Business intelligence (BI) is a term that has become increasingly common over recent years. Along with big data, data mining, predictive analytics, data science, and data stewards, BI is now very much part of business vocabulary. Much of the impetus behind this is the need for organizations to cope with ever-increasing datasets. It is now normal to have databases that contain millions of rows, requiring gigabytes, terabytes, or even petabytes, of storage space.
Data is no longer confined to an on-premises server room—it is hosted in the cloud, feeds are taken from third-party providers, public datasets are freely available, and social media interactions generate ever-expanding datasets. Reporting and analysis is certainly not a new concept to business, but the difference between how data analysis is done today, compared with five or 10 years ago, is immense. Nowadays, organizations need BI to see not only what was done in the past, but also more of what is to come.
There is now an overwhelming amount of data to gather and compose into reports. There is also an increasing need for data to offer up-to-the-minute numbers, so business can react faster to changing trends in markets and industries. Those businesses that can react fast and predict near-term trends to provide products and services where there is consumer demand have the best chance of survival in our modern and highly competitive world. With the rise of big data, there is an increasing need for data analysts who can take this data and find the critical points within a plethora of information.
Self-Service Business Intelligence (BI) has rapidly grown in popularity because of its ability to empower users to generate reports, process data, perform analysis, and more—all without having to depend on a report developer. The Self-Service BI trend is driven by Microsoft’s commitment to improving Excel and Power BI, both products having seen many enhancements over recent years. However, despite Microsoft enabling deeper data analysis with the four power tools added to Excel—Power Pivot, Power View, Power Query, and Power Map—they are not fully integrated into the Excel interface. Instead, they exist in separate windows. Add to this the complexity of publishing to SharePoint to share reports with colleagues, and it all becomes a time-consuming effort. Using Power BI eliminates complications and barriers with a simple integrated user interface and has the ability to publish rapidly to either a cloud-based or an on-premise portal to share reports easily.
This course provides and in-depth overview Power BI and explores the features that enable the rapid creation and publication of sophisticated data visualizations.