Power BI is one of the top data visualization tools provided by Microsoft. Power BI provides easy drag and drop interface to create dashboards and get actionable insights from our data. Power BI is a low code platform and thus is easy to learn and work with.
In this blog, we will talk about the architecture of Power BI, Components of Power BI, Power BI feature
Power BI Architecture
The architecture of Power BI is shown below:
Power BI architecture has three phases. The first two phases use ETL (extract, transform, and load) process to handle the data.
Data Integration: An organization needs to deal with the data that comes from different sources. First, extract the data from different sources which can be a separate database, servers, etc. Then the data is integrated into a standard format and stored in a common area that’s called a staging area.
Data Processing: Still, the integrated data is not ready for visualization because the data needs processing before it can be presented. This data is pre-processed. For example, the missing values or redundant values will be removed from the data sets. After that, the business rules will be applied to the data, and it transforms into presentable data. Then this data will be loaded into the data warehouse.
Data presentation: Once the data is loaded and processed, then it can be visualized much better with the use of various visualization that Power BI offers. By using of dashboard and reports, we represent the data more intuitively. These visual reports help business end-users to take business decisions based on the insights.
Components of Power BI Architecture
Below are the major Power BI components of Power BI platform architecture that play an important role to implement the BI capabilities offered by the tool.
Let’s learn about the components in detail:
- Power BI Desktop: Power BI Desktop is a free software used to convert, connect, and visualize datasets on a PC or laptop. It’s one of the most important Power BI components where we can integrate distinct information sources and combine them to form a data model. Then, we can create graphics or image collections to share them as records with other individuals in our organization.
- Power BI Service: After the reports are created on Power BI Desktop, we can publish them on the cloud using Power BI Service. The service connects users and allows them to create dashboards known as Power BI Workspace. It offers natural language Q&A and alerts, and it is available in both Power BI free and Power BI Pro versions,
- Power BI Mobile Apps: The mobile apps of Power BI keep us connected with the data no matter where we are. We can see live reports and dashboards on our iOS and Android smartphones and make better market decisions on the go. Only pro Power BI architecture provides the feature of Mobile reports and dashboards.
- Power BI Query: Power Query allows users to connect distinct information from multiple sources and convert them to satisfy their business requirements. Power Query is included in the Power Query Editor of Power BI Desktop.
- Power Q&A: Power Q&A allows business users to explore information in their own words and phrases. This natural language question and reply engine is the fastest way to get the response from your data.
- Power Map: Power BI queries offer a 3D visualization tool, Power Map, that shows differences in your datasets with shadings ranging from dark to light.
- Power Pivot: Power Pivot allows data storage with high compression, quick aggregation, and calculation. With Power Query, users can load information into it, or the pivot can load information on its own.
- Power View: For a quick and effective visualization in your Excel workbooks, we can try Power View’s drag-n-drop feature and save your time. It’s an important part of MS Power BI architecture that enables the user to quickly visualize the data in a few clicks.
Power BI Features
Toward the end of this blog on Power BI architecture, we will read about the various features of Power BI.
- Interactive reports authoring: We can apply filter and sorting operations to expose the target columns and create highly customized reports. These reports provide an overview of the current situation, which helps us to run appropriate queries on the entire database.
- DAX data analysis function: Data Analysis Expressions (DAX) is a library that can be combined to build expressions and formulas for new measures and visualizations in Power BI, Analysis Services, and Power Pivot.
- Flexible tiles: Talking about customization, we can add, remove, or edit various properties of every tile on the dashboard and achieve your business goals.
- Q&A question box: It enables us to run queries on the data in the form of natural sentences and voice commands. Power BI uses Cortana’s Deep Learning technology to identify the commands given by the user.
- Stream analytics: Power BI provides stream analytics, i.e., processing data while it is in motion. This feature assists real-time analytics of the ‘in-motion data through different websites, sales, social media, and other sources to make timely decisions.
- Help and Feedback buttons: We get 24/7 assistance from Microsoft’s support team as it resolves any issue or question you have in mind.
- Customizable dashboards: In case the default standards are not able to meet requirements, we can access custom visualization libraries to process the datasets and create custom dashboards.
- Dataset filtration: With Power BI, we can create visualizations using data filtrations and have smaller subsets of contextual relevance or important information.