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Microsoft Power BI is a group of apps, connectors, and software services that run simultaneously to turn users’ separate sources of data into visually immersive, articulate, and collaborative insights. It does not matter if the data is in the form of a modest Microsoft Excel workbook, or a set of cloud-based hybrid data warehouses, Power BI allows users to simply connect with their data sources, discover what is important, and then distribute it to anyone they want.

Power BI can be straightforward and quick, efficient at producing instant insights from an Excel workbook or a database. However, Power BI can also be strong and company-grade, prepared for vast modeling, live analytics, and custom development. So, it becomes users’ individual report tool, whilst also acting as the decision engine behind company projects or whole organisations.

The parts of Power BI

Power BI is made up of a Microsoft Windows desktop app known as Power BI Desktop, an online SaaS service AKA the Power BI service, and mobile Power BI apps, accessible on any device.

These three components are created in order to allow users to build, distribute, and utilize business insights in whatever way that effectively helps them or their role.

Download Power BI Desktop

Download Power BI Desktop from the web or as an app from the Microsoft Store.

Log on to the Power BI service

Users will require an account before they can log in to Power BI. However free trials are available!

The flow of work in Power BI

The normal flow of work within Power BI starts with Power BI Desktop, this is where a report is produced. Then the report is distributed to the Power BI service and lastly shared with the users of Power BI Mobile apps.

Anything users do or create in Microsoft Power BI can be split into a number of key building blocks.

These key blocks in Power BI include:

  • Visualisations
  • Datasets
  • Reports
  • Dashboards
  • Tiles


Visualisation simply means a visual interpretation of the data, for example, a chart or color-coded map. Power BI has many diverse types of visualisations, and they can be minimal such as a single number representing something of importance, or visually elaborate such as a gradient-coloured map that shows supporters’ views on a particular social problem. The aim of a visual is to show the data in a relative and intuitive way.


Visualisations are created by Power BI through a dataset, a collection of data.

A straightforward dataset can be based on a single table from Microsoft Excel. However, they can also be a mixture of various separate sources, which can then be categorised and merged to deliver a personalised dataset to utilise in Power BI.

Filtering data before putting it into Power BI allows users to only concentrate on the data they consider to be important. Filtering supports users to not only concentrate their data but also on their efforts.

A vital and supporting part of Power BI is the assortment of incorporated data connectors. It does not matter where the data you need is, for example, Excel or Azure, or in a service such as Facebook, Power BI has data connectors built-in, allowing users to simply connect to their data, organise it if necessary, and then place it into their dataset.

After this dataset is produced, users can start to design visualisations that display various parts of it, and acquire new understandings based on the data. This is where reports come in.


In Power BI, a report is simply a set of visualisations that occur together on a page or more. Simply put, a report in Power BI is a set of items linked to each other.

Reports allow users to produce several visualizations, over many pages if necessary and then lay out the visualisations in whatever way serves them best.


When a report or set of visualisations is ready to share, users can build a dashboard. A Power BI dashboard is just a group of visuals that can be shared with others.

A dashboard needs to fit a single page, normally known as a canvas. Users can then distribute dashboards to other teams or users who will be able to work with the dashboards once they’re logged into the Power BI service or on a mobile device.


Inside Power BI, a tile is a term for an individual visualisation displayed on a dashboard. It is a rectangular box that stores an individual visual.

Do your data insights need straightforward or intricate datasets because Power BI can get to work quickly and expand to fit your complex needs if your data requires it. Plus, as Power BI is a Microsoft product, users know it will be a strong, extendable, Microsoft Office–friendly product!

If learning more about Power BI and its benefits or any of the Power Platform family sounds like something you are interested in, but some guidance may be needed, then look no further than Casper365!

The Casper365 Azure-based cloud platform includes a mix of bespoke SharePoint and Microsoft Teams templates, Casper365 templates, and SharePoint Online support. These templates include SharePoint Online starter kits, project management, auditing, and document management. Casper365 leverages your cloud platform, automating your SharePoint and Teams sites by up to 60% faster, improving productivity, and driving user adoption. You determine which users create sites, what types, and how many they can deploy, ensuring your environment is effectively managed and governed.

With automatically deployed business-ready solutions in Casper365, you can empower your teams to be productive, and safe in the knowledge that the governance is completely under control.

We offer a range of business-ready solutions that can be deployed instantly, easily customised to fit your business requirements, and that are designed by a team with decades of experience and world-class SharePoint Enterprise Content Management expertise.

So chat with us today!

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