Microsoft Power BI is a collection of software services, apps, and connectors that work together to turn your data into interactive insights. You can use data from single basic sources, like a Microsoft Excel workbook, or pull in data from multiple databases and cloud sources to create complex datasets and reports. Power BI can be as straightforward as you want or as enterprise-ready as your complex global business requires.

Power BI consists of three main elements—Power BI Desktop, the Power BI service, and Power BI Mobile—which work together to let you create, interact with, share, and consume your data the way you want.

Elements of PowerBI

The basic building blocks in Power BI are:

  • Visualizations – A visual representation of data, sometimes just called visuals
  • Datasets – A collection of data that Power BI uses to create visualizations
  • Reports – A collection of visuals from a dataset, spanning one or more pages
  • Dashboards – A single-page collection of visuals built from a report
  • Tiles – A single visualization on a report or dashboard