Microsoft Power BI is a free, self-service business intelligence cloud service that provides non-technical business users with tools for aggregating, analyzing, visualizing and sharing data. Power BI’s user interface is fairly intuitive for those users familiar with Excel and its deep integration with other Microsoft products makes it a very versatile tool that requires very little upfront training.
Power BI is intended for small to mid-size business owners; a professional version called Power BI Plus is available for a monthly subscription fee of less than $10.00 per license. The service is available as a Web-based Software as a Service (SaaS) called Power BI, a downloadable application for Windows 10 called Power BI Desktop and native mobile apps for Windows, Android and iOS devices.
Key features of Power BI include:
Hybrid deployment support – This feature provides built-in connectors that allow Power BI tools to connect with a number of different data sources from Microsoft, Salesforce and other vendors.
Quick Insights – This feature allows users to create subsets of data and automatically apply analytics to that information.
Cortana integration – This feature, which is especially popular on mobile devices, allows users to verbally query data using natural language and access results, using Cortana, Microsoft’s digital assistant.