powerbi vs sql
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What is the difference between Power BI vs SQL?

As both products (power BI vs SQL) are used to analyze data, and build data-driven reports, in this article we will go through the main difference between Power BI and SQL.

What is Microsoft SQL Server?

In a few words, The SQL services provided by Microsoft! Whether using Azure Cloud, or SSMS, SSIS… the code written in the console will be SQL.

What is SQL?

SQL is a standard language for accessing and manipulating databases.

  • SQL stands for Structured Query Language
  • SQL lets you access and manipulates databases
  • SQL became a standard of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) in 1986 and of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in 1987

What Can SQL do?

  • SQL can execute queries against a database
  • SQL can retrieve data from a database
  • SQL can insert records in a database
  • SQL can update records in a database
  • SQL can delete records from a database
  • SQL can create new databases
  • SQL can create new tables in a database
  • SQL can create stored procedures in a database
  • SQL can create views in a database
  • SQL can set permissions on tables, procedures, and views

What is Power BI?

Power BI is a collection of software services, apps, and connectors that work together to turn your unrelated sources of data into coherent, visually immersive, and interactive insights. Your data may be an Excel spreadsheet or a collection of cloud-based and on-premises hybrid data warehouses. Power BI lets you easily connect to your data sources, visualize and discover what’s important, and share that with anyone or everyone you want.

The parts of Power BI

Power BI consists of several elements that all work together, starting with these three basics:

  • A Windows desktop application called Power BI Desktop.
  • An online SaaS (Software as a Service) service called the Power BI service.
  • Power BI mobile apps for Windows, iOS, and Android devices.
Power BI types and products
Power BI Products (Source: microsoft.com)

These three elements—Power BI Desktop, the service, and the mobile apps—are designed to let you create, share, and consume business insights in the way that serves you and your role most effectively.

Beyond those three, Power BI also features two other elements:

  • Power BI Report Builder, for creating paginated reports to share in the Power BI service. Read more about paginated reports later in this article.
  • Power BI Report Server, an on-premises report server where you can publish your Power BI reports, after creating them in Power BI Desktop. Read more about Power BI Report Server later in this article.

What are Analytics and Business Intelligence Platforms?

Analytics and business intelligence (ABI) platforms enable less technical users, including businesspeople, to model, analyze, explore, share and manage data, and collaborate and share findings, enabled by IT and augmented by artificial intelligence (AI). ABI platforms may optionally include the ability to create, modify or enrich a semantic model including business rules.

Power BI is the Leader in Business Intelligence platforms.

power bi vs sql
business intelligence architecture

Power BI vs SQL

As we read that SQL is a standard language for accessing and manipulating databases. On the hand Power BI is a leading Business Intelligence tool to analyze and build reports focused on visualization.

SQL is used to SELECTUPDATEDELETEINSERT (and more) with SQL Databases such as AzureSQL DB, and BigQuery.

Data Flow Architecture

Read more: Powerful SQL practice for a data analyst in just 5 minutes

Power BI is used to make charts and visuals of the data from AzureSQL DB, and BigQuery. Converting the Data into magnificent Charts for reporting and dashboarding!

Read more: The Charts you must Avoid as a Data Analyst for good

Conclusion Power BI vs SQL

SQL and Power BI are both highly demanding skills! To interact with data, and visualize it- an expert must master both the technology!

Depending on the interest and goals, for example, if the goal is to become a data engineer then the data engineer should be an expert in SQL and might not need Power BI.

On the other hand, if the goal is to become a Power BI Developer then should be an expert in Power BI and might not need SQL.

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