Power BI Services – Data Analytics has become integral to every company’s business strategy. Creating comprehensive reports and running insightful reports for the same helps organizations visualize different aspects and direct their strategies both internally and externally.

  1. Dealing with data has been an age-old “task” for businesses but the horizon has truly transformed with AI-based Business Intelligence tools that make the task much simpler. 
  2. In this article, you will read about the whys and hows of Microsoft’s Power BI Services which offer a robust platform for Business Intelligence Services. Power BI Services and how has different applications to offer which can fulfill different purposes of data assortments and analytics at large.
  3. Along with understanding the basic components and advantages of Power BI, you will also learn about key dashboard elements and how they can be used. 

Basic Elements and Building Blocks of Power BI

  • Workspaces
  • Dataflows
  • Datasets
  • Reports
  • Dashboards
  • Workbooks

Key Power BI Services Dashboard Elements

At the extreme left, the navigation panel helps access workspaces, apps, favorites, recent items, and shared content.

2. Canvas

The area consisting of the actual graphs, insights, and visuals is referred to as the canvas of the dashboard. 

3. Q&A Question Bar

The Q&A bar is located at the top left of the canvas where you can “Ask a question about your data”.

4. Dashboard Title

The dashboard title can be seen in the top left in the black strip after the PowerBI logo and your indicated workspace. 

5. Microsoft 365 App Launcher

The yellow icon at the top left extreme is the official Microsoft 365 App Launcher. 

6. Labeled Icons

The top right corner indicated the labeled icons in the Power Bi Dashboard setup.

You can locate these key elements in the following illustration:

Dashboard Illustration - Services Power BI
Image Source: Office 365 Utexas

Advantages of Power BI Service

  • For starters, you can access rich and personalized dashboards that can present important information and focus on key metrics instead of dealing with surplus data. 
  • Integrations with third-party applications and multiple data sources make it easier to report accurate data in your business environment.
  • Publishing reports is made much easier with automated data refresh and is also more secure with Power BI tools.
  • Interactive visuals can be created without the need for any technical specialization and are also run without any speed or memory constraints. 
  • Power BI services are simple to use with optimized performance for extracting relevant business data intelligently.
  • You can also access a wide range of advanced data services including verbal data querying, Cortana, and other advanced cloud cognitive services with Power BI. 

Differentiating Power BI Service and Power BI Desktop

  • While Power BI solutions are available in various forms as illustrated earlier, the solutions offered by Power BI Service and Power BI Desktop are quite distinct with some overlapping features.
  • The main difference between the two can be understood by what the two versions have to offer.
  • Power BI Desktop allows a connection to different types of data sources which are then converted into a data model for report creation.
  • Power BI Service, on the other hand,  is essentially a cloud-based service for users to view and interact with these reports. The overlapping features, as well as distinct features, can be listed as follows.


  • Thus, Power BI Services has much to offer to the business domain for intelligent collection, organization, reporting, and analysis of data that proves to be the most relevant for them.
  • In this article, you learned about Power BI Services, Building Blocks, basic elements of the Power BI Services, its Dashboard Elements, and the differentiation between Power BI Service and Power Bi Desktop.

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Aman Sharma
Technical Content Writer, Hevo Data

Aman Deep Sharma is a data enthusiast with a flair for writing. He holds a B.Tech degree in Information Technology, and his expertise lies in making data analysis approachable and valuable for everyone, from beginners to seasoned professionals. Aman finds joy in breaking down complex topics related to data engineering and integration to help data practitioners solve their day-to-day problems.

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