Power BI

“Power BI … is an umbrella name for many technologies and tools that blend well together. It is a self-service Business Intelligence solution with the ultimate goal of providing deeper business insights…  Excel being the center of the universe
James Serra

What is Power BI

The term references the suite of BI technologies that reside within the Office 365 bundle. The primary components are Excel, Powerpivot,  Power QueryPower View  and the Power BI  platform itself. Using these tools in combination allow you to create and share rich data visualizations and analytics. Models can be disseminated publically or privately over the internet with whatever audience is chosen. Viewers are able to  interact with the applications. Slicers filter the data down to results that suit your specific interest or can be expanded to focus attention towards broader subjects and performance targets.  It includes mapping features allowing you to summarize your data over specific geographic areas or even over site specific synoptic panels. Custom Dashboards are easily created by “Dragging and Dropping” from menus on to a canvas. The menus consist of a model’s components including table summaries defining each field, aggregation and filtering calculations called “Measures”  written in DAX along with a list of the available visualization formats and reporting tools.  To simplify data analysis there is also a feature called “Q&A”  which allows a user to query the data using “natural language”. Security can be maintained by restricting access on a file and/or row basis.   RLS  administration features exist on certain platform configurations . A locally installed version of Microsoft Office is not necessary.  Users can view or interact with the application without having any background in Excel. Power BI models have their own URL codes and can be embeded into your own website. This is a great way to promote your product and service or share customer centric information as demonstrated below.

Power BI Web Based Live Demo

This application evaluates the drought condition in California by comparing “surface storage” measurements of the major reservoirs and watersheds to their prescribed targets. It is a Powerpivot/Query/View data mash-up of publicly available information automatically harvested from the web on a pre-scheduled periodic basis . You can interact with the data model by scrolling the map and choosing a specific reservoir pinpointed with blue bubbles or select a whole river systems from the slicer. The chart shows the water level trends as compared to the statutorily defined target levels. The trends show the effect on inflows from climate related factors like rainfall and consumption outflows for agriculture, habitat, commerce and domestic purposes. Results less than 0% indicate dry conditions while positive results reflect surplus. The tiles show specific attributes of the various reservoirs that have been selected and the table presents the aggregated raw data for the combined selections.

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