Power BI Architecture: Components, Function, Benefits & Applications

What Is A Power BI?

Power BI is a suite of business analytics tools that are used to analyse data and share insights. The dashboards generated through Power BI offer a 360-degree view of the data to the users so that they do not miss out on any useful insight.


Power BI is mostly used by data analysts and business intelligence professionals who create data models before disseminating reports to other employees of the organisation. However, you can still use Power BI to create reports even if you don’t have an analytical background.

Now that you know about Power BI, let us find out about the components and architecture of Power BI in detail.

Power BI Architecture – Components


Let’s read about the different components of Power BI Architecture:

1. Data Sources

Microsoft Power BI can supply data and information from a wide array of sources and extends support to various kinds of files. The information can either be directly imported into Power BI or through a live service link.

To import big information sets, users get two options:

  • Power BI Premium
  • Azure Analytics Services

Some of the most common data sources are XML, txt/CSV, Excel, JSON, Azure SQL Data Warehouse, SQL Server Analysis Services Database, Power BI service, and many others. To check the complete list of supported data sources, visit here.

2. Power BI Desktop

Power BI Desktop is used to create reports and visualise the data on a given dataset. It is the development tool for Power Query, Power Pivot, and Power View.

3. Power BI Service

Power BI Service is an on-cloud platform that lets you share the reports that you made on the Power BI desktop. You can also use it to collaborate with other users and even create new dashboards. The Power BI Service platform comes in three different versions:

  • Free version
  • Pro version
  • Premium version

It is also known as Power BI Workspace and comes packed with features such as natural language Q&A and alerts.

4. Power BI Report Server

Power BI Report Server is somewhat identical to Power BI Service. The difference is that the Power BI Report Server is an on-premise platform. When an organisation does not want to store reports on the cloud (owing to data security), they go for the Power BI Report Server. If you wish to use this tool, you need to have a Power BI Premium license.

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5. Power BI Gateway

The on-site Power BI gateway is used to keep the information updated by linking to your on-site information sources – without you having to move the data. Users can easily query big datasets and take advantage of the current investments. The gateways offer the much-needed flexibility to satisfy an organisation’s needs and requirements.

Read: Power BI Interview Questions

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6. Power BI Mobile

Did you know you can stay connected to your data from anywhere and anytime with Power BI Mobile apps? Amazing, isn’t it? The Power BI Mobile apps are available for download on Windows, iOS, and Android platform.

7. Power BI Embedded

Power BI embedded is meant for developers who develop applications and wish to use a third-party BI offering to visualise the data. They can embed the dashboards and reports easily into various applications with the help of Power BI Embedded.

Working Of Power BI Architecture

Now, let’s move on to the working of Power BI architecture.

1. On-Premise

As we have read earlier, data can be transferred to Power BI Desktop from various sources. It allows the creation of reports and publishing them on the Power BI Service.

Power BI Publisher also lets users publish your excel workbooks on the Power BI Report Server without any hassle. That means reports can be quickly published in the Power BI Report Server, and later, they can be shared with the end-user.

2. On Cloud

When you wish to publish your data report on-cloud to Power BI service, the Power BI Gateways play a crucial role. They act as a security barrier while transferring the data or report. You can even collect on-cloud data sources via direct connections for Power BI tools.

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Power BI Service Architecture

When the reports are published on Power BI Service, clients can access them via their mobiles, tablets, desktops, etc.

The Power BI Service Architecture is primarily divided into two segments – Power BI Web Front End Cluster and Power BI Back End Cluster. Let’s find out about each of them in detail:

1. Web Front End Cluster

The Web Front End Cluster plays the role of managing the initial connection between the back-end cluster and the end-user. It uses AAD (Azure Active Directory) to authenticate the client and ensure security. In addition to that, it offers several tokens for connecting clients to the Power BI Service. It also uses ATM (Azure Traffic Manager) to distribute content to the users as per their geographical location.

2. Back End Cluster

The second component of Power BI Service architecture is the Back End Cluster. It is useful for maintaining several reports, storage, data sets, and various other tools that come under the Power BI.

In this cluster, the client has only two mediums for direct interaction with the data:

  1. Gateway Role.
  2. Azure API Management.

In addition to that, these components are helpful for other services such as load balancing, authentication, and routing, etc.

Benefits Of Power BI

Here are the top valued competencies of Microsoft Power BI tool:

1. Rich, Personalised Dashboards

The ability to create customised dashboards is probably the most attractive feature of Power BI. Businesses can customise the dashboards as per their needs and requirements. They can even embed the reports in applications to offer a remarkable user experience.

2. No Memory Shortage 

You can shift your business intelligence system to a robust cloud environment to eliminate the memory and speed curbs.

Check out: Tableau vs Power BI

3. Advanced Data Services

The Power BI tools can be easily integrated with advanced cloud services such as Cognitive services, Cortana, or Bot framework. It will help deliver results for the verbal data query given using natural language.

4. Easy Implementation 

To implement Power BI services, businesses need not invest heavily in IT resources. At times, businesses need not require any engineering service at all. The managers can directly create an API and plug it into the software.

5. Extract Hidden Information 

The ‘Insight’ option in Power BI lets the users check the hidden information present in their data. You can even pin the visualisation to your desktop to revisit them in the future. It provides next-level transparency for data analysis in business.

6. Accuracy

Power BI is helping businesses transform data into rich visuals and extract accurate insights for enhanced decision-making.

Top applications of Power BI

1. Visualisation

This is an in-built feature that is very crucial to bring interactiveness into the process. The computers are being written in the coding language but they cannot be comprehended by everyone. The Power BI architecture helps business people to understand the data with its visualisation feature. 

2. Server level- Management of Data

The data comes from many sources, and this data eventually reaches the server. The architecture of Power BI helps the users to manage the data at the level of the server itself.  This results in having more extensive and holistic information systems. 

3. Analytics including internal software 

Power BI has the power to merge with the software platform which is used for business management. All of this includes mail management, social media platforms, account software, CRMs, etc. The Power BI gateway architecture allows to the integration of multiple dashboards for data management in order to form integrated data management. 

4. Marketing enhancement 

A lot of data is generated and used in the process of marketing. But not many businesses are able to make sense of the data and fail miserably. Power BI allows users to generate charts in order to track user behaviour in their online journey. 

5. Standards of reporting 

Power BI is useful in organising the reports which are received from various sources and departments. A business gets reports from accounts, sales, marketing, finance, operations, and many more. These reports after a point of time could become too much to organise and decipher. The tool of Power BI allows these reports to be presented in the same style and format. 

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Wrapping up

With this, we come to the end of the Power BI Architecture. By now, you must have understood the critical components of the Power BI architecture and how they work together to create magic. We also discussed the working of Power BI Service and other useful components.

We hope this information helped you in the best possible way.

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What are the different components of Power BI Architecture?

The list of Power BI components seems to be never-ending. It offers various features that you need not go anywhere else. Some of these components are as follows: Power BI supports various kinds of files and allows data and file transfer from a wide range of sources. To transfer large data files, the users can either use Power BI premium or Microsoft Azure. Power BI Desktop is a powerful tool that allows you to visualize your data in multiple ways. It offers you different types of charts and graphs like scatter charts and line graphs. Power BI Service is a cloud platform where you can upload your work and share it with your team. It also allows you to create your customized dashboard to collaborate with other users. Power BI Gateway allows you to link your information to the on-site resources without moving your data. This keeps your work updated and you can easily query big datasets.

What are BI tools and why are they used?

BI or Business Intelligence tools are software that helps in efficient data analysis by providing various powerful features and options including interactive reports, intuitive dashboards, cloud support, and integration with various applications. There are many popular BI tools out there in the market providing some unique features to help effective analysis of complex data for organizations. With industries generating huge datasets, it becomes highly counterproductive to handle these datasets manually. BI tools come with varied price ranges to suit all types of businesses.

What are other popular BI tools?

The following are some of the other popular Business Intelligence tools which you can definitely lookout. Zoho Analytics provides a reporting tool that allows you to create reports and dashboards with a simple drag and drop feature and works well when integrated with Google apps. Google Data Studio allows you to create reports and dashboards for your company by using a set of raw data from multiple sources and also provides a variety of marketing templates. BiG EVAL provides powerful tools to test the quality of the data and manage it. These features have been designed and improved as per the reviews of the customers. BiG EVAL DTA helps in automating the testing of the data.

What are the main components of Power BI?

The main components of Power BI are Power query, Power View, Power Map, Power Pivot, and Power Q&A.

What are the important features of Power BI reports?

The important features of Power BI reports are Monthly product updates, Extraction of insights from the large database, Dataset analysis in excel, and Beautiful map creations.

What does a Power BI architect do?

The Power BI architect helps in developing and implementing data structures for the end users involved in the business. It works as apoint of reason for data handling including database, data warehousing, etc.

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