Microsoft Power BI Solution is a powerful self-serving business intelligence software best suited for enterprises. It allows you to convert critical business data from different data sources into interactive dashboards and Business Intelligence reports with data visualization.

The most popular option available is Power BI desktop application used to create reports. The Power BI SaaS (Software-as-a-Solution) is used to publish these reports and Power BI mobile application is used to view the reports and dashboards.

In this article, we have curated the 16 most important questions users first encounter when deciding to work with Power BI solution.

Microsoft Power BI FAQs

1. What is Self Service Business Intelligence?

Self-service Business Intelligence (SSBI) is a method to deal with data investigation. It empowers business clients to channel, fragment and break down their business critical data without top to the bottom specific information.

2. Is Power BI compatible with SAP Business One?

Yes. Power BI is compatible with SAP ERP systems including SAP Business One solution. It is equally useful whether you’re using the ERP solution on-premise or on the Cloud. You can use BI gateways to unify your business data in the cloud or on premise. Connect SQL Server Databases, analysis services models and additional data sources like SAP Business One or SAP Business ByDesign data running in SAP HANA data model to your Power BI dashboards using these gateways.

3. Is Power BI and SAP BI the same?

No. Power BI and SAP BI are quite different. 

SAP Business Objects is a business intelligence suite with reporting and visualization software tools for gaining insight into key metrics such as sales performance, revenue, budgets and more. You can gain access to key insights delivered in context and in real time on multiple devices using SAP Business Objects Business Intelligence Suite.

On the other hand, Microsoft Power BI converts data into rich interactive visualizations, utilizing business analytics tools to share dashboard-based insights across all devices.

4.  What are the essential applications of Power BI?

Some of the essential Power BI applications are:
  • Power BI Desktop
  • Power BI Service
  • Power BI Data Gateway
  • Power BI Report Server
  • Power BI Mobile Applications

5.  Who are the primary users of Power BI?

If you have any of or all of these business roles within your company setup, Power BI will be of great support to your team to arrive at actionable insights. 
  • Business & Data Analyst
  • Developer & Database Administrator
  • IT team & IT Professionals
  • Consumer for End User Report
  • Data Scientists
  • PMO – Project Management Office

6.  Which data types are available in Power BI?

With respect to SAP data sources, Power BI can connect to SAP HANA calculation views, SAP Business Warehouse application server (cubes, Bex queries), SAP BPC cubes, SAP BW4/HANA and SAP Business warehouse message service.

Additional data types available in Power BI include:
  • Power BI
  • Microsoft Azure
  • Online Services
  • Other Databases
  •  All file database

7.  Which type of filters are available in Power BI reports?

Power BI Reports is equipped with a series of filters. These include: 
  • Auto Filters
  • Include/Exclude Filters
  • Drill-Down Filters
  • Cross-Drill Filters
  • Drillthrough filters (Invokes drillthrough)          
  • Drillthrough filters (Transient)
  • URL filters – transient
  • Pass Through filters
  • Manual Filters

8.  What is a Power Query?

Power Query is the data connectivity and data preparation technology. It allows you the flexibility of importing and reshaping data from the Microsoft product universe (Excel, Access, Power BI, Dataverse and more.)

9.  Can Power Query connect to SAP?

Yes. You can select Get Data > SAP HANA database in Power BI Desktop or From Database > From SAP HANA Database in the Data ribbon in Excel. Enter the name and port of the SAP HANA server you want to connect to and get started.

10.  Which programming language is used in Power Query?

Data Analysis Expressions (DAX) is the query language used in Power Query. It is similar to the excel formula which contains more functions catered to relational data. M is the language behind every step in Power BI’s Query Editor and comes from Power Query in Excel.

11.  What is the major difference between the old version and new version of Power BI tool?

The latest version of Power BI supports advanced features popularly known as Power BI Desktop. The suite is a one stop solution for Power View, Power Pivot and Power Query in the backend. It offers many add-ins for Microsoft Excel which is useful for better visualizations.

12.  Is Power BI available for free?

Microsoft Power BI solution is available for free but if you want to utilize the complete benefits with an enhanced version offered by a successful Power BI implementation Partner like VC ERP Consulting get in touch with our expert consultants for a free demo. 

13.  What kind of data can you store in Power BI?

In Power BI, you can store mainly two types of data.

Fact Tables

The central table in a star schema of a data warehouse is a fact table that stores quantitative information for analysis

Dimension Tables

Dimension tables in the star schema helps you to store attributes and dimensions which describe objects that are stored in a fact table.

14.  What is the use of Power BI Designer?

Power BI Designer lets you create intuitive reports and dashboards easily and quickly. You can change visual views of your critical business data at fingertips for better analytics and informed decision making with Power BI designer.

15.  If Power BI is free then why do I need an implementation partner?

Power BI is also available for free but as an enterprise user it is important to have access to all its features which are only supported in the version available for purchase. In addition, seamless integration of Power BI solutions within your existing SAP ERP system takes experience, expertise and skill. That is why it is highly recommended to go through an implementation partner like VC ERP Consulting when adopting this solution.

Below is the list of features supported by per-user license type by VC ERP Consulting

Comparison CriteriaFreeImplemented by VC ERP
Connect to 70+ data sourcesYesYes
Publish to WebYesYes
Export to PowerPoint, Excel, CSVYesYes
Enterprise Distribution
Email SubscriptionsNoYes
Embed APIs and ControlsNoYes
Peer-to-Peer HostingNoYes
Analyze in Excel, analyze in Power BI DesktopNoYes

16.  How can I purchase and implement Power BI Suite for my organization?

Get in touch with our expert Power BI consultants and advisors at VC ERP Consulting for free demo. Call us + 91 99789 60138, +91 79 48998911 (India), Whatsapp +254 111229970 (Kenya), +1 469 915 6026 (North America) or drop an email at