Power BI – 50 FAQs

1) Does Power BI use VBA?

Power BI Desktop is an entirely separate application from Excel and it has no VBA interface currently. 

2) Does Power BI require coding?

Power BI is a set of tools that allows non-technical folks to perform the kinds of analytics previously reserved for technical specialists or IT departments. Power BI changes that. Any analyst can connect to any data source and quickly summarize findings into a simple report, no programming is required. 

3) Is Power BI better than Excel?

Power BI is very much faster in processing while comparing Microsoft Excel. Power BI is mostly used for data visualizations and dashboard sharing to a large number of users while Microsoft Excel is mostly used for in-depth driver analysis. 

4) Are there macros in Power BI?

Power BI has no procedural macro style language feature. 

5) M Query Vs DAX

M and DAX are two completely different languages. M is used in Power Query (a.k.a. Get & Transform in Excel 2016) and the query tool for Power BI Desktop. Its functions and syntax are very different from Excel worksheet functions. DAX uses functions to work on data that is stored in tables. Learn DAX from sqlbi.com. 

6) Can I still export my data to excel?

Yes, you can export a report within the dashboard to Excel. 

7) Can I access this data via my mobile device?

Yes, you can download the Power BI App for Android, iOS, or a Windows device and login to view your dashboards and reports provided you are a premium user.

8) Are there additional resources or tools to learn about Power BI?

Yes, Microsoft has published a large repository of documentation about Power BI and its many functions. 

9) Can I favorite reports and dashboards? 

Yes, you can favorite information across multiple workspaces to allow for easy access.

10) Can I make my reports? 

Once a report has been shared with you it can be downloaded and edited using Power BI Desktop.

11) Can I share this report/dashboard with others?

To share, click the “Share” button on the top right of the report and enter the email of the person you’d like to share with. You can also restrict the recipient from sharing the report themselves. 

12) What is the difference between a report and a dashboard? 

A report is a set of interactive visuals pulling information from a single dataset. Reports can be pinned to a dashboard to summarize data from multiple sources focused on a particular theme or question.

13) What kinds of charts can be created in Power BI? 

Power BI offers several visualizations ranging from tables to area charts to geographical maps. New visualizations are added regularly and the service also allows you to create custom visualizations. 

14) The Power BI App isn’t working on my browser, what browsers are supported? 

Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer 11, Google Chrome, Safari, and Firefox are all supported browsers for viewing the Power BI App. 

15) How secure is my data in Microsoft Power BI?

Microsoft Power BI is an ISO27001 accredited product, meaning it is compliant with internationally agreed information governance standards. 

16) Can Power BI connect to a SQL Server?

Yes. SQL Server is one of 100+ data sources that Power BI can seamlessly connect to. 

17) Is Power BI real-time?

Reports can be real-time using streaming datasets or Direct Query, but in most cases this is overkill. Scheduled refreshes can be set between 8-48 times a day depending on your license subscription. 

18) Is it possible for Power BI to send an email?

Yes. A user can choose to subscribe to the reports that matter most to them and receive email notifications when specific data changes. 

19) Where is Power BI data stored?

The Power BI service is built using the Microsoft Azure cloud platform. Data will be held between Azure BLOB storage and Azure SQL Database. 

20) Can Power BI export to PDF?

Yes. A user can export the report to a PDF. 

21) Why is Power BI better than excel?

Power BI is better than excel due to its speed, visualization capabilities, and report consumption. 

22) How is Power BI Premium billed?

Power BI Premium is billed monthly with an annual commitment. 

23) How do I buy Power BI Premium?

Power BI Premium is available from the Microsoft 365 admin center. 

24) What do I need to use the Power BI service as a consumer?

If your company has purchased Power BI licenses or a Premium capacity account, all you’ll need is a Web browser and credentials. 

25) Why do I have to sign up with my work email?

Power BI doesn’t support email addresses provided by consumer email services or telecommunications providers. 

26) Why do we need BI?

We can take data and create the reports at the click of a button. It helps in attracting new customers to servicing and monitoring existing customers. The efficiency of an Investment (ROI) is very high here. 

27) How to Import the data in Power BI Desktop?

Go to getting data Sources (where we find data sources from a different domain) and select the sources (Excel, CSV, SQL) then Load it. To see the data, click the Data view. 

28) What is the need of the new selection pane in the report Power BI desktop?

It is used to control the tab order between visuals on a page. We can combine two or more visual pages into one visual group. 

29) What is DAX?

The language used by Power BI is abbreviated as Data Analysis Expressions. 

30) Why can’t anyone share a report on Power BI?

Because of the secure and confidential nature of the reports, the same has been disabled. 

31) What are Tiles in Power BI?

Tiles are a single visualization in a report or on a Power BI dashboard. 

32) What do I need to install to use Power BI?

Just a Web browser and email, you can use Power BI Desktop for free up to 60 days. 

33) Which language is used in Power Query?

M-code is a new programming language used in power query. M-code is a simple language and similar to other programming languages and it is a case sensitive language. 

34) Can we use SQL and Power Query together?

Yes, we can use them together. 

35) List some of the common Power Query Transformations?

The common Power Query Transformations include Filtering Rows, Changing Data Types, Grouping, Removing Columns, Adding New Columns, Splitting columns, etc. 

36) What is the use of Responsive Slicers?

You can easily adjust the responsive slicers according to the required sizes and shapes and the data contained in a report should be realigned according to it.

37) What is Self-Service Business Intelligence?

Self-service business intelligence is an approach to data analytics in which the users don’t need to possess the high technical knowledge to filter, segment, and examine the data related to them. 

38) What is BI?

The BI is an acronym for Business Intelligence which includes technologies practices and applications for collection, integration, evaluation, and presentation of organizational information using different charts. 

39) What is the language used in Power Query?

M-Code is the language used in Power Query.

40) What are the logical and date functions available in DAX?

Logical functions:  AND, OR, NOT, IF and IF ERROR

Date functions: Hour, Date, Weekday, EOMonth, and Now. 

41) How do you integrate Microsoft Excel to Power BI?

Power BI allows users to integrate excel workbook to Power BI. Users can import data present in excel sheets from the local disk of a system to Power BI. 

42) Is it possible to create duplicate reports? If yes, how?

There is an option available in Power BI to duplicate a page. Power BI has a duplicate page option, and if you use it, a fresh page will be created with similar visuals and layout like the original page. 

43) Are Power BI and Tableau the same?

Power BI comes at a lower price point than Tableau, but scaled features and additional users will increase that price. Tableau is built for data analysts, while Power BI is better suited to a general audience. 

44) Will Microsoft’s Power BI change the way the analytics industry functions?

No, that’s a bit too drastic. Power BI does one thing, and it does it very well i.e. Visualizations. 

45) Can I import a 10 GB data set into Power BI?

In Power BI (licensed version) and desktop version, per person data, the set limit is 1 GB. To load a 10 GB data set you to need to take Power BI premium license. 

46) How difficult it is to convert Tableau dashboards to Power BI? 

You cannot convert Tableau dashboards to Power BI. However, you can try to replicate the visualization in Tableau in Power BI. The degree of similarity will highly depend on the tools and features used in the Tableau dashboard. 

47) Is it mandatory to know MS Excel before I start learning Tableau and Microsoft Power BI?

No, it is not necessary to learn MS excel before starting tableau and Microsoft Power BI. 

48) Can I do data cleaning in Power BI?

Data cleaning functionalities are available in Power BI, all the options are available under Transform Tab in the edit Queries window (Power BI query editor). 

49) Can we publish a dashboard?

No. We can only publish reports. 

50) How much time does it take to learn Power BI?

If you practice and invest time seriously then it will not take more than 8 hours.

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