In the second of our blog series on Power BI, we’ll take a high-level look at what we’re actually referring to when we talk about Microsoft Power BI. Without discussing licensing and what’s free vs. paid for, let’s just breakdown the key elements.
• Power BI Service
• Power BI Desktop
• Power BI Mobile
These three elements – the Service, the Desktop, and Mobile – are designed to let people create, share, and consume business insights in the way that serves them, or their role, most effectively. Watch our overview video for more hear more.
Power BI Service
The Power BI service is a free, online environment for sharing and collaborating on your business reports and is available right from within your D365 environment.
The Power BI service is where all the main elements of Power BI are brought together in one place: Reports, Data Sets, and Dashboards.
Reports: These are a collection of visualizations (line charts, pie charts, timelines, etc.) that have been created from a single data set
Data Sets: A data set is a collection of data (e.g. Dynamics CRM Accounts and Opportunities and Dynamics AX Orders and Invoices) that has been brought together in one place
Dashboards: A Dashboard is a way of bringing together visualizations from any number of different reports and can be created and shared by anyone in your organization
Power BI Desktop
The Power BI Desktop is a free, downloadable application that allows you to connect to multiple data sources, create data models, and produce reports which you can share by publishing them to the Power BI Service.
The Power BI Desktop has all the features and functionality you’ll need to create data models based on numerous data sources, perform data transformations, create new calculations, design reports, and then share that information by publishing the Reports and Data Sets to your Power BI Service.
So, if you want to connect to you own Dynamics CRM environment to create visualizations based on your business data, you’ll want to download the Power BI Desktop.
Once downloaded, you can connect to the entities you want to report on – whether that’s out of the box entities like Accounts, Contacts, Leads, Opportunities – or custom entities. You’ll then be able to quickly create Reports using in-built visualizations.
Power BI Mobile
Being able to view and interact with to your reports on the go is so important and Power BI includes free Apps for all types of Mobile devices. So, you can install the App on your iPhone, iPad, Android, or Windows device, point it to your Power BI Service and all your Reports and Dashboards are now available right in your hands.
From your mobile device, you not only have the power to interact with your reports, you can annotate a visualization, email screenshots with annotations, pin visualizations to your home screen, and receive alerts.
Using the Power BI Desktop, you can provide specific formats and layout for your reports so that they look perfect on a mobile device.
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