Watch the video demonstration of building reports using Power BI Designer.

Yes, Power BI Designer (download steps) is one more tool (desktop based) introduced by Microsoft to create Model and Report for Power BI dashboard.  Now you may not feel good about it considering the fact that you are still scratching your head with Power Query, Power Pivot and Power View and another tool to learn looks like a burden.

This application combines Power Query, Power Pivot Data Model and Power View into a seamless experience that will allow customers to build their Power BI elements in an offline fashion and then upload to the Power BI Service.

Well, see it this way

  1. You need not learn anything new if you already know Power Query, Power Pivot and Power View. Just get familiar with tool.
  2. Power BI Designer = Power Query + Power Pivot + Power View tool for Power BI.
  3. It just removed the dependency of having Excel 2013 as an add-in and made it simpler. So for organization or people who are still on older version of Excel, there is no added cost
  4. That means, if you don’t want to use it and have Excel 2013 instead, that’s perfectly fine. If you are using Excel 2013, you can create reports and models both for Power BI, In-Premise SharePoint and/or desktop analysis.

An Extra advantage

You might have remembered about relationship limitation of Power Pivot I discussed last time here.  Relationship in Power Pivot is one way and does not support many-to-many. However, Power BI designer support Bidirectional and Many-to-Many. So there is no need for nasty DAX. To understand more about bidirectional relationship in Power BI, see this.

What is not supported?

If you have tried your hands on DAX and know how to create measures and use it for better analysis, skip Power BI designer. DAX is not yet supported in Power BI Designer yet, but you never know as Power BI is still in Preview Mode

To get the hang of Power BI Designer tool quickly, watch official video tutorials

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