In this post, we are going to post about Power BI Service Desktop & Embedded Interview Questions and Answers. As per Gartner’s magic quadrant report, Microsoft is one of the few leaders in the Data Analytics space. Microsoft is one of the few companies which offers a complete end-to-end Data analytics stack. With strong product offerings, both on-premises and in the cloud makes it an obvious choice for Enterprises looking to tap into the Data Analytics space. PowerBI is one such offering from the Microsoft Cloud BI stack which rapidly evolved from a simple Self-Service data analysis tool to a full Enterprise BI offering. Started as an add-on for Office 365, Microsoft carved it out to make it a standalone tool. Started off in 2015, its development happened at a rapid pace and is now a skill in demand for a lot of BI Professionals. Now, that PowerBI is a matured product, we compiled a list of interview questions. Read along to know more.
Power BI Service Desktop & Embedded Interview Questions and Answers
What is SSAS, and how does it integrate with Power BI?
Answer: SSAS is Microsoft’s OLAP implementation. There are two types of cube currently available.
- Multi-Dimensional and
- Tabular Cube
These Cubes help the application to service OLAP queries. OLAP applications like Excel 2013/2016 or PowerBI desktop can query OLAP Cubes as a data source. Both PowerBI.com cloud service & PowerBI desktop can connect to Multi-Dimensional and Tabular Cubes for the end user reporting and dashboards. Users would be able to connect to on-premises SSAS OLAP cubes and also refresh incremental data changes using the On-Premises Data Gateway. The Gateway provides a secure connection from customer premises to the cloud over SSL/Https without the need to configure a VPN.
What are the different components which comprise of the Power BI suite?
Answer: Even though Microsoft does not officially call PowerBI a suite of product (like System Center), it did evolve a lot, post its release in 2015. For now, we have the following components as a part of the PowerBI suite. They are as follows:
- PowerBI.com SSAS (Software as a Service) Cloud-based reporting tool.
- PowerBI Desktop: Developed in collaboration with Pyramid Analytics, the PowerBI desktop is a powerful Data Modelling business intelligence tool available free of cost.
- PowerBI Embedded: Even though it is named as a PowerBI service, it comes with Azure Cloud Services offering. PowerBI embedded helps you to create and integrate PowerBI reports in Web applications (On-Premises and Cloud)
- PowerQuery or Data Extraction Tool: Even though this started as an Excel Com-Add-in in 2013, it evolved with Excel 2016 and is now fully integrated into the Data Tab.
- PowerPivot: It is a Data-Modelling tool to create powerful Cubes using a familiar Excel user interface.
- PowerView: It is a reporting tool that first arrived with SharePoint 2013 as a content type. While it initially used Silverlight to present interactive reports in a browser, the latest versions run under native HTML 5.0 for PowerBI. Some of the older Silverlight reports are not compatible in PowerBI and needs to be recreated in PowerBI.
- PowerMap/ 3D Maps: It started as a 3D data visualization tool in Excel 2013. It is now renamed as 3D maps and it an Excel 2016 Ad-In. Currently, there are no web versions of this tool.
How does Power BI desktop differ from PowerBI.com?
Answer: The PowerBI Desktop is a companion Data Modelling tool for PowerBI.com cloud service. Both use a familiar user interface, so users are not confused between the two environments. Both PowerBI desktop and Excel can help users to create robust data models. However, the UI of Excel is very different than PowerBI.com and might confuse new users. Moreover, Excel is a paid software, and PowerBI desktop is a free redistributable package.
PowerBI.com, on the other hand, is the Cloud Service where users will eventually publish their PowerBI Desktop & Excel DataModels & Reports and share it with others within the organization. Here is a side by side comparison with screenshots:
Briefly, explain what a Data Model is. How can you embed a Data Model in Microsoft Excel?
Answer: Data Models comprises of various fundamental entities, to introduce abstraction in a DBMS. With Data models, you can define how data is connected to each other (Schema) and how they are processed and stored inside the system. The very first data model could be data entity-models, where all the data used are to be kept in a common plane.
In Excel 2010/2013/2016 you can embed Data Models using PowerPivot Add-On. PowerPivot allows a user to create SSAS Tabular models using a familiar Excel user interface.
What are the different ways a User can consume PowerBI reports?
Answer: Users can consume PowerBI reports using the following methods:
- From PowerBI.com service
- Using Native PowerBI apps for Android/iOS/Windows.
- Directly from PowerBI desktop
What is Power BI embedded?
Answer: PowerBI embedded is an Azure-based cloud Service which enabled Web developers to create and integrate PowerBI reports. Users/Developers can create their reports using PowerBI desktop, without the need to write any code. Then, the PowerBI desktop report can be published to a PowerBI embedded workspace and consumed by end users. Here is a sample screenshot:
Give two use cases for Power BI embedded.
Answer: PowerBI embedded helps web developers to create and integrate Powerful PowerBI reports. If the customer is not interested in going to PowerBI.com to consume reports, this is a good alternative. The second use-case is the use of custom authentication for these web apps as opposed to what is currently being offered on PowerBI.com.
How to refresh your Power BI reports with On-Premises data sources?
Answer: Using Data Management Gateway, IT Admins and users can setup data refresh for incremental data updates. The Gateway uses a secure https/SSL encrypted connection to talk to a PowerBI tenant directly. Currently, there are two types of gateways, Personal and Enterprise. The personal gateway is ideally suited for developers to refresh their reports from their laptops/desktops. Enterprise gateway, on the other hand, is designed with IT team in mind. The IT team will manage all data sources and access management, while developers and end-users will create and consume reports.Currently, PowerBI users can set up a maximum of 8 daily refresh cycles using the Gateway.
Give examples of data sources which will refresh in real-time.
Answer: PowerBI currently supports different types of streaming datasets. You can directly stream data using a push URL to PowerBI.com service. PowerBI also supports streaming data sources from PubNub, which is an Infrastructure as a Service provider. The third option is to Azure Stream Analytics which is built on top of Azure Service Bus and Event Hub. You can select the streaming data to go-to PowerBI as your destination. Here is a sample report with streaming data.
More PowerBI questions:
- What the options to share Power BI reports publicly.
- What are the different options through which you can share a Power BI report?
- How to set Data Alerts in Power BI apps for Mobile devices.
- What are content packs? Give one example for each.
- Give two examples of the Power BI REST API capabilities.
- How does a Power BI Pro account different when compared with the free tier.
- What is the difference between Row level security and Role-based security?
- How to structure non-structured data and import into PowerBI for Data Visualization. Give examples.
- How to connect to an On-Premises SQL Server data source with Power BI?
- How to schedule auto data refresh on PowerBI reports.
- How to integrate Power BI reports with Cortana voice assistant?
You can find more information on PowerBI Service, PowerBI Desktop and PowerBI Embedded from the official Microsoft website. Here are the official links below:
- Microsoft Azure Power BI Embedded: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-in/services/power-bi-embedded/
- Power BI Desktop: https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/desktop/
- PowerBI Service (Web): https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/
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