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IoT Business Intelligence using PowerBI

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You’ve almost reached the end of Week 3. Let’s explore business intelligence in the IoT space.

In this step, we’ll look at:

  • What PowerBI is and how it can be used in business intelligence scenarios.
  • The basics of using PowerBI to create reports.

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. Whether your data is a simple Excel spreadsheet or a collection of cloud-based and on-premises hybrid data warehouses, Power BI lets you connect to your data sources, visualise or discover what’s important, and share that with anyone or everyone you want.

While this topic covers PowerBI as a tool for presenting your data in a meaningful way, be aware that Azure data services can be used with other data analytics tools such as Tableau.

Power BI can be simple and fast, capable of creating quick insights from an Excel spreadsheet or a local database. But Power BI is also robust and enterprise-grade, ready for extensive modelling and real-time analytics, as well as custom development. It can be your personal report and visualisation tool, and can also serve as the analytics and decision engine behind group projects, divisions, or entire corporations.

The Parts of Power BI

Power BI consists of a Windows desktop application called Power BI Desktop, an online Software as a Service (SaaS) called the Power BI service, and mobile Power BI apps available on Windows phones and tablets, as well as for iOS and Android devices.

Screenshots of Power BI desktop, Power Bi service and Power BI mobile

PowerBI: Apps and Services

These three elements–the desktop, the service, and mobile–are designed to let people create, share, and consume business insights in the way that serves them, or their role, most effectively.

Power BI Workflow

The common flow of activity in Power BI is the following:

  • Bring data into Power BI Desktop and create a report.
  • Publish to the Power BI service, where you create new visualisations or build dashboards.
  • Share your dashboards with others, especially people who are on-the-go.

Creating Reports with Power BI Desktop

With Power BI Desktop, you connect to data (usually multiple data sources), shape that data (with queries that build insightful, compelling data models), and use that model to create reports (which others can leverage, build upon, and share).

When the steps are completed to your satisfaction–connect, shape, and report–you can save that work in Power BI Desktop file format, which is the .pbix extension. Power BI Desktop files can be shared like any other file, but the most compelling way to share Power BI Desktop files is to upload them (share them) on the Power BI service.

Power BI Desktop centralises, simplifies, and streamlines what can otherwise be a scattered, disconnected, and arduous process of designing and creating business intelligence repositories and reports.

Let’s move on to your final step of Week 3. We hope you enjoy it!

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Microsoft Future Ready: Fundamentals of Internet of Things (IoT)

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