Join Gini von Courter for an in-depth discussion in this video Launch Power BI Desktop, part of Power BI Pro Essential Training.
- [Voiceover] At the start of this course after we logged in for the first time to Power BI, we downloaded Power BI Desktop. And if you missed that part, this would be a good time to download Power BI Desktop. There's also a Pro version and the Pro version simply means that you get more features. It's more storage. The items that we saw when we created groups. So if you have upgraded to Power BI Pro, when you download Power BI Desktop, you'll have access to the Pro features.
Power BI Desktop is an application in and of itself and it duplicates much of the functionality we've already seen. You can use Power BI Services to create reports and you can use Power BI Desktop to create reports. You can use Power BI Services to get data and you can use Power BI Desktop to get data. I'm not going to show you everything there is to know about Power BI Desktop, but there are reasons that you would use Power BI Desktop even if you're primarily using Power BI Services.
So I'd like to focus on those three features in Power BI Desktop that are important and that make it worthwhile for you to download and use this tool. First, Power BI Desktop or Power BI Desktop Pro, allows you to create data models. We've been importing data sets and when we needed to change things, we needed to change them in Excel or change them in the CSV file. Change them wherever we imported that data from. But with Power BI Desktop, we can model the data directly.
We can transform data. We can shape data. We can merge or append data sets. We can add calculated or custom columns or index columns. So if you need to clean up your data or modify your data, and often we do, this is the tool to do it. The second thing is we have the ability here to relate data. If I want to take data from two different tables and mash them together. For example, I might have data that has addresses in it and postal codes and I'd like to use those postal codes to look up latitides and longitudes.
Two different tables. My choices are either to find some way to string those tables together in Excel or somewhere else ahead of time or simply bring both of those tables into my data model in Power BI Desktop and relate them. The third possibility is I want to do some of my work offline. And for me this isn't insignificant. There are different times in my work here that I'm spending a lot of time on trains. And even though there's internet, it's not rock solid, particularly for something like Power BI.
When I'm on an airplane, I can do a lot of my Power BI work offline if I'm using Power BI Desktop. So these are the reasons that drive me to this tool We're not going to take an incredibly deep dive into Power BI Desktop because there's an entire course on Power BI Desktop in the training library. So if you like what you see here in the next few movies, I would encourage you to take a look at Learn Microsoft Power BI Desktop: The Basics, which is a course that focuses only on Power BI Desktop.
But for now let's take a look at these features that are important and are unique to this desktop-based tool.
- Signing up for Power BI Pro
- Connecting to data sources
- Uploading data such as CSV and XLS files
- Creating reports, visualizations, charts, and maps
- Filtering, sorting, copying, and pasting visualizations
- Downloading custom visuals from the gallery
- Modifying existing reports
- Creating and managing data dashboards
- Querying data with Power BI Q&A and Microsoft Cortana
- Sharing report and dashboards
- Using Power BI Desktop and mobile apps