by Rob Collie
Power BI, Definition #1: An “Umbrella” Term for all of the “Power *” Tools
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An Overdue Treatment
I’ve posted before about Power Pivot vs. Power View and then later I added Power Query and other technologies to the explanation, but I’ve never just straight-on tackled the question of “What is Power BI?” So let’s get that off the list…
…And clean up my prior visuals while we are at it. (Can you believe that Power Query doesn’t have an icon/logo yet? Well, boom – I just gave it one. You’re welcome, Microsoft – although really it was just from one of the buttons already in PQ.)
Unofficial Definition = “Umbrella Term for the ‘Power *’ Tools”
#1, Power BI is an “umbrella” term that is used to describe all of the various “Power” data tools that Microsoft offers us. This is NOT the definition that you will typically hear from Microsoft, but colloquially, when someone says “Power BI,” there’s a good chance this is what they mean.
Official Definition = “The Cloud Publish & Manage Service from MS”
But I think Microsoft would say, more officially, that Power BI is their paid cloud service for publishing, sharing, managing, and consuming the results of those tools pictured above.
For instance, Microsoft sales reps today are measured, in part, by their customers’ adoption of precisely that online subscription service. They are NOT measured by how many of their customers are simply using the “free” desktop tools included in the Power BI “umbrella” term.