Power BI - Overview and Learning

Microsoft Power BI is a collection of online services and features that enables you to find and visualize data, share discoveries, and collaborate in intuitive new ways. There are two experiences now available for Power BI: the new experience, generally referred to as Power BI, and the previous experience which is referred to as Power BI for Office 365.

Power BI

The new experience is centered on PowerBI.com, an online service where you can quickly create dashboards, share reports, and directly connect to (and incorporate) all the data that’s important to you. The new experience also introduces the Power BI Desktop, a dedicated report authoring tool that enables you to transform data, create powerful reports and visualizations, and easily publish to Power BI. The new experience extends to all your mobile devices, too.

Note   If you were using the previous experience and want to migrate to the new experience, you can download this migration guide to understand and prepare for the migration process.

The following sections provide an overview of the new experience, along with introductions and links to learn more about the details and capabilities of each offering.

Power BI - the new experience

In the new experience, Power BI displays dashboards on the Power BI service that are interactive, and can be created and updated from many different data sources. Three elements are primary to the new experience:

In the new experience, you create dashboards that keep you informed about what’s most important about your business. Just like a dashboard in your car displays important information about your vehicle, such as its speed, its fuel level, or how healthy the engine is, dashboard in Power BI display important information about your business.

Dashboard in Power BI

In Power BI, dashboards display tiles that represent important information about your business. Tiles are based on reports (just like gauges are based on vehicle data from the engine, the fuel tank, or the battery). You can select a tile to explore more information from the underlying report.

Power BI - dashboard to report

The new experience also introduces a dedicated report authoring tool:

With Power BI Desktop, you get a powerful and dedicated report authoring tool that enables you to connect to and combine data from lots of different sources, using Power BI Desktop's Query Editor. From the datasets you build with Query Editor you can create rich reports and visualization within Power BI Desktop. And when you’re done, publishing to the Power BI service is easy.

Power BI Desktop

There’s a lot more to learn about the new experience, and plenty of content to help you . The following links provide information about the new experience, and start with overview information (to get your familiar, oriented, and comfortable) then move into specifics. A separate section is dedicated to the Power BI Desktop, and those links also go from overview to specifics.

Getting Started - the new experience

The following links provide guidance on the new experience in Power BI.

Using Power BI Desktop

The following links start with an overview of Power BI Desktop, then describe common tasks and capabilities that Power BI Desktop provides.

Try it for yourself – visit PowerBI.com and see what’s there, or get Power BI Desktop and play around with it. And as always, we want your feedback.

Applies To: Power BI Designer, Power BI



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