We are living in a digital age that is ruled by data. Day by day, we create tons of data and rely on them to get valuable insights. Traditionally, data analysis, building of relevant solutions, etc., call for the involvement of IT experts. This traditional approach, however, has certain limitations and does not fill the immediate needs of today’s businesses.
Microsoft Power Platform is an innovative solution known for its unique data democratization power- Power BI and Power Apps are two integral parts of this platform. But, before we delve into discussing Power BI integration with Power Apps, let’s have a quick overview.
Microsoft Power Platform has a group of four products under it- Power BI, Power Apps, Power Automate, and Power Virtual Agents- that enables data analyzing, automating, developing solutions, and building virtual agents through a platform that requires no coding. Thus, it allows even the non-technical end-user to deal with data, making data related activities accessible for all. To reduce the dependency on IT, these products are designed as a simple GUI which anyone can use irrespective of their technical skill levels- be it business users or developers.
Microsoft Power BI Overview
Microsoft Power BI is a business analytics tool that helps to convert unrelated data sources into systematic, visually pleasing, and interactive insights. With Power BI, you can easily connect to any data sources- be it an Excel sheet, a cloud-based data warehouse, or anything- visualize and discover important aspects of the data and share it. It enables users to analyze complex data easily.
There are different elements to a Power BI platform that works together to make it exceptional. These are:
- Power BI Desktop, a Windows desktop application
- Power BI Service, an online SaaS solution
- Power BI Mobile Apps, for Android, iOS, and Windows mobile devices
- Power BI Report Builder, to create paginated reports for Power BI Service
- Power BI Report Server, an on-premise server to publish your Power BI reports
Using these elements, you can use the Power BI platform to gather, share, or receive business insights in ways that are relevant to your business role.
Microsoft Power Apps Overview
Microsoft Power Apps is a platform that allows users to create custom mobile apps for their business needs. It has a collection of connectors, services, apps, and data platform that enhances the app development process. It provides a low-code approach for custom app development, allowing users to create apps quickly with a drag and drop approach. The apps built using Power apps are responsive, feature-rich, and highly efficient.
A noteworthy feature of Power Apps is that the created apps can be connected to data stored in data platforms, online, or on-premise data sources. Since Power apps let users create robust applications without writing any code, you can use the platform to create custom apps even if you are not a developer. Its intuitive way of building a user interface with a drag and drop feature ensures that building apps for internal uses are quick and easy.
How to Integrate Power BI with Power Apps
Both Power BI and Power Apps bring unique facilities to Microsoft Power Platform users. While Power BI helps in better decision making through improved data insights, Power Apps enables users to create custom apps that connect to business data. Power BI integration with Power Apps empowers users to build apps with excellent visualization and analytic insights..
Now, let’s see the steps to integrate Power Apps with Power BI.
- Create Data Set: The first step is to create a data set for the Power BI Report.
- Create Power BI Report: Using Power BI Desktop, create a Power BI Report with relevant data.
- Publish Power BI Report: Now, publish the Power BI Report to Power BI Service.
- Shift to Report Edit Mode: After publishing, shift to report edit mode. Then insert the Power Apps visual report in the Power BI Report.
- Create Your App: Now, it’s time to create your app from the Power BI Service. For this, choose the fields you want to include in the app and proceed with creating.
- Design the App: Once you have started creating the app, you will be working with Power Apps Studio. It has several features that will help you design your app. You can choose the number of screens, create item controls, etc.
- Name the App: Once you have finished designing your app, give it a name and save it. Now, when you switch back to Power BI Report, a newly created app will be shown there. So, you are done integrating! Don’t forget to save the Power BI Report as well!
So, from within the Power BI Reports, app users can obtain the business data and take relevant actions.
Use Cases for Power BI Integration with Power Apps
Wondering what are the instances where integrating Power BI with Power Apps can be of benefit? There are several use cases, let us look at some of them here.
- Executive Status Dashboards: Do you want an easy way to assign tasks, send feedback, or give quick comments? An executive status dashboard that integrates reports with Power Apps is a great solution!
- Inventory Dashboards: The ordering process can be simplified and made much faster with inventory dashboards, integrating the reporting layer in Power BI with Power Apps.
- Organize Approvals: By organizing workflows with properly set access permissions, the approval process based on self-service reporting can be easily carried out with the integration of Power Apps and Power BI.
- Perform What-if Analysis: It provides a comprehensive approach to performing a what-if analysis, where users can type in inputs for analysis, like numbers, text, etc.
- Financial Estimations: It is an insightful way to create forecasting solutions where users can give inputs manually or by using advanced analytics algorithms.
Why Integrate Power Apps, Power Automate, and Power BI
Integrating the three parts of Microsoft Power Platform- Power BI, Power Apps, and Power Automate has many benefits. It opens up several new opportunities. We will discuss three key benefits in this section.
- Modify Source Data: Power BI, being a read-only tool, allows the users to only view the data. To be able to modify this data, it needs to be integrated with Microsoft Power Automate or Power Apps. That gives users the option to write back to the source system and edit it directly from within the Power BI report itself.
- Add Additional Data: Like modifying the source data, sometimes users may want to add additional data, like, comments or follow-up emails. The integration of these three platforms enables users to achieve this.
- Easily Take Actions: With Power BI, Power Apps, and Power Automate integration, kicking off actions based on data can be easily done. Power Automate has a big list of actions that can be taken, and Power Apps provide a great platform to carry out the actions based on data from Power BI reports.
Therefore, when these three tools are unified, it results in a robust platform that gives users a satisfying and powerful experience.
Two Separate Tools, A Unified Solution
By integrating Power BI and Power Apps, users can create robust analytic solutions that leverage data visualizations and empower users to act directly from the Power BI reports. The result of this integration is a simplification of your business operations and a better way to meet your business goals more efficiently and time effectively. By giving users the power to take real-time actions and doing it so skillfully, the unified solution from these two separate tools is truly changing the way businesses work.
Do you want to know more about Power BI and Power Apps or have an idea you would like to discuss with us? Aufait Technologies is a prime technology consultancy that provides digital workplace solutions to transform your business operations. We are a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and help our clients achieve their business goals excellently with our expert services. Get in touch with us to discuss your idea further!