Power BI is a collection of software services, apps, and connectors that work together to turn your unrelated sources of data into coherent, visually immersive, and interactive insights. Your data may be an Excel spreadsheet, or a collection of cloud-based and on-premises hybrid data warehouses. Power BI lets you easily connect to your data sources, visualize and discover what’s important, and share that with anyone or everyone you want.
With Power BI, you can connect to many of the services you use to run your business, such as Microsoft Dynamics. Power BI starts by using your credentials to connect to the service. It creates a Power BI workspace with a dashboard and a set of Power BI reports that automatically show your data and provide visual insights about your business.
The Parts of Power BI
Power BI consists of:
- A Windows desktop application called Power BI Desktop.
- An online SaaS (Software as a Service) service called the Power BI service.
- Power BI mobile apps for Windows, iOS, and Android devices.
These three elements—Power BI Desktop, the service, and the mobile apps—are designed to let you create, share, and consume business insights in the way that serves you and your role most effectively.
A fourth element, Power BI Report Server, allows you to publish Power BI reports to an on-premises report server, after creating them in Power BI Desktop. Read more about Power BI Report Server.