What is Power Bi for Mac: How to use Power BI on Mac Devices

Turn data into opportunity with Microsoft Power BI data visualization tools. Drive better business decisions by analyzing your enterprise data for insights.

Microsoft Power BI is a business intelligence platform that provides nontechnical business users with tools for aggregating, analyzing, visualizing, and sharing data. There's also Power Bi for Mac.

Power BI's user interface is fairly intuitive for users familiar with Excel. Its deep integration with other Microsoft products makes it a very versatile self-service tool requiring little upfront training.

Let's dive in and learn about Power BI and how to use Power BI for Mac.

What is Power BI?

What is Power BI

Power BI is a business analytics solution that lets you visualize data and share insights throughout your organization. You can also embed them in your app or website. Connect to hundreds of data sources and bring your data to life with live dashboards and reports. This is a great tool for businesses that allows users to analyze more data in more ways than ever before. Regardless of your business, if it is data-intensive, Power Bi is the tool you need to make sense of the date.

There's a free version of Power BI intended for SMSB owners. Microsoft also has a professional version called Power BI Plus available for a monthly subscription fee. Users can download an application for Windows 10, called Power BI Desktop, and native mobile apps for Windows, Android, iOS, and Mac devices (Power BI for Mac). There is also Power BI Report Server for companies that must maintain their data and reports on premises. That version of Power BI requires a special version of the desktop app -- aptly called Power BI Desktop for Power BI Report Server. 

Common uses of Power BI

Microsoft Power BI is used to help organizations find insights within their data. Power BI can help:

  • connect disparate data sets,
  • transform and clean the data into a data model
  • create charts or graphs to provide visuals of the data.

All of this can be shared with other Power BI users within the organization.

The data models created from Power BI can be used in several ways for organizations, including:

  • telling stories through charts and data visualizations
  • examining "what if" scenarios within the data.

Power BI reports can also answer real-time questions and help with forecasting to ensure departments meet business metrics.

Power BI can also provide executive dashboards for administrators or managers, giving management more insight into how departments are doing.

Is there Power BI for Mac?

Unfortunately, there is no native version of Power Bi for Mac, though it is under consideration. So, Power BI is a powerful BI tool, but it sadly doesn't support Mac devices.

How to use Power BI on Mac Devices?

Yes. The good news is you can still run Power Bi on your Mac. There are a couple of ways you can do this.

Since Power BI can't run on a Mac, here are our recommendations for running Power BI on Macintosh Devices.

  1. Install and run Power BI on a Virtual Machine, then remote into that Virtual Machine. You can create a virtual machine in Azure, install a Power BI desktop there, and access the Power BI cloud workstation with Mac OS X remote desktop apps like Microsoft Remote Desktop for Mac.
  2. Install and run Power BI on a PC, then use a remote viewer to control that PC.
  3. Install Windows on Mac using Boot Camp
  4. You can also install Parallels Desktop on your Mac, load Windows 10 ISO, install Windows, and load Power BI Desktop on this local virtual machine.  You can use Parallels Desktop to create a seamless Power BI Desktop experience by creating a shortcut that makes it look like you are running Power BI as a native Mac OS X app.
Power BI for Mac

Features of Power BI for Mac

  • Content Packs:  Power BI uses Content Packs, which has dashboard reports, data models, and embedded queries. Content Packs are now being used by a large number of applications, including QuickBooks.
  • Natural Language Q&A: This is one of the most powerful tools in Power BI. It lets users write questions and will provide the content and answer, which you can set up to match your visual needs.
  • Print Dashboard: Power BI provides a unique feature for printing dashboards, which can be great for meetings and large discussions.
  • Custom Visualization: A library of custom visualization. Make the visuals pop with this. Customize it to suit the needs of your business.
  • Get Data (Data Source): With Power BI, businesses can get data from almost anywhere. Power BI Desktop includes a huge array of on-premise and cloud data sources, structured and unstructured, and the ability to draw mass amounts of information from anywhere, all of which can be analyzed in many ways.
  • DAX Data Analysis Function: Has more than 200 functions, with more added all the time. The rich DAX  formula language includes libraries of incredible capabilities to perform computational gymnastics on your data and create powerful analytical data models.
  • Create Stunning Interactive Reports: Power BI Desktop gives you the tools to transform, analyze, and visualize data. Share reports with your organization using Power BI on the web.
  • Consistent analysis across your organization: With SQL Server Analysis Services you can easily build robust, reusable models over your data to provide consistency across reporting and analysis in your organization.
  • Deliver Interactive Reports in your app with Power BI Embedded service.

Governance Setting for Power BI cache refreshes from Azure Analysis Services

Power BI Live Connect reports allow the dataset to be stored in Azure Analysis Services (Azure AS) or SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) while the report stays in the Power BI service. Power BI can enhance report interactivity by maintaining caches of dashboard tile data and report data for the initial load.

Enterprise BI deployments where semantic models are reused throughout organizations can result in plenty of dashboards and reports sourcing data from a single Analysis Services (AS) model. This can cause an excessive number of cache queries to be submitted to AS and could overload the server. This is important to Azure AS (as opposed to SSAS) because models are often co-located in the same region as the Power BI capacity for faster query response times.

With Excel spreadsheets, cloud services, streaming data, and on-premises databases, you get a holistic view of your business's key metrics no matter where your data lives or what form it’s in.

Power Bi for Mac isn’t native to Mac, but by using one of the methods addressed above, you can easily run Power Bi on your Mac. With one of the methods above, you will think you are using Power Bi for Mac. Take advantage of the same powerful data analysis features as Windows has by using Power Bi on your Windows system until Power Bi for Mac comes to the Mac as a native product.

Who uses Power BI

Though Power BI is a self-service BI tool that brings data analytics to employees, it's mostly used by data analysts and business intelligence professionals who create the data models before disseminating reports throughout the organization. However, those without an analytical background can still navigate Power BI and create reports.

Microsoft Power BI is used by both department reps and management, with reports and forecasts created to aid sales and marketing reps, while also providing data for management on how the department or individual employees are progressing toward their goals.

In addition, Power BI offers an admin portal for administrators to help configure the implementation of Power BI and usage monitoring and licenses.

Watch: macbook organization + customization tips/tricks! *aesthetic Macbook*

Final Thoughts

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