By continuously listening to users and extending features, Power BI has established itself as a leader amongst analytics and business intelligence solutions. Power BI’s strong capabilities enable users to easily transform unprocessed data into captivating visualizations and interactive reports. Building upon this success, Microsoft has recently announced Fabric, an end-to-end analytics solution with full-service capabilities including data movement, data lakes, data engineering, data integration, data science, real-time analytics, and business intelligence. All backed by a shared platform providing robust data security, governance, and compliance.
The data lake, OneLake, is the foundation on which all the Fabric services are built. It’s built into the Fabric service and provides a unified location to store all organizational data where the experiences operate.
OneLake prewires all Microsoft Fabric compute experiences. Just like the Office applications are prewired to use the organizational OneDrive. The experiences such as Data Engineering, Data Warehouse, Data Factory, Power BI, and Real-Time Analytics use OneLake as their native store. They don’t need any extra configuration.
To address the complexity of today’s data environments, Microsoft Fabric presents a revolutionary method of data analytics. Fabric empowers businesses to easily get actionable insights and make data-driven decisions by utilizing the power of artificial intelligence.
While Power BI continues to thrive, Microsoft Fabric introduces new capabilities that will enhance and simplify your data analytics journey.
What features does Fabric bring to Power BI?
Copilot for Power BI
With Copilot, Power BI users can streamline the report creation process significantly. Users can quickly explore data, spot important trends, and produce eye-catching visualisations with Copilot’s intelligent suggestions and automated insights. The AI capabilities of Copilot assist users in exploring cutting-edge visualisation strategies and recommend appropriate chart types, layouts, and colour schemes to effectively communicate insights.
Its AI-powered features go beyond just creating reports. Additionally, it can help users automate data analysis tasks. Users are able to carry out intricate calculations, use statistical functions, and spot patterns or outliers in their data by utilising Copilot. Improving their ability to analyse and present data effectively, saving time and resources, by integrating Copilot into their workflow.
Git Integration with Power BI
Power BI users can incorporate version control systems like Git into their development workflows using Microsoft Fabric. helping teams collaborate effectively, and CI/CD pipelines to integrate seamlessly. Users can track changes, manage branches, and roll back to earlier versions by using the version control features, which help to maintain the integrity and stability of their Power BI assets.
Data Modelling on the Web
This is the solution for those who have been wishing for Power BI Desktop for the Mac. Complete semantic models and reports can now be created on the web with the need of a desktop application. This does not imply that Power BI Desktop won’t continue to get updates and enhancements.
Direct Lake mode
Instead of importing data into a Power BI dataset, users can benefit from faster imports with the ease of DirectQuery’s real-time updates by loading data into Fabric Lakehouse tables. In Power BI reports, users can make changes to the data in the Lakehouse and see them live.
Users can use Power Query in a Dataflow (Gen2) in Fabric to load the data to a Lakehouse. Each time the new dataflows are executed, it allows for both appending and overwriting data. However, other tools at a user’s disposal. Both data pipelines and dataflows can be used to load data into the Lakehouse.
Robust Data Engineering
Different personas can now work together on ingesting and transforming data in a warehouse or lakehouse thanks to the addition of data factory pipelines, Spark jobs, and notebooks to the toolkit. With these additional tools at their disposal, users can use Direct Lake mode to make changes to the data in the lakehouse that will be immediately reflected in the Power BI dataset(s) connected to it. Users can more quickly and easily get their data in the format it needs to be in by combining various tools and letting developers use what they are most familiar with.
SQL Endpoint for the Lakehouse
The Lakehouse’s built-in SQL endpoint is also available for use. Users can use T-SQL to query the delta tables in the Lakehouse. These are essentially the tables in the semantic model, using the SQL endpoint. Since many analysts are more at ease with SQL than DAX, they are free to write exploratory queries against the data in addition to developing Excel pivot tables or other visuals. Making things even simpler for those who aren’t familiar with SQL or DAX, there is a visual query builder.
With Data Activator, Fabric is making it even simpler to combine actions and insights. Data insights highlight what actions need to happen to improve outcomes. Data Activator offers a no-code way to identify trends or create triggers from your data and launch actions. For instance through notifications, alerts, or Power Automate Flows.
In Microsoft’s journey to transform the analytics industry, Microsoft Fabric marks a significant turning point. Enabling organisations to get the most out of their data by standardising and streamlining analytics workflows and providing a lake-centric architecture. Enabling seamless integration with Power BI and Office.
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