Some Powerful Features of Power BI Desktop, It Is Free.
Published Sep 21 2023 04:34 AM 4,400 Views

Microsoft's Power BI Desktop is a useful application that enables organizations to effectively visualize and analyze data. It is a user-friendly application with a variety of features that cater to both novice and experienced users, making it a useful asset for organizations across industries. 


The first step in creating Power BI reports and dashboards is to use the free standalone Power BI Desktop application. Users can connect to different data sources, model and manipulate the data to be in good shape, and then produce aesthetically appealing results. Click here to know more about Power BI Eco-System


Let's examine some of the key features that make Power BI Desktop the preferred option for data analysts and business professionals: 

There are three views available in Power BI Desktop, which you select on the left side of the canvas. The views, shown in the order they appear, are as follows:

  • Report: You create reports and visuals, where most of your creation time is spent.



  • Data: You see the tables, measures, and other data used in the data model associated with your report, and transform the data for best use in the report's model.



  • Model: You see and manage the relationships among tables in your data model.



The Home Ribbon

The benefits of the ribbon are intended to make the experience across Power BI Desktop and other Microsoft products easy and familiar.




Data Connectivity 

Power BI Desktop users can connect to a variety of data sources, including Excel, databases (SQL, Oracle, etc.), cloud services (Azure, Google Analytics, Salesforce, etc.), and many others. This guarantees that you may gather all of your data in one location for in-depth examination. The first step is to connect to data. There are many different data sources you can connect to from Power BI Desktop. 


To connect to data: 

1. From the Home ribbon, select Get Data > More. 

The Get Data window appears, showing the many categories to which Power BI Desktop can connect. 




 2. When you select a data type, you're prompted for information, such as the URL and credentials, necessary for Power BI Desktop to connect to the data source on your behalf. 



 3. After you connect to one or more data sources, you may want to transform the data so it's useful for you. 


Data Transformation and Modeling 

Power BI Desktop offers a robust set of data transformation tools once you connect your data. This comprises tools for organizing, structuring, and cleansing data. Users can clean up their data before moving on to analysis thanks to the built-in Power Query Editor, which is a user-friendly interface for these procedures. With Power Query Editor, you make changes to your data, such as changing a data type, removing columns, or combining data from multiple sources.  


To start Power Query Editor: 

  1. On the Home ribbon, in the Queries section, select Transform data. 
  2. The Power Query Editor window appears. 



Each step you take in transforming data (such as renaming a table, transforming a data type, or deleting a column) is recorded by Power Query Editor. Every time this query connects to the data source, those steps are carried out so that the data is always shaped the way you specify. 

The following image shows the Power Query Editor window for a query that was shaped and turned into a model. 



You can create visuals once your data is how you want it.


Data Relationships 

In Power BI Desktop, you can create relationships between different datasets. You can connect to numerous different sources of data and combine them (often referred to as modeling) into a data model using Power BI Desktop. This is crucial for merging data from multiple sources to generate comprehensive insights. The ability to establish these relationships ensures that your reports accurately reflect the real-world relationships between your business data.  




 Data Visualization 

One of the standout features of Power BI Desktop is its ability to create stunning and interactive visualizations. The application provides a wide range of charts, graphs, and visuals that can be customized to suit specific business needs. With a drag-and-drop interface, even those with minimal technical expertise can quickly create visually appealing reports. 

The following visual shows a simple Treemap chart. 




To create or change a visual: 

  • From the Build a visual pane, select the Build visual icon. 




  • If you already have a visual selected on the report canvas, the selected visual changes to the type you selected. 
  • If no visual is selected on the canvas, a new visual is created based on your selection. 


Create Reports 

 A collection of visuals, in one Power BI Desktop file, is called a report. Similar to how an Excel file can include one or more worksheets, a report can have one or more pages. More often, you'll want to create a collection of visuals that show various aspects of the data you've used to create your model in Power BI Desktop. 

On the tab near the bottom of the image, you can see the first page of a Power BI Desktop report called Overview. 





 DAX Language 

The Data Analysis Expressions (DAX) language is an integral part of Power BI Desktop. It's a powerful formula language that allows for complex calculations and expressions, create new columns, enabling users to perform advanced analytics on their data. For more information about DAX 




 Advanced Analytics 

Run sophisticated statistical analysis and machine learning algorithms using Power BI Desktop's interface with R and Python. Power BI Desktop supports the integration of R and Python, enabling advanced statistical analysis and machine learning capabilities. This offers up a world of opportunities for businesses trying to maximize the value of their data. For more information on R in Power BI 


Powerful Publishing and Sharing Capabilities 

When your reports are ready, Power BI Desktop gives you the option to publish them to the Power BI services or export them in a variety of file types, including PDF and PowerPoint. This makes it possible for stakeholders and coworkers to simply share your findings. 


To publish a Power BI Desktop report: 

  1. Select Publish from the Home ribbon. 




  •  Power BI Desktop connects you to the Power BI service with your Power BI account. 
  • You're prompted to select where in the Power BI service you'd like to share the report. For example, your workspace, a team workspace, or some other location in the Power BI service. 
  • You must have a Power BI license to share reports to the Power BI service (Power BI Pro or Power BI Premium per user). You can check my previous post on Power BI License


Regular Updates and Community Support 

Microsoft actively updates Power BI Desktop with new features and improvements based on user feedback and evolving industry trends. Moreover, there is a vibrant Power BI community where users can seek advice, share knowledge, and find solutions to their queries. 


Power BI Desktop can help you realize the full potential of your data, offering insights that can advance your organization whether you run a small startup or a large corporation. Why then wait? Start your journey to success through data-driven decisions by downloading Power BI Desktop right away.

You can download Power BI desktop from Web or  Microsoft store.


Thanks for reading!


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‎Mar 01 2024 02:46 PM
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