Power BI is the Top Online Tool for Creating Dashboards and Reports


With more than 5 million people currently subscribed to Power BI, Microsoft’s online business intelligence (BI) tool for creating dashboards and reports, the app leads the pack in terms of reporting and analytics in the world of self-service BI.

Previously these same people used relatively simply report and reporting tools that had what is often described as a command-and-control approach. Now Power BI has given users the ability to leverage the data that is important to them, and to gain insight that helps them improve business operations and solve problems pertaining to business.

Power BI has introduced ingenious ways to display, read and interpret data visually using charts, diagrams and a variety of graphics, along with ubiquitous Excel spreadsheets, statistical packages, key performance indicators (KPIs) and fantastic Power BI dashboards.

Microsoft’s Report Solutions

It is no secret that historically Microsoft was severely challenged when it came to improving the way data was presented using their apps and software.

More than a decade ago, in 2004, Microsoft launched SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) to supplement its 2000 SQL Server. A year later it was incorporated into the new SQL Server 2005, improving what was a very basic reporting tool kit. The problem was that it only really worked with Internet Explorer, and the reports were meant primarily for IT developers. That was hugely limiting.

Configuring it later to work with SharePoint made SSRS more popular, but it never cut it. Even Report Builder for SSRS didn’t work well enough, and other companies began to surge ahead of Microsoft with self-service BI that enabled users to analyze data efficiently and easily.

Microsoft’s next brainchild was Power BI, which would enable even minimally trained employees to transform company data into easy-to-decipher visuals that would knock the socks off anything they had ever done before. With just a little help from business intelligence consulting professionals, these Power BI reports took business operations to a whole new level.

Four Features That Have Made Power BI a Top Online Tool for Reporting Solutions

Power BI is currently the ultimate online tool that provides analytics solutions. It enables any organization to:

  • Display it’s entire business on one dashboard
  • Create good-looking reports that are interactive
  • Ensure that analysis is always consistent
  • Embed visual material that brings your reports to life and makes them meaningful

Power BI dashboards are powerful and allow users to monitor all the data you have available from your organization. You can also access all those apps the business relies on.

Power BI reports stand apart from most other reports simply because the app allows users to transform boring data by visualizing it. This also makes it a lot easier for mere mortals to analyze.

Power BI consistency is enabled by SQL Server Analysis Services that help users build powerful models that can be reused over and over again. This is what provides invaluable consistency when it comes to analysis and reports.

Power BI reports don’t only look good they are good. This is because they are meaningful and up-to-date, providing users with real-time Power BI dashboards. And of course they are interactive, which is one of the most powerful benefits any app can provide.

In addition, Power BI enables users to share its interactive reports on the web in seconds.

Power BI Going Forward

Word has it that Microsoft is now working on rebuilding and updating SSRS and ultimately unifying it with Power BI.

Late last year (2015) there was a statement on the company’s SQL Server blog that said they had added “mobile report delivery to SSRS” in the 2016 SQL Server, and that they intended to add “governed Power BI Desktop report delivery” sometime. About a month later the Power BI product manager, Will Thompson was quoted as saying that it was a goal of Microsoft to align their cloud and on-premises solutions. This, he said, would include the ability to run Power BI reports (Desktop) on SSRS servers on real-life premises – and not just in the cloud.

Of course until this happens, there are many companies and smaller businesses that are going to need business intelligence consulting services and advice from professionals who have experience with what is still a relatively new app. If you are one of these businesses, don’t hesitate to call the friendly professionals at Data Bear for help.


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