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. Your data may be an Excel spreadsheet, or a collection of cloud-based and on-premises hybrid data warehouses. Power BI lets you easily connect to your data sources, visualize and discover what's important, and share that with anyone or everyone you want.
Power BI consists of several elements that all work together, starting with these three basics:
- A Windows desktop application called Power BI Desktop.
- An online SaaS (Software as a Service) service called the Power BI service.
- Power BI mobile apps for Windows, iOS, and Android devices.
The most common use cases for Power BI Desktop are:
- Connect to data
- Transform and clean that data, to create a data model
- Create visuals, such as charts or graphs, that provide visual representations of the data
- Create reports that are collections of visuals, on one or more report pages
- Share reports with others by using the Power BI service