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Announcing public preview of datamart in Power BI

Headshot of article author Priya Sathy

Today, Arun Ulagaratchagan, CVP Intelligence Platform announced the preview of datamart in Power BI.  Datamart in Power BI is a new self-service capability included with Power BI Premium that enables users to uncover actionable insights through their own data without any help from IT teams. For the first time, we are empowering everyone with the right-sized ability to build a relational database for analytics using no code experiences for workloads up to 100GB, without compromising enterprise security and governance demands.  This new out-of-the box capability that is fully managed by Power BI, effortlessly extends modern data architectures to millions of business users.  What previously took users months waiting in line for their IT project to get approved can now be done in minutes. Best of all, IT doesn’t have to worry about getting all data into centrally governed data sources, thus providing discipline at the core and flexibility at the edge.

Let’s dive deeper into this new capability.  Analytics is a continuum of activities requiring the ability to –

  • Easily ingest & prep data
  • Add business semantics to the data
  • Manage and govern the data while making sure you are getting the most of your investments
  • Easily share, discover, and build reports that serve insights

Datamart in Power BI makes this cycle easy with zero code to write and just a few clicks.  Leveraging familiar Power BI experiences for extracting, transforming, and loading data, and modeling the data, users can rapidly build and deploy a database for analytics that can be used by their teams or organization. There’s no need to set up a subscription, create a database or even a pipeline, and there’s no integration, tuning or optimization required as all of this is automatic!

Easily ingest & prep data

This is the first and the most important aspect of analytics that can consume a lot of time. You need to connect to multiple data sources and have agility in extracting and transforming data. You also want to do ad hoc analysis and explore data along the way using the language and tool of your choice. This is easy with datamart in Power BI. Users can connect to their data through over 150+ connectors, perform simple filters or complex transforms without writing a single line of code, using an experience familiar to anyone who has used Power Query within Power BI or Excel.  Data can be explored using a visual query building experience or for those advanced users, via a built-in SQL editor or using their SQL tool of choice.  Once done, even data refreshes are easy, and you are in control with incremental refresh enabling you to only bring in data that’s changed in a table.

Power BI's web interface now hosts query steps and a preview of data being loaded. The interface follows the Office ribbon and panes design.

Add business semantics to the data

Let’s talk about business semantics of data.  It begins with making sure you have the right relationships between the tables. What you would have done manually is now automated.  Datamart in Power BI creates relationships by autodetecting them from the source. From there, users can easily modify them and add their own relationships by dragging and dropping fields into tables.

In Power BI, datasets house the measures that a business wants to track. Traditionally, you would have to create a dataset, create measures, and figure out configurations for optimal performance between the database and dataset. With a datamart, you do not need to create the dataset as one is automatically generated.  From right within the datamart interface you can create measures using Data Analysis Expressions (DAX) and do advanced BI modeling without ever needing to download and install Power BI Desktop.

With this unified interface, datamart in Power BI brings the relational database model and the BI semantic model together and keeps the database and dataset always in sync and performant. So even if your data is accessed using SQL or XMLA tooling, it is always accurate.  As data or usage grows this new capability self-tunes the database and the dataset to provide you optimal performance so you don’t have to worry about it!

Manage & govern the data

You are building an analytical solution not just for one user, but for thousands of users and security of data is very important. With datamart in Power BI, users can create a datamart quickly while keeping it secure. You can create and assign row level security to restrict data access for given users. But what about sensitive data and data exfiltration concerns? You can set sensitivity labels like with any other Power BI artifact from right within the datamart settings and at any point in time you can view end-to-end lineage of the data.

When development is complete, management of the datamart lifecycle is easy.  You can include the datamart in existing deployment pipelines and move the datamart from development to test to production.

With peace of mind businesses can have total control over governance and manageability.

Easily share, discover, and build reports that serve insights

This is all great but at the end of the day, you want to be able to share this datamart, make it discoverable so business users can create reports and get their own insights.  The datamart can be shared with just a few clicks and discovered in the Data Hub, Excel, and Teams.  Building reports is just the familiar Power BI report building experience.

Empower anyone with insights

Unlock new insights by enabling everyone to ingest, transform, integrate, enrich, and explore their own mix of data. Datamart in Power BI empowers developers who are more familiar with T-SQL tools to do further analysis and integration into apps and solutions– and establishes a process for more novice users to create a datamart that can be centrally governed and managed. As an evolution of the Power BI service, datamart in Power BI leverages the familiar Power BI experience and securely democratizes data for all.

Learn more as Product Manager Charles Webb and host Jeremy Chapman take a deeper look into datamart in Power BI. They share the benefits of this new capability, dive into an easy-to-follow demo and explain how companies are leveraging datamart in Power BI to unlock insights that drive business decisions.

Watch the Mechanics Video now.