Getting Started with Power BI

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Power BI dashboards provide a 360-degree view for business users with your most important metrics in one place, updated in real time, and available on all of your devices. You no longer have to compile data from several different sources manually – it’s all done automatically with Power BI. Sources could include Microsoft Dynamics GP, Excel, Google Analytics, CSV files, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, and many more.

Power BI is a free tool that you can start using immediately. Those who need more robust features can purchase Power BI Pro for only $9.99/month. The Pro version includes a higher storage capacity, scheduling data refresh more frequent than daily, live data sources with full interactivity, groups, and more.

When you first log in to Power BI, you’ll see a dashboard.

features on the Power BI Dashboard

The main features of your Power BI dashboard are:

  1. Navigation Bar
  2. Dashboard with Tiles
  3. Q&A Question Box
  4. Help and Feedback Buttons
  5. Dashboard Title
  6. Office 365 App Launcher
  7. Power BI Home Buttons
  8. Additional Dashboard Actions

Along with the dashboard, Power BI is compiled of reports and datasets. The datasets are imported or connected from the services you already utilize. This information is the foundation of your Power BI charts and graphs. All the visualizations in a report come from a single dataset. These reports can be created within Power BI, imported from already created dashboards, or created automatically from connected datasets.

The dashboards and reports that you create are virtually limitless and can help you gain a visual understanding of your data in an extremely easy way. Additionally, Power BI can be used in a variety of different ways depending on the role of the person using it. For example, a sales manager could use Power BI to monitor sales quotas or leads while the finance manager could use Power BI to create effective charts and graphs showcasing projected profits.

Once a graph or chart is created, it can easily be accessed by others in the organization. On the main screen, you can see your favorites, recently accessed, visuals specifically shared with you, and graphs shared with your organization.


power bi from microsoft
You can also pull information into Power BI from software sources such as KEY2ACT.

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