Including “Power” in the name of anything is a fairly bold statement. If you add “Power” in front of something it’s going to make it sound better. If you saw a sign for “Power Coffee” you would think that sounds better than regular coffee and probably go buy one! It all comes down to marketing I guess and from my experience the folks in marketing are smart cookies.
Power BI is an offering from Microsoft, it is the logical next step in their various evolving Business Intelligence tools. It comes in two flavours there is the online version at powerbi.com and a desktop version. With both you can pull in your data from a wide variety of sources and then create powerful visualisations allowing you to extract powerful insights from the powerful data…. sorry too many powerful’s!
To address the question in the title I will explain my recent experience with Power BI. Part of what we do at Auxilion is providing a 24/7, ITIL aligned IT support service for customers. We will handle support requests from staff, manage and monitor servers alongside a whole host of other functions. This means we are capturing huge amounts of data about cases logged with our service desk, server alerts and availability data from SCOM and call data from our phone system. Hugely important data I think you will agree. The first version of our reporting system was built with a SQL Data Warehouse and SSAS tabular model using PowerPivot and SharePoint to present the reports. A significant amount of work went in to get the DW and model in place and allow for it to be “sliced and diced”. This part really needs specialist knowledge, fortunately we had some in house. However we wanted more from the front end and that is why we decided to bring in Power BI.