Power BI Interview Questions and Answers

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1. What is Microsoft Power BI?

Power BI  is a cloud-based business analytics service that enables anyone to visualize and analyze data with greater speed, efficiency, and understanding. It connects users to a broad range of data through easy-to-use dashboards, interactive reports, and compelling visualizations that bring data to life.

2. What’s the difference between Power BI and Power BI Pro?

Power BI provides all sorts of features to help you get started exploring data in a whole new way. Power BI Pro provides all of the same great features in Power BI, plus additional features like more storage capacity, scheduling data refresh more frequent than daily, live data sources with full interactivity, groups, and more. Learn more about the differences between Power BI Pro and the free Power BI.

3. How much does Power BI cost?

Power BI and Power BI Desktop are free. There is a 60-day free trial available for Power BI Pro. After that, Power BI Pro is $9.99/User/Month. Learn more about our pricing Power BI pricing.

4. What is Power BI Desktop?

Power BI Desktop is a free desktop application you can install right on your own computer. Power BI Desktop works cohesively with the Power BI service by providing advanced data exploration, shaping, modeling, and report creation with highly interactive visualizations. You can save your work to a file, and publish your data and reports right to your Power BI site to share with others.

5. What do I need to use Power BI?

Just a Web browser and work email address.

Note: Work email addresses ending in .gov and .mil aren’t currently supported.

6. What is DAX ?

To do basic calculation and data analysis on data in power pivot we use Data Analysis Expression (DAX).It is formula language to compute calculated column and calculated field.

  • Dax works on column values
  • Dax can not modify or insert data
  • We can calculate calculated column and measures but we can not calculate rows using dax

Sample DAX formula syntax:

For the measure named Total Sales, calculate (=) the SUM of values in the [SalesAmount ] column in the Sales table.

A- Measure Name B-  equal sign - indicate beginning of formula C- DAX Function D- Parenthesis for Sum Function E- Referenced Table F- Referenced column name

7. Why do I have to sign up with my work email?

Power BI does not support email addresses provided by consumer email services or telecommunications providers. Learn more about the Power BI self-service sign-up process.

8. Which work email addresses are supported?

Work email addresses ending in .edu and .org are supported.

Those ending in .gov and .mil aren’t currently supported.

9. Is government, academic and non-profit pricing available for Power BI?

Yes, non-profit pricing is available when purchasing directly from Microsoft. You can learn more and sign up through the Microsoft Product Donation site. Government and academic pricing is offered through the MOSP/Direct, EA, and Open licensing programs. Government pricing is also available in syndication. Power BI is not yet available for the US Government Community Cloud (GCC).

10. What is xVelocity in-memory analytics engine used in power pivot? 

The main engine behind power pivot is the xVelocity in-memory analytics engine. It can handle large amount of data because it stores data in columnar databases and in memory analytics which results in faster processing of data as it loads all data to RAM memory. For best result use 64 bit operating system as 64 bit can  load more data to RAM.

11. Is Power BI available on-premises?

No, Power BI is not available as a private, internal cloud service. However, with Power BI and Power BI Desktop, you can securely connect to your own on-premises data sources. With the On-premises Data Gateway, you can connect live to your on-premises SQL Server Analysis Services server, and other data sources. You can also scheduled refresh with a centralized gateway. If a gateway is not available, you can refresh data from on-premises data sources using the Power BI Gateway - Personal.

You can also view on-premises SQL Server mobile reports with the Power BI iOS apps:

  • SQL Server mobile reports on the iPhone.
  • SQL Server mobile reports on the iPad

12. Does Power BI support mobile devices?

Yes. Power BI has native apps for Android phones, iOS devices, and Windows 10 devices. Download one of the Power BI mobile apps from its respective store:

  • Apple App Store
  • Google Play
  • Windows Store

13. What data sources can I connect to?

The list of data sources for Power BI is extensive, but it can be grouped into the following:

  • Data from Excel and Power BI Desktop files.
  • Content packs for services, with ready-made dashboards, reports, and datasets for services such as Salesforce. In addition to establishing a data connection, Power BI provides pre-built dashboards and reports for each of these services.
  • Connectors to databases and other datasets such as Azure SQL Databaseand SQL Server Analysis Services tabular data.

Read more about getting data in Power BI.

14. What are content packs?

Content packs for services are pre-built solutions for popular services as part of the Power BI experience. A subscriber to a supported service can quickly connect to their account from Power BI and see their data through live dashboards and interactive reports that have been pre-built for them.  We’ve released content packs for popular services such as Salesforce.com, Marketo, Adobe Analytics, Azure Mobile Engagement, CircuitID, comScore Digital Analytix, Quickbooks Online, SQL Sentry, and tyGraph. Over the coming months, we’ll extend this to include content packs and integrations for Sage, SpaceCurve, Sumo Logic, Zuora, Planview, Insightly, Troux, Inkling, and others.

Organizational content packs provide users, BI professionals, and system integrators the tools to build their own content packs to share purpose-built dashboards, reports, and datasets within their organization.

15. What are the different Excel BI add ins?

  • Power Query—find, edit and load external data
  • PowerPivot—for data modeling for analysis
  • Power View—design visually and interactively reports
  • Power Map—display insights on 3D Map

16. What do I need to install in order to use Power BI?

To use the Power BI service for free, you just need a Web browser and email.

To explore data and create reports in Power BI Desktop, download Power BI Desktop for free.

You can download the Power BI mobile apps from their respective stores:

  • App Store
  • Google Play
  • Windows Store

17. Power BI Desktop’s Software License Terms say "You may install and use one copy of the software on your premises." Does this mean I am limited to one copy of Power BI Desktop for the entire company?

Power BI Desktop’s use rights do not limit you to one copy of Power BI Desktop for the entire company. Each individual user at the company may install and use one copy on their premises.

18. Where do I get started with Power BI?

The following resources are available to help get your started:

  • Power BI Blog
  • Webinars
  • Getting started videos on our YouTube Channel
  • Get started with Power BI article
  • Join our community and ask questions

19. How can I buy Power BI Pro in my country?

You can purchase Power BI Pro licenses directly or chat with a representative at www.powerbi.com.

You can also find a Microsoft Partner to help you with your Power BI implementation.

20. Does Power BI meet national, regional, and industry-specific compliance requirements?

Learn more about Power BI compliance, at the Microsoft Trust Center.

21. What has happened to the Power BI for Office 365 experience?

The Power BI for Office 365 experience has been deprecated.

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