Microsoft Power BI was initially conceived by Amir Netz and Thierry D’Hers who were members of the SSRS Team at the Microsoft Corporation. In the summer of 2010, Ron George, who is now Senior Manager at Oracle Cloud Development, began the design phase. In July 2011, George released the first version of Power BI which he originally named Project Crescent.
Microsoft renamed it to Power BI in September 2013 and made it available as a part of Office 365 Enterprise. Power BI became such a success that global research and advisory firm Gartner Incorporated named Microsoft as “Leader” in the 2020 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Analytics and Business Intelligence Platform. Due to the capabilities of the Power BI platform, Gartner has recognized Microsoft as a Magic Quadrant Leader for 13 consecutive years.
Business intelligence is virtually effortless with PBRS (Power BI Reports Scheduler)
Power BI was developed to enable you to see all of your data through a single pane of glass. That is how Microsoft explains it at least. This powerful business analytics service provides users with an interactive environment complete with easy to digest visualizations, a simple-to-use interface, and robust business intelligence (BI) capabilities. Microsoft intended for Power BI to be so user-friendly that most end-users with basic computer skills can create reports and dashboards without needing to know how to code.
With so much offered by Power BI already, it may seem hard to imagine that adding anything could simplify BI further. But that is exactly what PBRS aims to achieve by intuitively automating the filtering, distribution, and delivery of SSRS/Power BI reports and dashboards. PBRS can do this on-premise or on the cloud—whichever solution is best for your organization.
All you need to do is define single or bundles of SSRS or Power BI reports; schedule or run them automatically; print or send the reports via fax, digital file folder, Google Sheets, Google Drive, Dropbox, File Transfer Protocol (FTP), SharePoint, among a long list of other formats. Reports can also be sent via email through several formats that include HTML, MS Word, PDF, Excel, Excel Data Only, CSV (comma-separated values) files, and others.
Flexible and intuitive
Microsoft’s Power BI Desktop allows you to connect data from numerous sources. You can find a complete list of available data sources here. Not only do you have access to more data sources than what is likely necessary but Microsoft has made it quite easy to access and change them whenever the need arises. All you have to do is follow the steps listed below.
- You change data sources from “Settings Menu”
- Click File
- Click Options and settings
- Click Options again
- Now select Preview Features and enable the connector
- Right-click the Data source settings to change the source
- Change data source from Advanced Editor
- Click Edit Queries and add the new source table
- Click on the new source table and select Advanced Editor
Microsoft xVelocity in-memory analytical engine
Microsoft’s xVelocity is an in-memory analytics engine used in Power Pivot. In other words, rather than querying data that is stored on physical disks, xVelocity queries data in a system’s random access memory (RAM). As a result, you can expect significantly shorter query times, allowing BI and other analytic tools to champion swifter organizational decisions. Thanks to the lowering cost of RAM, many organizations are beginning to find in-memory analytics more feasible.
While BI and other analytic tools have supported querying data in RAM for a while already, older 32-bit operating systems merely offered 4 GB of content-addressable memory (CAM). Today, it’s possible to query large volumes of data since newer 64-bit operating systems have upwards of 1 TB of CAM; in the future, even larger volumes will be achieved, allowing entire data marts or warehouses to cache data in a system’s RAM.
In addition to lightning-quick data querying, the in-memory analytics provided by xVelocity diminishes or even totally eliminates the need for storing pre-aggregated data in aggregate tables or Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) cubes. While promoting a quicker execution of BI and other analytic tools, it drastically reduces a company’s IT costs. Experts predict that traditional data marts and data warehouses will eventually become cold storage facilities—used only for data that is not queried frequently—as more organizations adopt xVelocity in-memory technologies.
Privacy levels adapt to your growing company and changing environments
Privacy levels in Power BI Desktop allow you to isolate one or more data sources from other data sources. It also gives you the power to define the degree of isolation data sources have. The downside of employing such restrictive isolation is that functionality is hampered. This is because privacy levels block information from being exchanged between other data sources.
You can find Privacy settings for each data source under File, Options and settings, Data source settings. To configure a data source privacy level, select the data source, then select Edit. The Data Source Settings dialog appears, from which you can select the appropriate privacy level from the drop-down menu at the bottom of the dialog, as shown in the following image.
The Power BI Data Gateway acts as a tethering platform between the Power BI Cloud service and the on-premise datasets that are not on the cloud. One example could be data sources on a local system or on a client’s data center which is behind a firewall.
What about centralized scheduling, exporting & delivering reports? This is where PBRS fills the gap left by Microsoft. The time, money, and energy needed to structure an end-to-end data plan for your Power BI Reporting—it’s done for you. In addition to that, PBRS helps Power BI evolve with your company. PBRS is designed to meet the challenges of your organization now and long into the future.