Power BI

Power BI is a business analytics service by Microsoft. It aims to provide interactive visualizations and business intelligence capabilities with an interface simple enough for end users to create their own reports and dashboards.[1]


Power BI provides cloud-based BI (business intelligence) services, known as “Power BI Services”, along with a desktop based interface, called “Power BI Desktop”. It offers data warehouse capabilities including data preparation, data discovery and interactive dashboards.[2] In March 2016, Microsoft released an additional service called Power BI Embedded on its Azure cloud platform.[3] One main differentiator of the product is the ability to load custom visualizations.


This application was originally conceived by Thierry D’Hers and Amir Netz of the SQL Server Reporting Services Team at Microsoft.[4] It was originally designed by Ron George in the summer of 2010 and named Project Crescent.[5] Project Crescent was initially available for public download on July 11, 2011 bundled with SQL Server Codename Denali.[6] Later renamed to Power BI it was then unveiled by Microsoft in September 2013 as Power BI for Office 365.[7] The first release of Power BI was based on the Microsoft Excel–based add-ins: Power Query, Power Pivot and Power View. With time, Microsoft also added many additional features like Question and Answers, enterprise level data connectivity and security options via Power BI Gateways.[2] Power BI was first released to the general public on July 24, 2015.[8]

In February 2019, Gartner confirmed Microsoft as Leader in the “2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Analytics and Business Intelligence Platform” as a result of the capabilities of Power BI platform [9]. This represented the 12th consecutive year of recognition of Microsoft as Leading vendor in this Magic Quadrant category (beginning 3 years before this tool was even created) [10].

Key components

Key components of the Power BI ecosystem comprises:

Power BI Desktop

The Windows-desktop-based application for PCs and desktops, primarily for designing and publishing reports to the Service.

Power BI Service 

The SaaS (software as a service) based online service (formerly known as Power BI for Office 365, now referred to as PowerBI.com (or simply Power BI).

Power BI Mobile Apps 

The Power BI Mobile apps for Android and iOS devices, as well as for Windows phones and tablets.

Power BI Gateway 

Gateways used to sync external data in and out of Power BI. In Enterprise mode, can also be used by Flows and PowerApps in Office 365.

Power BI Embedded 

Power BI REST API can be used to build dashboards and reports into the custom applications that serves Power BI users, as well as non-Power BI users.

Power BI Report Server 

An On-Premises Power BI Reporting solution for companies that won’t or can’t store data in the cloud-based Power BI Service.

Power BI Visuals Marketplace 

A marketplace of custom visuals and R-powered visuals.[11]


  1. ^“Bring your data to life with Microsoft Power BI”. Microsoft.com. Microsoft. Retrieved 4 May 2016.
  2. ^ Jump up to:ab “Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms”. Gartner.com. Gartner, Inc. Retrieved 4 May2016.
  3. ^“Embed the wow of Power BI in your applications with Microsoft Power BI Embedded!”. Powerbi.microsoft.com. Microsoft. Retrieved 4 May 2016.
  4. ^“A Glimpse at Project Crescent”. Microsoft BI Blog. Microsoft. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  5. ^“Data Visualization Done Right: Project Crescent”. Microsoft BI Blog. Microsoft. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  6. ^Unkroth, Kay. “Announcing Microsoft SQL Server Code Name “Denali” Community Technology Preview 3 (CTP3)”. blogs.msdn.microsoft.com. Microsoft. Retrieved 28 May2019.
  7. ^“Office 365 Gets Colorful 3D Charts, Natural Language Search”. PC Mag India. ZiffDavis, LLC PCMag India. Retrieved 4 May 2016.
  8. ^“Announcing Power BI general availability coming July 24th”. Microsoft Power BI Blog. Microsoft. Retrieved 4 May2016.
  9. ^“2019 Magic Quadrant for Analytics and Business Intelligence Platforms”. Gartner.com. Gartner, Inc. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  10. ^“Microsoft announces the 2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Analytics and Business Intelligence Platforms”. microsoft.com. Microsoft, Inc. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  11. ^“Power BI Custom visuals on AppSource”. Microsoft AppSource. Microsoft. Retrieved 25 December 2017.

Ofer Abarbanel – Executive Profile

Ofer Abarbanel online library

Ofer Abarbanel online library

Ofer Abarbanel online library

Ofer Abarbanel online library