Power BI Datamart: A New Way to Access & Analyze Data

In May 2022, Power BI introduced a new addition to its ever-growing list of features, Power BI Datamart. Datamart is a new way to access and analyze data stored in a Power BI data model.

Microsoft Power BI Datamarts provide users an SQL interface to query data in the Power BI data model. This allows users to take advantage of Power BI’s powerful data modeling and analysis capabilities without learning the Power Query M formula.

Power BI Datamart is more than just another add-on to an already comprehensive Power BI platform. It has powerful capabilities that make it a valuable tool for any organization.

For IT and business professionals responsible for data management, Datamart provides a way to centrally manage all of the organization’s data in one place. Datamart also allows data sharing across different departments and business units without duplicating data sets or building separate data warehouses.


Data Mart vs. Data Warehouse vs. Data Lake: What’s the Difference?

Businesses have multiple choices when it comes to data analytics and data management. One option is to use a data warehouse, a central repository of all the organization’s data. Data warehouses are designed to support business intelligence and data analysis.

On the other hand, data marts are subsets of data warehouses designed to help specific business needs. Due to the similarities between data marts and data warehouses, it can be challenging to understand their differences.

While data lakes, warehouses and marts are similar in some aspects, their duties and store data sets differ.


What is a Data Lake?

A data lake is a large-scale archive for raw data. The raw data has very little if any, structure. It would take significant work to prepare the data for any type of data analysis that would provide actionable insights. Data lakes typically exist within large organizations. They sometimes serve as a catch-all that could be used later to create datasets.

An Azure data lake provides all of the necessary big data tools for data users to prepare, clean and reformat for use in various applications.


What Is a Data Warehouse?

A data warehouse is a database used for reporting and data analysis. It is a central repository of information that analysts and decision-makers can access. Data is typically extracted from multiple sources including SQL Server or Azure SQL database and then transformed into a format that can be analyzed. This data is then used to provide insights for strategic decision-making.

A data warehouse is a crucial piece of a data analytics infrastructure due to its ability to create an environment that supports comprehensive data analysis, decision-making, and business intelligence. The data warehouse is the foundation for a data mart.


What Is a Data Mart?

On the other hand, a data mart is typically used to store data specific to a particular business unit or department(ex: sales, finance, or HR). Data marts generally are used to support decision-making at a more local level. Data marts can ingest data from a data warehouse, as well as from other sources.

While data warehouses and data marts serve different purposes, they are often used together in an organization’s overall data management strategy. Power BI Datamart is an example of a data mart. While it can ingest data from a data warehouse, it is designed to store and manage Power BI’s data.


Microsoft Power BI Datamart: What Is It?

As part of a new Power BI Premium offering, Datamart is a data warehousing solution that enables organizations to store and manage data in a centralized location. As a self-service capability included in Power BI Premium, Power BI Datamart allows users to uncover data insights without relying on IT resources.

Datamart is only available through Power BI Premium. Users will need to have a Premium license to access the Datamart features, or users will need to create a workspace using a PPU (Premium per User) account. Alternatively, there is a 60-day trial available within Power BI for features that require a PPU license.

Users can quickly and easily connect to data sources, build reports and dashboards, and share their findings with others in the organization. Users can quickly build data marts without having to provision or manage any infrastructure. Datamart allows users to develop and deploy an analytic database that their teams or organizations can use without writing code.

Once data is in Power BI Datamart, Power BI users can take advantage of all the self-service analytic capabilities in Power BI, such as data visualization, natural language query, and database analytics. There are no requirements to build a database, schema, or cube, and there is no need for integration or optimization. Users can focus on their data and not on the underlying infrastructure. Simply connect to the data sources you want to use, and Power BI takes care of the rest!


What Are the Features of Power BI Datamart?

There are several features of Power BI Datamart that make it an attractive choice for businesses:

  • Only available in Power BI Premium($20/user/month)
  • Data is limited to 100 GB per database
  • Multiple users can connect to the same data source
  • Data is ingested from various data sources and is extracted, transformed, and loaded (ETL) using Power Query
  • Using Azure Active Directory, security can be applied to restrict access to data

Datamart is an excellent solution for businesses that need a flexible and easy-to-use business intelligence tool. It is incredibly well suited for companies with a significant amount of data they need to visualize and analyze.


Who Is Power BI Datamart Designed For?

The self-service tool in Datamart is for business users who want to create reports and dashboards without IT assistance. There are several use cases for this tool:


Power BI Datamart for Data Scientists

A data scientist is a person who uses data to solve problems that are difficult to solve using traditional methods. Data scientists often need to access large amounts of data to find trends and patterns.

With Datamart, data scientists can quickly and easily connect to data sources, build reports and dashboards, and share their findings with others in the organization. Data scientists can promptly make datamarts without having to provision or manage any infrastructure.


Power BI Datamart for Business Analysts

A business analyst is a person who uses data to understand and improve business processes. Business analysts often need to access data to understand how business processes work and identify areas for improvement. Power BI Datamart can be used by business analysts who need to access data, understand how business processes work, and identify areas for improvement.


Power BI Datamart for Developers

Developers are responsible for creating the software businesses use to run their operations. They also need to ensure that this software meets the specific needs of the companies they work for. In some cases, this might mean creating a custom application.

However, in other cases, it might be more efficient to use an existing application and simply modify it to meet the needs of the business. Using Power BI Datamart, developers can easily access the data they need to create the applications that companies need.

Now that we know some of the key features and use cases of Power BI Datamart let’s look at some of the benefits.


What Are the Benefits of Using Power BI Datamart?

If you have spent significant time working with dataflows, connecting to data sources, preparing the data, and then creating the data model can be time-consuming and tedious. The main benefit of Power BI Datamart is that it automates the process of data ingestion, transformation, and loading.

This means that you can spend less time preparing data and more time analyzing it. Another benefit of Power BI Datamart is that it is highly scalable. This is because it is built on top of the Azure SQL Database.

This means that it can easily handle large amounts of data. Lastly, Power BI Datamart has a user-friendly interface.

  • Increased flexibility and scalability: Datamart is much more flexible and scalable than traditional data warehouses. This allows organizations to easily add or remove data sources and scale up or down their data processing needs.
  • Intuitive user interface: The Datamart user interface is intuitive and easy to use. This allows users to quickly create reports and dashboards without going through a steep learning curve.
  • Improved performance: Datamart can provide significant performance improvements over traditional data warehouses due to its in-memory processing capabilities.
  • Reduced costs: Datamart can help organizations reduce overall costs by eliminating the need for expensive hardware and additional software licenses.


How Can I Use Power BI Datamart?

You don’t have to be a programmer or developer to use Power BI Datamart. Datamart can be used in several ways, regardless of your level of technical expertise, including:

  • Connecting to data sources: You can connect to various data sources, including databases, text files, and spreadsheets.
  • Transforming data: You can use the Power Query Editor to convert your data into the desired format.
  • Creating visuals: You can use the Power BI Designer to create interactive visuals that allow you to explore your data in new ways.
  • Sharing your work: You can share your work with others by publishing your datamart to the Power BI service.
  • Build end-to-end solutions: You can use Power BI Datamart to build an end-to-end Power BI solution that includes data acquisition, transformation, and visualization without relying on IT teams.


Is Power BI or Tableau Better?

Now that we have looked at Power BI Datamart and its features let’s compare it to another popular business intelligence tool: Tableau. Both Power BI and Tableau are great tools for visualizing and analyzing data. However, there are some critical differences between the two.

Power BI, part of the Power Platform, is a self-service BI tool enabling users to analyze data and share insights. Tableau is a data visualization tool that helps users see and understand data. Power BI is better suited for users who want to do their analysis, as it is more accessible and user-friendly than Tableau. Tableau is better suitable for users who want to visualize data, as it offers more features and options for data visualization.

When comparing Power BI and Tableau, it is essential to consider your needs and objectives. Power BI was built for self-service analysis, while Tableau is for data visualization. The Power BI interface relies heavily on intuitiveness and usability, while Tableau’s interface is not as user-friendly. Those with data analytical experience may find it easier to use Tableau, but those with little experience may quickly become overwhelmed.

Which is better – Power BI or Tableau? The answer depends on your needs and objectives. Power BI is the best option if you want to do your analysis and no need to visualize data. If you need to visualize data, you may prefer Tableau.


Is Datamart the Future of Power BI?

The popularity of Power BI has led to the development of many different tools and platforms that aim to make data analysis and visualization more straightforward and accessible. The software has seen many changes recently, and Microsoft has consistently added new features and functionality. With Datamart, Power BI implementation is faster, easier and more flexible.

We anticipate that Power BI Datamart will revolutionize your work with your Power BI dataset. It is always helpful to start with the basics when trying to familiarize yourself with a new technology or software. IncWorx Consulting understands this, which is why we are here to help organizations devise their business intelligence strategy.

If Datamart is the future of Power BI, we will ensure our clients are prepared for it. Our team of experts and consultants can help you build a solution that meets your specific needs and objectives. If you are looking for a Power BI partner to help you take advantage of Datamart, look no further than IncWorx Consulting. Set up a call to talk with us or read more of our blog.

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