What Is Power BI Desktop


Power BI Desktop is a Business Intelligence tool provided by Microsoft. It is a Windows application that can be downloaded for free from the internet and easily installed in your personal computer. It will help you to connect with your data, and then load and transform it into meaningful information. Power BI desktop supports multiple data sources, so you can import data from these multiple sources and combine them into a data model. This data model allows you to use different types of visuals and create very attractive reports. You can share your report with other members of your organization.
What Is Power BI Desktop

People who uses Power BI Desktop

  1. IT Teams, IT Professionals – People who work in IT industries or learning IT skills.
  2. Business & Data Analysts – People who work as Data analysts in an organization.
  3. Developers & Database Administrators–Developers and DBAs of a company.
  4. PMOs - Project and Portfolio Managers – People who handle the IT projects in an organization.
  5. Consumer for End User Report – Those without IT or analytic background.
  6. Data Scientists – An employee who is a data scientist in an organization.

Most Common Uses of Power BI Desktop

  1. Load Data
    To do anything in Power BI you have to first import data. You can get data from various sources in Power Bi Desktop.

  2. Transform Data
    Power Bi Desktop allows you to edit data, add calculated columns and measures.

  3. Create Visuals
    You can also create visuals in power bi desktop.

  4. Create Reports
    Combining different visuals, you can also create meaningful reports.

  5. Share Report
    Power BI desktop allows you to publish reports to share with others.

Key Terms Used in Power BI Desktop

Below is the list of the main key terms or you can say building blocks of Power BI Desktop
Visualization means the visual representation of data. Live dashboards, interactive reports, maps, graphs and other visual representations allow you to easily and efficiently access the main business insight. Power BI gives you different visualization types, which keep getting updated with time. Some commonly used visualizations methods are as follows,
  • Pie chart
  • Donut Chart
  • Funnel
  • Line chart
  • Area chart
  • Stacked column chart
What Is Power BI Desktop
Dataset is a collection of data. Dataset is required to transform data into information. Through datasets you can create interactive reports and dashboards.
Datasets can also be a combination of different kinds of data sources like CSV, EXCEL, SQL Server, web or many more. Dataset contains the data source and its credentials.
Once you have Datasets, you can start creating visualizations that can display different parts of datasets in different ways
What Is Power BI Desktop
A Power BI report is a visual representation of a dataset, used for multi-perspective views with images from the dataset reflecting various observations and insights. A report may have a single visual, or multiple visual pages. You could be someone who designs reports, depending on your job role.
What Is Power BI Desktop

The functionality of Power BI Desktop

What Is Power BI Desktop
The above image is showing the home page in Power BI. Once you open the power BI without loggng in you will find the same window. Here I am describing each functionality in detail.
Menu Bar
On the top of this tool users can see the Menu bar having ‘File’, ‘Home’, ‘Insert’, ‘Modeling’, ‘View’ and ‘Help’ tabs.
What Is Power BI Desktop
This tab contains many features like Open a new Power BI window, Open a report(.pbix) that already exists in your PC, Save and save a report that was recently created. It also has ‘Get Data’, ‘Import’, and ‘Export’ options and settings.
What Is Power BI Desktop
This is one of the most commonly used tabs. This tab has six parts.
  • Clipboard: ‘Cut’, ‘Copy’ and ‘Paste’
  • Data: ‘Get data’ from multiple sources, also shows ‘Recent source’ and gives option to enter your own data.
  • Queries: This part allows you transform data.
  • Insert: It allows you to add new visuals, text box etc.
  • Calculations: Here you can get option to add new measure or quick measure
  • Share: This is the very most important part of this tab. Here you can ‘Publish’ your report on Power BI Services to share with other.
What Is Power BI Desktop
This tab is used to add pages and visuals and AI visuals like ‘Key influencer’. You can add different shapes and Power Apps etc.
What Is Power BI Desktop
Modeling allows you to create a new table, a new column in existing table, new measures etc.
What Is Power BI Desktop
It allows you multiple themes, multiple page views like gridline, snap to grid etc., Filters, Bookmarks and many more.
What Is Power BI Desktop
This is the last tab of the menus bar having documentation, support, blog and consulting services.
What Is Power BI Desktop
Left Pane
In the left side of this tool, you can see three kinds of views (highlighted with red color) in the below manner.
Here you can spend most of your time to create reports and visuals.
Here you can see tables, measures and other data sources for the report.
Here you can manage the relationship among tables.
What Is Power BI Desktop
Right Pane
At the right side of the canvas.
Here you can apply filters on the columns that are selected in values tab (below visualization).
Power Bi provides you many kinds of visuals like ‘Area chart’, ‘Line chart’, ‘Tables’ and ‘Matrix’ etc.
It contains the tables and columns that you imported from the sources.
What Is Power BI Desktop

Download & Install Power BI Desktop

As I have mentioned, Power BI Desktop can be download free from the internet so you can download it from the Microsoft website. Below is the link.
We have a separate article on our site on ‘How to install Power BI Desktop’. This article contains each and every step to install this tool. You can easily install it by following these steps. Below is the link,

PBIX Files

Files that are created in Power BI desktop, known as PBIX files. It contains queries, data models, visualizations, settings, and reports added by the user. These files have a ‘*.pbix’ extension. You can create this file by clicking on save or saving it as in ‘File’ tab. Your report will be saved with .pbix extension.


I hope this article will help you to understand about Power BI Desktop and its functionalities. Thanks for reading. Have a good day.

Similar Articles