Power BI is a business solution which provides a bunch of analytics tools that help an organization to get insights from their data, create reports and share dashboards to users.

What does Power BI offer?

In simple words Power BI has three key points :

  •  Cloud-based data analysis and reporting
  • Simple and user-friendly
  • Powerful and mature

The History of Power BI

Power BI is the progression of many solutions that aim at analyzing data.

At the below image we can see the history of Power BI. What exactly see is that Power BI is a blend of Power Pivot, SSAS, PowerView, Power Query and Power Map.

Power BI Components

At the below list the basic Power BI components are mentioned,

  • Power Query: Data mash up and transformation tool
  • Power Pivot: In-memory tabular data modeling tool
  • Power View: Data visualization tool
  • Power Map: 3D Geo-spatial data visualization tool
  • Power Q&A: Natural language question and answering engine
  • Power BI Desktop: A powerful companion development tool for Power BI

Power Bi Approach

At the image below we try to make a high-level approach of how Power BI works.

Power BI Considerations & Limitations

Of course like every software we have some considerations and limitations Power BI has to comply with.

  • Data set size Limit
    • 1 GB limit for each data set in the Power BI service
  • Row Limit (max number of rows in data set)
    • not using Directory Query: 2 billion rows
    • using Direct Query: 1 million rows
  • Column limit (max number of columns allowed in a data set)
    • 16.0000 columns

Power BI Benefits

As we have already said Power BI is a very powerful analytics tool that helps organizations to analyze and share data insights. In the below image we can see the benefits of this tool.

Power BI Data Sources

Power BI gives the ability for users to connect to different resources. At the next image, we can see these data sources.
Notice : The list of available data sources constantly updated

DAX (Data Analysis Expressions)

One of the valuable Power BI features is DAX (Data Analysis Expressions) which offers users functions, conditional statements and value references for data manipulation.

Power BI Desktop Min Requirements

Below are the minimum requirements to run Power BI Desktop

Power BI Desktop Gateway

This is about a software which must install on a local server and it’s responsible for the transfer of the data from the local network to cloud. Generally, its basic functions are to keep local databases safe from internet risks.
There are two types of gateways  :
  • On-premises data gateways (personal mode)
  • On-premises data gateway
Below are the differences between Personal and On-Premises data.

On-Premises Gateway Requirements

Power BI Free vs Power BI Pro vs Power BI Premium

Below are the feature differences between Power BI Free and Pro, as for the Power BI Premium you have to calculate the cost using the Power BI Premium Calculator  .
More details about the differences between Free and Pro version


Microsoft Power BI is a great tool that enables data to be processed and presented by a user, from a novice to an expert.

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