Power BI desktop & services RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi experts,

    Sorry to be posting a question here, but I have just been asked to look into the Power BI side of self-service reporting and I got no clue where to start from. I hope you guys mind me asking a Power BI related question here, just very basic starter questions.

    1) What is the driving source at the back of a Power BI Desktop ? We have flat tables with required aggregations at different levels in SQL tables. Would I need to create a cube using SSAS first and then use SSAS cube as a source for my report development using Power BI Desktop?

    2) Has Power BI desktop got options similar to SSAS to create cubes and deploy it into sql analysis services?

    3) also, any helpful links for a starter like me would be much appreciated.


    Tuesday, June 14, 2016 10:50 AM


All replies

  • Hi!

    I'm also not an expert to PowerBI, but I hope I can help you.

    1) You can use flat files, but they will be slow, if they are large. The same reason why someone invented the OLAP-cubes. ;) You don't need it, but its not a fault if you do so.

    2) No, PowerBI is for displaying, not for aggregation. SSAS is part of the SQL Server, cubes also need a server behind them.

    Greeting, Markus

    MCTS (70-642), MCP Please click the "Mark as Answer" or "Vote As Helpful button" if a post solves your problem or is helpful! Bitte klicke auf "Als Antwort vorschlagen" oder "Als hilfreich bewerten", wenn mein Beitrag Dein Problem löst oder hilfreich ist.

    Tuesday, June 14, 2016 12:25 PM
  • We are working on a tactical cube/BI project as of now, mainly around Finance KPIs.

    I have got tables with aggregations and other required information in columns that I am planning to insert into tables and refresh it on a regular basis.

    I got couple of possible options to approach a final presentation layer :-

    1) Create a ssas cube to establish the relationship between various tables. Link my SSAS cubes to power BI desktop and build reports & dashboard of it 

    2) Create the relationship between various tables within Power BI desktop modelling option and create reports and dashboard using power BI.

    Some of my queries might sound a bit daft, but no one in my organisation got a clue about Power BI tool and I have the ownership to do all the background work and come up with a proposal :-(

    Thanks much.

    Tuesday, June 14, 2016 1:31 PM
  • Hi SweetsUK,

    1) Power BI Desktop is a design tool. It's similar to Reporting Services, you can open connection to different data sources. See: Data sources in Power BI Desktop. You need to create a cube and use it as data source in Power BI Desktop. We can also open live connection to SSAS server.

    2) You can't design cubes within Power BI Desktop. But you can do modeling (like adding calculated columns and measures) on SSAS datasets. We can design reports based on those datasets and the generated .pbix file can be published onto Power BI Service. See: Publish from Power BI Desktop

    For more tutorials, please see documents on: https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/powerbi-desktop-getting-started/

    You can also post your question on Power BI Desktop/Services forum: http://community.powerbi.com/t5/Desktop/bd-p/power-bi-designer


    Simon Hou
    TechNet Community Support

    Thursday, June 16, 2016 2:52 AM
  • Hi,

    You can get started with "Guided Learning for Power BI" here is the link https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/guided-learning/powerbi-learning-0-0-what-is-power-bi/


    Pankaj Rathod

    Thursday, June 16, 2016 4:21 AM