What is Power BI Used For | Examples, Applications, and More

Taylor Karl
What is Power BI Used For | Examples, Applications, and More 4082 0

Microsoft Power BI: What is it Used for and How Can it Benefit Your Business

Microsoft’s "Power BI" tool is a scalable, self-service platform for data visualization and enterprise business intelligence (BI) insights. As a Microsoft application, the Power BI has standard Microsoft menus and easily integrates with standard Microsoft Excel among other data sources. A user can quickly get up to speed with Power BI due to the Microsoft suite integration.

Power BI Home Dashboard

An organization planning to use Power BI for data visualization and data analytics needs to consider:

  • What are the available data sources?
  • Will data analysts need both mobile and desktop access to Power BI?
  • Will Power BI service be required?
  • What training is necessary to prepare the data analytics team and planned users?
  • What is needed to set up (and maintain) a Power BI report server?

Using Power BI consistently and with quality data provides your organization the advantage of:

  • more accurate reporting,
  • real-time data dashboard tools, and
  • more holistic reporting incorporating multiple data sources.

Power BI is used in conjunction with Agile project management to track Agile projects, Extract, Transform, and Load from different data sources is particularly powerful. Project managers and teams can leverage data to guide decisions throughout sprints and testing to stay on track. Every Power BI user requires training to understand how to use Power BI features for consistent data analytics.

Microsoft Power BI: Example use in a business organization

With good planning and quality training, any organization can benefit from using Power BI’s suite of visualization tools for data-backed business decisions.

Power BI is used in many businesses to enhance data-driven planning, project management, business analysis, and business decisions.

For example, for the organizations’ sales function, a Power Bi set up with a trained user (or team of users) can:

  • Track sales and key performance indicators (KPIs) over time,
  • Identify sale trends, and
  • Create data-backed sales projections.

Power BI Data Visualization in Desktop

In a manufacturing setting, the Power BI tool can provide real-time data tracking and safety alerts.

Consider these situations:

  • Stream sensor data to a desktop dashboard for report intervals needed for tracking and audits.
  • Monitor real-time temperatures in a meat packing plant to send an alert to the dashboard upon reaching a specific threshold.
  • Identify dependencies across functions to better troubleshoot efficiencies and operational gaps.

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Target Audience for Power BI

Power BI has several aspects, including the IT infrastructure enabling the data exchange behind the dashboard, and the user component of interpreting the data and visual report displays.

For the technology stack, including how the tool is integrated and supported in the IT environment, the Power BI audience includes the:

  • IT administrators,
  • O365 Admins,
  • IT teams managing the Power Platform and O365, plus
  • Power Platform developers.

The target user for Power BI reports and data dashboards includes data analysts, business managers, and business analysts.

Power BI Data Visualization in Dashboard

Benefits of Power BI Applications

Power BI has a robust feature set with powerful integration possibilities.

  • Sophisticated visualizations, especially from AppSource,
  • Machine learning and AI features to gather insights from the entire dataset,
  • Dashboards in the Power BI service to track real-time data,
  • Global access as Power BI Service is on the cloud, and
  • Shared workspaces and apps, including Dynamics 365.

Due to the inherent integration functionality, the Power Platform suite and O365 integrate well with all parts of the business.

What is Power BI Used For | Microsoft Power BI Apps

Power BI is scalable with different combinations of servers, tools, features, service types, and apps. The cost can be managed to fit the scope of your organization’s needs.

Power BI Desktop

Power BI Desktop is a free download from Microsoft (MS) for creating Power BI Reports, transformations, visuals, and DAX measures and calculations straight from the desktop.

Power BI Service: Free, Pro, and Premium

Power BI Service (Free, Pro, and Premium) licenses are unlimited, but have tiered sharing capabilities, so that a user can create reports in PBI Desktop, publish them in their "My Workspace," and create dashboards.

Power BI Mobile

Power BI Mobile enables access via mobile devices (phones).

Power BI Embedded

Power BI Embedded is used with Power Apps to embed Power BI visuals into an app.

Power BI Report Server

Power BI Report Server may eventually replace SQL Service Reporting Service (SSRS). It provides the ability to create a paginated report but not a dashboard.


Data visualization, data analysis, project management, business analysis, and business management are just examples of what is Power BI used for in today’s modern organization. From desktop data visualization to real-time data monitoring, any Power BI service should be combined with user training to maximize benefits.