The Journey Begins- Power BI and AI

I’m back!!  I know you missed my posts…be honest…. 🙂

So its time to start drinking from the fire hose and its important for me to go back to the very beginning, start from scratch and learn from A to Z.  I learned Power BI on my own and there is undoubtedly pieces missing from my knowledge base that need to be filled in.  No way I’d be able to spell if my A to Z alphabet was missing some vital letters, right pps, err, I mean peeps?

What is Power BI?

Power BI is Microsoft’s answer to how people can be empowered by data.  It allows them to analyze and visualize their data, and I do mean all their data, in ways they never were before.  It allows them to do this with less technical knowledge than any other analytics tool I’ve seen in my career.  It has multiple offerings with different levels of capabilities, but the Azure version is by far the most powerful.

Why Power BI?

For me it was simple.  I love data-  everyone knows that, but I was always the one building the data environment that analytics tools pulled from.  I would provide analysis from data for companies on database performance and usage, but never had the opportunity to work with BI tools much in the two decades as a DBA.

The average company who accesses and utilizes just 10% more of their data will gain around 10% more revenue-  on average, around $65 million dollars.  That’s a lot of money to add to the economy and anyone would be a fool to not realize that data is the new oil.  Use it or lose it and I’d rather lose it than just store it for companies.

What Does AI Have to do With BI?

Artificial Intelligence is everywhere, but much of it is programmed by humans.  It is fed by humans and humans have bias and opinions.  How often have you thought one thing was true, but then started to research and found out that data provided a different outcome?  Offering AI data via Power BI can provide intelligence that is backed more by the data than by the human that built it.

Machine algorithms can identify important trends and analysis that humans might miss.  As machine learning matures, AI advances and we gather more value from data than we could manually combing through and relying on our own insight.  By running all this in the cloud, it’s able to scale to meet demand and integrate other products to benefit from the insight provided.

I’ve always promoted that any assumption is a bad assumption.  You must have the data behind any decision and Power BI empowered by AI can provide this at a level today’s companies need.  We’ve discussed in my talks that 1.7MB per person, per second will be created by every human on the planet by 2020.  That’s a lot of data and we shouldn’t just be storing it, we should be learning and prospering from it.