What is Power BI Desktop?



Power BI Desktop is a free application you introduce on your nearby PC that lets you associate with, change, and picture your information. With Power BI Desktop, you can associate with numerous various wellsprings of information, and join them (frequently called displaying) into an information model. This information model lets you manufacture visuals, and assortments of visuals you can share as reports, with others inside your association. Most clients who take a shot at business knowledge ventures use Power BI Desktop to make reports, and afterward utilize the Power BI administration to impart their reports to other people.


The most common uses for Power BI Desktop are as follows:

  • Connect to data
  • Transform and clean that data, to create a data model
  • Create visuals, such as charts or graphs, that provide visual representations of the data
  • Create reports that are collections of visuals, on one or more report pages
  • Share reports with others by using the Power BI service

People most often responsible for such tasks are often considered data analysts (sometimes referred to as analysts) or business intelligence professionals (often referred to as report creators). However, many people who don’t consider themselves an analyst or a report creator use Power BI Desktop to create compelling reports, or to pull data from various sources and build data models, which they can share with their coworkers and organizations.

There are three perspectives accessible in Power BI Desktop, which you select on the left half of the canvas. The perspectives, appeared according to the pattern in which they show up, are as per the following:

Report: In this view, you make reports and visuals, where a large portion of your creation time is spent.

Information: In this view, you see the tables, measures, and other information utilized in the information model related with your report, and change the information for best use in the report’s model.

Model: In this view, you see and deal with the connections among tables in your information model.

The accompanying picture shows the three perspectives, as showed along the left half of the canvas:what-is-desktop-07

Connect to data

To get started with Power BI Desktop, the first step is to connect to data. There are many different data sources you can connect to from Power BI Desktop.

To connect to data:

  1. From the Home ribbon, select Get Data > More.The Get Data window appears, showing the many categories to which Power BI Desktop can connect.what-is-desktop_02

2. When you select a data type, you’re prompted for information, such as the URL and credentials, necessary for Power BI Desktop to connect to the data source on your behalf.


3. After you connect to one or more data sources, you may want to transform the data so it’s useful for you.

Transform and clean data, create a model

In Power BI Desktop, you can clean and transform data using the built-in Power Query Editor. With Power Query Editor, you make changes to your data, such as changing a data type, removing columns, or combining data from multiple sources. It’s like sculpting: you start with a large block of clay (or data), then shave off pieces or add others as needed, until the shape of the data is how you want it.

To start Power Query Editor:

  • Select Edit Queries > Edit Queries from the Home ribbon.The Power Query Editor window appears.power-bi-editquery

Each step you take in transforming data (such as renaming a table, transforming a data type, or deleting a column) is recorded by Power Query Editor. Every time this query connects to the data source, those steps are carried out so that the data is always shaped the way you specify.

The following image shows the Power Query Editor window for a query that has been shaped, and turned into a model.


Once your data is how you want it, you can create visuals.

Create visuals

After you have a data model, you can drag fields onto the report canvas to create visuals. A visual is a graphic representation of the data in your model. There are many different types of visuals to choose from in Power BI Desktop. The following visual shows a simple column chart.


To create or change a visual:

  • From the Visualizations pane, select the visual icon


In the event that you as of now have a visual chosen on the report canvas, the chose visual changes to the sort you chose.

On the off chance that no visual is chosen on the canvas, another visual is made dependent on your choice.

Create reports

All the more regularly, you’ll need to make an assortment of visuals that show different parts of the data you’ve used to make your model in Power BI Desktop. An assortment of visuals, in one Power BI Desktop document, is known as a report. A report can have at least one pages, much the same as an Excel document can have at least one worksheets.

With Power BI Desktop you can make complex and outwardly rich reports, utilizing data from various sources, across the board report that you can impart to others in your association.

In the accompanying picture, you see the primary page of a Power BI Desktop report, named Overview, as observed on the tab close to the base of the picture.

what-is-desktop_01 (1)

Share reports

After a report is prepared to impart to other people, you can distribute the report to the Power BI administration, and make it accessible to anybody in your association who has a Power BI permit.

To publish a Power BI Desktop report:

  1. Select Publish from the Home ribbon.


Power BI Desktop connects you to the Power BI service with your Power BI account.

2. Power BI prompts you to select where in the Power BI service you’d like to share the report, such as your workspace, a team workspace, or some other location in the Power BI service.

You must have a Power BI license to share reports to the Power BI service.