Power BI still contains the original four features, Power Query, Power Pivot, Power View, and Power Map. However, they are all packaged into a single source that's both easy to install and easy to use, not to mention free.
We'll start by showing you some of the completed sample works from Microsoft's website. You can download the sample content packs here. Let's begin by looking at the Human Resources Sample. This file is actually an Excel file with an underlying Power Pivot model, as well as some Power View dashboards. We could open this file directly in Excel if we wish. If we do this, we must enable all of the add-ins required to run a workbook with these features.
|Human Resources Sample in Excel|
We start by installing Power BI Desktop, which can be found here. Then, we open a blank Power BI canvas. From here, we could open the file as an Excel file.
|Get Data from Excel|
|Import Excel Contents|
|Human Resources Sample in Power BI|
On the left side of the screen, you can switch between the "Report", "Data", and "Relationships" canvases. The Report canvas is very similar to the old Power View sheets we are used to. The Data and Relationships canvases are very similar to Power Pivot.
One important caveat is that not all visualizations come standard with Power BI. Any of the more unconventional visuals will need to be downloaded from the Power BI Visual Library. If you attempt to open a Power BI file that contains visuals you do not currently have installed, you will get an empty visual. Here's an example from the Customer Profitability Sample.
|Import Custom Visual|
Hopefully, this opened your eyes to the potential of Power BI. Stay tuned for further posts where we'll talk about how to create your own data models and build your own dashboards. Thanks for reading. We hope you found this informative.