How to use Power BI Desktop: A Step-by-step Guide in 2023
How to use Power BI Desktop- Overview
What is Power BI desktop? How to use Power BI Desktop? There are so many questions that arise about Power BI Desktop in this blog we will discuss most of the problems. Further in this document, we will discuss arising question about Power BI such that. What is power BI?
How to use Power BI? How to use power BI Desktop on windows 10? How to use Power BI Desktop app? How to use Power BI Desktop with Excel? How to use Power BI Desktop on Mac? And many more questions related to Power BI desktop that you all might be curious about.
How to use Power BI Desktop – Introduction
First things first, what is Power BI Desktop?
Power BI Desktop is a robust and feature-rich business intelligence tool developed by Microsoft. It enables users to connect, transform, analyze, and visualize data from various sources to gain valuable insights and create interactive reports and dashboards. Whether you are a business analyst, data professional, or decision-maker, Power BI Desktop provides a user-friendly interface and powerful capabilities to explore and understand your data effectively.
Power BI Desktop provides a comprehensive set of tools and functionalities to turn your raw data into meaningful insights. Whether you are analyzing sales data, tracking key performance indicators, or monitoring business metrics, Power BI Desktop empowers you to make data-driven decisions and communicate your findings effectively. It’s a versatile tool that can be used by beginners and experienced users alike to unlock the value of their data and drive business success.
Key features and functionalities of Power BI Desktop
1. Data connectivity: Power BI Desktop connects to databases, Excel files, SharePoint, and more, enabling data consolidation from various sources for a unified view.
2. Data transformation: Power Query Editor in Power BI Desktop allows easy data cleaning, shaping, and transformation with tools like deduplication, filtering, merging, and calculations.
3. Data modeling: Power BI Desktop enables table relationships, hierarchies, and DAX expressions for advanced data modeling, organization, and analysis enhancement.
4. Interactive visualizations: Power BI Desktop provides interactive visualizations like charts, graphs, maps, and tables, allowing data exploration, customization, filtering, and insightful analysis.
5. Advanced analytics: Power BI Desktop offers advanced analytics features like forecasting, clustering, and identifying key influencers, enabling statistical analysis and pattern recognition in data.
6. Report authoring: Power BI Desktop enables the creation of interactive reports with visuals, text, images, and layouts customization, enhancing user experience and storytelling.
7. Collaboration and sharing: Power BI Desktop allows publishing reports to the Power BI service or sharing as PBIX files for collaboration, scheduled refreshes, and secure sharing with stakeholders.
How to use power bi desktop on Windows 10
Steps on how to use Power BI Desktop on Windows 10:
1. Download and install Power BI Desktop: Download Power BI click powerbi.microsoft.com to download the Power BI Desktop installer for Windows. After the download is complete, run the installer and follow the on-screen instructions to install the application.
2. Launch Power BI Desktop: After the installation is complete, you can find the Power BI Desktop icon on your desktop or in the Start menu.
3. Sign in to Power BI: Upon launching Power BI Desktop, you will be prompted to sign in with your Microsoft account. Sign in using your credentials.
4. Start a new project or open an existing one: In Power BI Desktop, you can start a new project by selecting “Get Data” or “File > New Report,” or By selecting “File > Open,” you may access an existing project.
5. Connect to data sources: Power BI Desktop offers data connectivity to databases, Excel, SharePoint, and more. Click “Get Data” to choose a source and establish the connection.
6. Design your report: With Power BI Desktop, design your report by adding visuals, creating relationships, and applying filters using the available tools and options.
7. Create visualizations: Power BI Desktop offers diverse visualization options like charts, graphs, tables, and maps. Choose and populate visualizations by dragging fields from your data.
8. Customize your report: Power BI Desktop provides customization options to format text, change colors, apply themes, and more, enhancing the appearance of your report.
9. Save and publish your report: To save your report in Power BI Desktop, click “File > Save.” For publishing, choose “File > Publish” and follow the prompts to sign in and publish to Power BI service.
How to use Power BI Desktop with Excel:
Step-by-step guide on How to use Power BI Desktop with Excel:
1. Prepare your data in Excel: Make sure your data is organized in a structured format within an Excel workbook. Each table of data should be on a separate sheet, and columns should have clear headers.
2. Open Power BI Desktop: Launch Power BI Desktop on your computer.
3. Connect to Excel data: In Power BI Desktop, click on the “Get Data” button in the Home tab of the ribbon. From the available data connectors, select “Excel” and choose the option that matches your Excel file location (e.g., Local File or OneDrive).
4. Select Excel workbook: Browse and select the Excel workbook that contains your data. Power BI Desktop will analyze the workbook and present a preview of the available sheets and tables.
5. Choose data to import: Select the specific sheets or tables you want to import into Power BI Desktop. You can also perform data transformations or apply filters during the import process using the Power Query Editor.
6. Build visualizations: Once the data is imported, you can start creating visualizations in Power BI Desktop. Drag and drop fields from your Excel data onto the canvas to create charts, tables, and other visual elements.
7. Design and customize your report: Use the formatting and customization options available in Power BI Desktop to design and customize your report. You can change visual properties, add titles, apply themes, and create interactive features.
8. Save and publish: Save your report locally in Power BI Desktop by clicking on “File” and selecting “Save.” If you want to publish your report to the Power BI service, choose “File” and select “Publish” to sign in and publish your report to the cloud.
How to use Power BI Desktop on Mac:
Power BI Desktop is primarily designed for Windows operating systems. However, Microsoft has released a Power BI Desktop version for Mac in preview mode. Here’s a guide on how to use Power BI Desktop on a Mac:
1. Install Windows on your Mac: Power BI Desktop for Mac requires a Windows operating system. You can install Windows on your Mac using Boot Camp or virtualization software like Parallels Desktop or VMware Fusion.
2. Install Power BI Desktop: Once you have Windows installed on your Mac, you can download and install Power BI Desktop for Windows from the official Microsoft website
3. Launch Power BI Desktop: After the installation is complete, launch Power BI Desktop from the Windows partition on your Mac.
4. Use Power BI Desktop: Once Power BI Desktop is running on your Mac, you can use it just like you would on a Windows computer. You can connect to data sources, create visuals and reports, apply transformations, and perform data analysis.
It’s important to note that running Power BI Desktop on a Mac through Windows virtualization or Boot Camp may require a Windows license. Additionally, the Mac version of Power BI Desktop is in preview mode, which means it may have limitations and some features might not be fully supported.
We recommend checking the official Microsoft Power BI website or community forums for the latest updates on Power BI Desktop for Mac and any specific requirements or instructions provided by Microsoft.
How to use Power BI Desktop App:
Steps to use Power BI Desktop App:
1. Download and Install: Visit the official Microsoft website or your app store (e.g., Microsoft Store for Windows, Mac App Store) and download the Power BI Desktop app.
2. Launch the App: Once the installation is complete, launch the Power BI Desktop app.
3. Get Data: Open the app, click “Get Data” in the Home tab, select the data source (e.g., Excel, SQL Server, SharePoint), and follow the prompts to connect and import data.
4. Design Visualizations: Imported data allows visualization creation. Drag fields onto the canvas to create charts, tables, maps, and more. Utilize the Visualization pane for different visualization types.
5. Customize and Format: Power BI Desktop offers customization options for visuals. Use the Visualizations pane to format colors, fonts, and labels, and add interactive features like tooltips and drill-through actions.
6. Create Relationships: If you have multiple tables in your data, you can define relationships between them. Use the “Manage Relationships” option in the Home tab to establish connections based on common fields or keys in the tables.
7. Build Reports: Arrange your visualizations on the canvas to create a cohesive and informative report. You can add text boxes, images, shapes, and additional pages to organize and present your data effectively.
8. Save and Publish: Once you have designed your report, you can save it locally by clicking on “File” and selecting “Save.” If you want to share your report with others or collaborate, you can publish it to the Power BI service by clicking on “File” and selecting
“Publish.” Follow the prompts to sign in to your Power BI account and publish your report to the cloud.
In conclusion, Power BI Desktop is a powerful tool for data analysis and visualization. It allows you to connect to various data sources, design interactive reports with rich visualizations, customize the appearance and functionality of your visuals, and publish and share your reports with others.
With its intuitive interface and extensive features, Power BI Desktop empowers users to gain valuable insights from their data and make informed business decisions. Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced user, Power BI Desktop provides a robust platform to unlock the full potential of your data analysis and reporting capabilities.
1. What is Power BI Desktop?
Power BI Desktop is a Windows application that allows users to create interactive reports and visualizations using various data sources.
2. How much does Power BI Desktop cost?
It costs nothing to download and use Power BI Desktop. It is part of the Power BI suite, which offers additional subscription plans for advanced features and collaboration.
3. Can Power BI Desktop connect to different data sources?
Yes, Power BI Desktop supports a wide range of data sources including databases, Excel files, SharePoint, cloud services, and more.
4. Can I create custom visualizations in Power BI Desktop?
Yes, Power BI Desktop allows users to create custom visuals using the Power BI Developer Tools or by importing custom visuals developed by others.
5. Can I schedule data refreshes in Power BI Desktop?
No, Power BI Desktop does not have the capability to schedule data refreshes. Data refreshes can be scheduled in the Power BI service or using Power Automate.
6. Can I share my reports created in Power BI Desktop?
Yes, you can share your reports by publishing them to the Power BI service or by exporting them as PBIX files to be opened in Power BI Desktop by other users.
7. Does Power BI Desktop work on Mac or other operating systems?
Power BI Desktop for Mac is available as a preview version. Stay updated with Microsoft’s latest information and requirements.
8. Is Power BI Desktop suitable for beginners?
Yes, Power BI Desktop offers a user-friendly interface and provides resources such as templates and tutorials, making it accessible for beginners to start creating reports and visualizations.
9. Can I use Power BI Desktop without an internet connection?
Power BI Desktop functions offline but needs internet for data refresh, publishing to the Power BI service, and online data access.
10. Is there a mobile version of Power BI Desktop?
Power BI Desktop is designed for desktop or laptop computers, while mobile devices can access and interact with reports via the Power BI mobile app.