What exactly is Power BI?
Here’s how Microsoft describes its product:
“…a business analytics solution that lets you visualize your data and share insights across your organization, or embed them in your app or website.”
You can say that Power BI is the perfect BI tool for users without much technical knowledge.
However, a lot of people mistake Power BI as a simple tool.
To put it simply, Power BI is like an umbrella of BI tools. The main products are:
- Power BI Service: The Online Version (Freemium; requires a work email address)
- Power BI Desktop: The On-Premise Software (Absolutely free to use)
- Power BI Mobile: For smartphones, tabs, and other mobile devices (Free to download)
Power BI Service and Power BI Desktop may look similar. But there are other features and functions that are only specific to either of them like:
- Creating dashboards
- Data modeling
- Sharing reports and dashboards
- And others
Also, the license you get with Power BI’s pricing restricts some of the features you can use.
For example, free users can use the online version by using a work email address. However, that user can’t share any reports or dashboards with others.
Needless to say, most first-time users experience Power BI’s desktop version since it’s free to download and use.