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Microsoft BI – All your questions answered!

You’re looking for a cost-effective Business Intelligence tool, and you’ve heard Microsoft BI is good – but you want to know just how good! Here’s all the questions you have about Microsoft BI and Power BI answered in an easy-to-follow format.


Q1: What does Microsoft BI do?

This is a Microsoft product that can extract, transform and load various kinds of data. It can create reports of SQL (structured query language) Server Reporting Services as well as organising and visualising multi-dimensional data. This sounds very complex but really just means that it can transform raw data into meaningful insights.


Q2: Is Microsoft BI free?

You can use Power BI for free to develop reports, dashboards and self-publish. However, if you’re looking to connect to an on-premises data or need a gateway, then you’ll need to upgrade to the Microsoft Pro edition.


Q3: Is Power BI free?

The Power BI Desktop version is a free download once you’ve registered for the Power BI Service, at no cost. Once downloaded, you can start building reports, however, you would have to start paying for the Power BI Pro service if you were to distribute those reports with other users. Once you’re a subscriber, you have access to several great features.


Q4: Are Microsoft BI and Power BI same?

Microsoft BI has ETL – extracts, transforms and loads data – capabilities, organising multidimensional data. Power BI is a data analytics’ tool that offers data modelling capabilities such as data preparation and recovery, as well as organising interactive dashboards.


Q5: What is Power BI and how it is useful?

This is a cloud-based business analytics service that will allow you to visualise and analyse data quickly and efficiently. Users of this software can transform raw data into user-friendly dashboards, interactive reports and great visuals.


Q6: Who is a Power BI ‘business user’?

This is the person who receives all the contents from colleagues and works on the Power BI platform using the online or mobile version.


Q7: What are the components of Power BI?

  • Power BI Desktop: This is the free Power BI service which helps users create reports, visuals and data models from various sources.
  • Power BI Service: This allows users to share and collaborate data reports generated through Power BI.
  • Power BI Mobile Apps: Available on all Android, Windows and IoS devices, this allows users to view reports and dashboards on mobile apps without requiring the Power BI Desktop service.


Q8: How do Power BI Desktop and Power BI Service differ?

Power BI Desktop is a free-to-download report authoring tool for designers that lets you access different types of data sources and data models. The Power BI Service is cloud-based for users to view and interact with reports. The Power BI Desktop can be used for publishing reports to the Power BI Service.


Q9: What are the features of Power BI?

  • Power Pivot: This fetches and cleans data to load on Power Query.
  • Power Query: This operates on the loaded data.
  • Power Map: This enables the processing of accurate geographic locations in datasets.
  • Power Q&A: Here users can interact with reports using simple English.
  • Power View: This leets users create interactive charts, graphs, maps, and other visuals.
  • Power BI also has DAX data analysis functions, help, feedback buttons, and a rich collection of content packs.


Q10: What are the benefits of Power BI?

  • This allows users to transform data into easy-to-use visuals which can be shared.
  • It establishes a connection for Excel queries.
  • It creates dashboards for fast analysis.
  • It provides quick and accurate solutions for users.
  • There simple language use for all queries.
  • Users can build interactable data visualisations.

Read More: Benefits of Microsoft Power BI


Q11: What is a dashboard in Power BI?

The dashboard is an important part of Power BI – it’s a simple presentation sheet of multiple visualisation reports. It allows you to bookmark, integrate URLs, create various tiles and set the report layout in mobile view.


Q12: What’s the difference between Power BI Pro and Power BI Premium?

Power BI Pro is an individual user licence that gives access to all content and features. You can share this with other Pro users for use on workspaces and dashboards. Power BI Premium supports larger data volumes and enables content distribution. Businesses can collaborate with colleagues to view dashboards and interact with them.


If you have more questions, that’s no problem! Contact the industry experts, Canvas Intelligence, who’ve partnered with Microsoft Business Intelligence to empower your business with the best BI solution.