The Power BI Suite of Data Analytics and Visualization Tools
Power BI has become the centerpiece of Microsoft's business analytics stack. Power BI allows you to create and share actionable data visualizations presented as interactive dashboards or multi-page reports. Power BI can draw from hundreds of different data sources and can span on-premises and cloud-based infrastructure, desktop and mobile clients, structured and unstructured data, Windows applications and embedded website apps. Non-IT professionals can use Power BI as a self-service personal analysis tool for extracting insights from Excel spreadsheets, and data scientists can use Power BI for advanced enterprise analytics based on complex models that draw from multiple data warehouses.
Progent's Power BI consultants can help you deploy and use Power BI software, applications, and database connectors as part of an on-premises data analytics system, a cloud service, or as a hybrid environment that combines local and cloud resources. Progent can help you build Power BI reports and dashboards from multiple data sources and incorporate interactive, real-time visualizations within popular applications, custom software, or web pages. Progent can also help you configure or debug data gateways that enable secure use of on-premises data in cloud services like Power BI and PowerApps. Progent offers online or onsite expertise that includes system design, programming, troubleshooting, and training to help you create an affordable Power BI solution that delivers maximum business value.
Components of Power BI
The Power BI suite includes on-premises tools and Azure SaaS services that can be combined to create a local, cloud-based, or hybrid environment for creating and sharing interactive visualizations for data analytics. On-premises components include Power BI Desktop and Power BI Report Server. Cloud services options are Power BI Pro and Power BI Premium. Power BI mobile apps allow you to use Android, iOS and Windows mobile devices to view and interact with reports and dashboards that use either on-premises and cloud-based data.
Power BI Desktop
Power BI Desktop is an application that runs on your local desktop computer and allows you to access data from a wide range of diverse sources, build a data model for analysis, and create multi-page reports that enable business insights to surface via a collection of interactive visualizations such as charts, graphs, and maps. This free authoring tool lets you share these reports through the subscription-based Power BI service or via an on-premises Power BI Report Server. Power BI Desktop can access data from hundreds of local and cloud sources including Excel files, SharePoint folders, Microsoft 365, Exchange and SharePoint Online, SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS), Oracle, Salesforce, IBM DB2, Google Analytics, or Azure Blob Storage. An integrated Query Editor allows you to transform your data to create a clean data model and lets you combine data from different types of databases. If you have a Power BI service account, you can publish your reports to share them securely with authorized colleagues who have Power BI service licenses.
Power BI Service
Power BI service is a subscription-based SaaS cloud service. The Power BI service does not include the Query Editor like Power BI Desktop but can be used for limited data modeling and light report editing. Only the Power BI service offers the ability to create dashboards on top of reports or to share reports and dashboards (along with their underlying datasets) with authorized consumers. Data analysts typically author reports in Power BI Desktop and then publish to the Power BI service for creating dashboards and managing collaboration. Power BI service is available under either a Power BI Pro license for an individual or a Power BI Premium license for an entire organization. Both these options offer the same feature set, but a Premium license allows dedicated cloud resources for greater scale and performance.
Power BI service and Power BI Desktop offer a shared set of capabilities as well as their own unique features. These feature sets are evolving rapidly, but this chart from Microsoft shows a point-in-time comparison:
Power BI Report Server
Power BI Report Server is an on-premises toolset that allows you to keep reports created by Power BI Desktop behind your corporate firewall. This may be prompted by company policy or required by government or industry regulations. You can also run Power BI on an Azure-hosted VM using Azure IaaS services. Power BI Report Server lets you manage and distribute multi-page reports and KPIs to authorized users via a web portal, a mobile app, or email. Because Power BI Report Server is compatible with subscription-based Power BI cloud services, you can easily migrate to Microsoft's Power BI SaaS service when appropriate.
Power BI Report Server provides all the features of SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) and adds support for Power BI reports. (See Progent's SQL Server Reporting Services consulting.) Power BI Report Server can be licensed via the Power BI Premium service or SQL Server Enterprise Edition with Software Assurance. The Power BI Premium license allows you to deploy a hybrid Power BI solution that combines cloud and on-premises infrastructure and services. This option also adds features like browser-based report creation, natural language Q&A, R visuals, and advanced Microsoft 365 collaboration.
Power BI Mobile Apps for iOS, Android and Windows
Power BI Mobile Apps are native applications for iOS, Android, and Windows 10 mobile devices. Mobile Apps allow you to view and interact securely with Mobile BI cloud or on-premises data. You can author reports in Power BI Desktop and view them through your on-premises Power BI Report server, or you can create and view dashboards and reports in the Power BI report cloud service. Supported clients include iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Apple Watch, Android phone or tablet, and Windows 10 device. Microsoft Intune can help you manage your mobile environment by allowing you to require a PIN for access, controlling how applications handle data, and encrypting data when the mobile app is not in use. (See Progent's Intune consulting services.)
Consulting Services Available from Progent for Power BI
For two decades Progent has provided online and onsite consulting services to businesses of all types and sizes, and Progent has active clients in every state in the U.S. Progent's seasoned consulting team includes subject matter experts in virtually every major aspect of modern computing. This breadth of expertise, combined with the ability to provide fast access to top-tier consultants, makes Progent an ideal source of support for Microsoft's Power BI stack, which can touch many parts of your information system.
Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help you design, deploy, manage, enhance or troubleshoot your on-premises, cloud-based or hybrid Power BI environment. Progent can help you start fresh with Power BI to modernize your current business analytics solution or revamp your existing Power BI deployment by incorporating new data sources or adding new services. Progent's Azure consultants can help you integrate your in-house resources with Power BI cloud service or set up your Power BI Report Server on a cloud-hosted VM using Azure IaaS services. Progent can help you build Power BI datasets from mission-critical databases and applications by providing the support of experts such as SQL Server consultants, Oracle consultants, MySQL experts, Microsoft Access consultants, Dynamics GP consultants, Dynamics 365 Business Central/NAV ERP consultants, <SharePoint consultants, and Microsoft 365 consultants. Progent's business intelligence reporting experts can show you how to design and manage Power BI reports and dashboards and provide one-on-one or group training for IT managers or end users.
Progent's certified cybersecurity experts can help you follow industry best practices in protecting your Power BI ecosystem from data leaks. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE network engineers can help you configure or troubleshoot gateways and VPN connections to cloud resources, and Progent's database administration experts can help you prepare clean datasets from multiple sources to drive your Power BI visualizations. In addition, Progent's mobile computing consultants can help you deploy Power BI Mobile Apps and provide you with iPhone and iPad integration services and Android phone and tablet consulting.
Contact Progent for Power BI Solutions
If you are looking for a consulting specialist in Microsoft Power BI, call Progent at