI service is Software as a Service (SaaS). It allows you to view reports and dashboards to analyze data about the business.
  4. Power BI Desktop- Power BI Desktop is a free application that you can install on your PC. It is used to connect different sources of data to combine them into a Data Model. Further, a data model allows you to create visuals such as graphs or charts. A collection of these visuals are called reports. So, it can be said that the power BI desktop allows you to create reports for further sharing them with others.
  5. Power BI Report Server- Power BI Report Server is an on-premises report server that hosts reports. It also offers you tools to create KPIs, Paginated reports, and mobile reports. You can access these reports through a web browser, mobile device, or even through email.


There are 5 key components of Power BI. Each component is briefly explained below:

  1. Power Query- You can add Power Query in Excel or you can get it with Power BI. It allows you to extract data from numerous sources. For example, MySQL, SQL Server, Oracle, and various sources. You can get data from excel files, text files, and CVS files.
  2. Power Pivot-Power Pivot is available as an add-in for Excel. Basically, it allows you to create data models of complex and simple data. You can get this data from various sources. Power Pivot uses a powerful functional language called DAX.
  3. Power View- Power View is a data visualization component of Power BI. It allows you to create interactive visuals such as charts, graphs, etc.  
  4. Power Map- Power map comes as an add-in on Excel 2013 and it is embedded in Excel 2016. Surprisingly, you can bring your data to life with 3D interactive visualizations. It allows you to visualize geo-spatial information in 3D mode. Further, you can also highlight the data based on geographical location. Such as country, city, street address, etc.
  5. Power Q&A- Power Q&A lets you ask questions in natural language about your data model.

Reason to use Power BI

Microsoft Power Bi is a Business Intelligence (BI) software. To clarify, it helps you get actionable information out of data. Listed below are the benefits of using Power BI over its competitors:

  1. Power BI updates the dashboards in real-time.
  2. It has an intuitive user interface. Anyone familiar with Excel can learn Power BI without much effort. Moreover, you don’t need to know programming to use Microsoft BI.
  3. Power BI can get data from a lot of sources. For example, Azure Cloud System, SQL Database, Oracle Database. Moreover, you can also extract data from Facebook, GitHub, MS Excel, etc.
  4. Power BI Desktop is a free tool. It helps you make interactive and visually compelling charts and graphs. However, Power BI has paid options too.
  5. You can access reports from your mobile phone or PC. Rather, the only thing you need is an internet connection.
  6. New features are added every month

Job Opportunities

Visualizing data is an important part of the business. Thus, demand for Power BI professionals will most probably not decline in the future. A Power BI developer needs to convert raw data from various sources into actionable information. They do this through dashboards and reports. Above all, a Power BI developer should have strong communication skills.

Skills to Become a Power BI Developer

  1. Knowledge of CSS, SQL, JavaScript.
  2. Experience with BI tools.
  3. Business Analysis skills.
  4. Software development skills.
  5. Knowledge of DAX expressions.
  6. Graduation from computer science.
  7. 3-4 years of experience in using self-service tools like Power BI.

Roles and Responsibilities

  1. Converting raw data into meaningful visuals.
  2. Development of data models.
  3. Developing custom visuals.
  4. Development of DAX queries.
  5. Development of methodologies.
  6. Developing visual KPI scorecards, reports, and dashboards.


Microsoft Power BI is a free tool but also has paid versions. Power BI mobile apps and desktop are free. However, Power BI also has a Pro version and a Premium version. The premium version has further two options.

Power BI Pro

The Power BI Pro is available for $9.99 per user per month. It allows you to connect to 100 data sources, 8 data refreshes daily. Further, it offers a 1GB model size limit. Generally, the Power BI Pro version is included in Office 365’s E5 plan.

Power BI Premium (Per User)

The Power BI Premium (per user) costs $20 per month. It includes all the features from the pro version and some additional features. Unlike the pro version, it offers a 100GB model size limit, paginated reports. Further, it allows you to refresh data 48 times daily.

Power BI Premium (Per Capacity)

The Power BI Premium (per capacity) costs $4,995 per month. This plan is suitable for large businesses that have more than 500 Power BI users. It has the features of the premium per user plan. Furthermore, it allows a 400GB model size limit and on-premises reporting.


In this article we discussed all about Microsoft Power BI. Power BI is a tool that helps to present complex data into informative visuals. We covered Power BI training, tools of Power BI, components, reasons for using Power BI. Further, we also looked at the job opportunities, required skills, and responsibilities of a Power BI developer. We also discussed the pricing of Power BI. This article will provide you deep knowledge about Power BI. Power BI is mostly used by business analysts and data scientists as a part of their job. Power BI is a powerful tool and one of the best for creating interactive visuals and sharing reports. Its pricing varies upon the number of users you have. However, Power BI has a con, that is, its desktop version is not available for Mac. On the positive side, you can still access the online version of Power BI.


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