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Low-Code Datamart with Microsoft Power BI

Updated: Aug 17, 2023

Microsoft's Power BI team announced a new self-service, low-code "datamart" capability for Power BI Premium today at its developer-focused Build conference. This endeavour combines and connects Power BI's own analytics engine with Microsoft's Azure SQL Database technology, which is based on the company's flagship SQL Server relational database. The announcement also adds a significant usability benefit, as it provides non-Windows platform users with a full-featured Power BI publishing experience.

Let's take a closer look at this new feature. Analytics is a series of tasks that necessitate the capacity to –

  • Data may be easily ingested and prepared.

  • Data should have business semantics added to it.

  • Manage and govern your data while ensuring that you get the most out of your investments.

  • Share, explore, and create reports that provide insights with ease.

With no code to write and only a few clicks, Datamart in Power BI makes this cycle simple. Users may quickly construct and deploy a database for analytics that their teams or organization can use by leveraging common Power BI capabilities for extracting, processing, and loading data, as well as modelling the data. There's no need to construct a subscription, a database, or even a pipeline, and there's no need for integration, tuning, or optimization because it's all done for you!

Data may be easily ingested and prepared.

This is the earliest and most significant analytics component, and it might take a long time to complete. You must be able to connect to many data sources and extract and process data quickly. You'll also want to undertake some ad hoc analysis and data exploration along the process, using your preferred language and tool. With Power BI's datamart, this is simple. Users may connect to their data via over 150 connectors, apply simple filters, and execute complex changes without writing a single line of code, utilizing an interface that is familiar to anybody who has used Power Query in Power BI or Excel. Advanced users can utilize a built-in SQL editor or their preferred SQL tool to explore data utilizing a visual query creation experience. Even data refreshes are simple after that, and you have complete control using incremental refresh, which allows you only to bring in data that has changed in a table.

Power BI Datamart
Credit: Microsoft

Data should have business semantics added to it.

Let's talk about the 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. You do not need to create the dataset with a datamart 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 downloading and installing 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 optimal performance, so you don't have to worry about it!

Data business semantics
Credit: Microsoft

Manage and govern your data

You're creating an analytical solution for thousands of users, so data security is critical. Users may quickly create a datamart with datamart in Power BI while keeping it secure. To restrict data access for specific users, you can build and provide row-level security. But what about concerns regarding sensitive data and data exfiltration? You can set sensitivity labels from inside the datamart settings, just like any other Power BI artefact, and you can inspect the data's end-to-end lineage at any moment.

The datamart lifecycle is simple to manage once development is complete. You can use current deployment processes to integrate the datamart and move it from development to test to production.

Businesses can have complete control over governance and manageability with peace of mind.

Share, explore, and create reports that provide insights with ease.

All of this is excellent, but at the end of the day, you want to be able to share and discover this datamart so that business users can produce reports and gain their own insights. The datamart can be shared and found on the Data Hub, Excel, and Teams with a few clicks. The process of creating reports is the same as that of creating reports in Power BI.

How does it work?

Power Bi datamarts are quite simple to implement. Power BI has always kept track of how users find the data sources and tables/datasets they need for their reports. Instead of just storing a data model with the report, Power BI will now develop and deploy a full-fledged relational data mart as well as the data pipelines required to populate and refresh it.

The datamart is created using the same Power Query technology that was used to produce the Power BI models. And, because Power Query has always been low-code/no-code friendly, it still is. Those who want to custom-code specific portions of the required data processing and movement can continue using Power Query's powerful "M" language. They don't have to, though.

The datamart functionality takes advantage of the dataflow facility in the Power BI cloud service, which has already developed much of Power Query's user interface for the Web browser environment, avoiding the need for Power BI Desktop. However, the whole model design experience is now available on the browser. This is a good choice for Power BI customers who would instead do everything in the cloud than split their time between the desktop and the cloud.

Power BI's new browser-based data modeling experience
Credit: Microsoft

A larger tent

However, the benefits of a browser-based design environment go beyond beauty and flexibility. In reality, by removing the reliance on Power BI Desktop, users of non-Windows operating systems now have access to a full authoring experience without having to run Windows in emulation mode. Full-featured authoring of Power BI reports will soon be available to Mac, Linux, and Chromebook users almost seven years after the launch of Power BI. That's a big concern, and it's Microsoft's final true competitive weakness versus key BI providers like Salesforce's Tableau, Google's Looker, Qlik Sense, and others.

Microsoft's Azure SQL Database technology is being used to implement the datamart capability, which is interesting. That means datamarts have their own SQL Server endpoint and will function with all supported tools and developer libraries, in addition to being accessible from within Power BI. Datamarts, on the other hand, don't require users to have an Azure account or provision an Azure SQL server or database, so customers who don't care about that can ignore it as a minor technical detail. Regardless, all datamarts are completely visible to customers' IT departments, allowing business users to self-serve while keeping IT informed.

Visibility is also available on other Power BI-compatible platforms. This means that Excel and Teams can find Power BI datamarts in addition to the native Power BI environment. Power BI's information protection, endorsement, certification, and security services are now available to datamarts.


Allow everyone to absorb, process, integrate, enrich, and examine their own blend of data to gain new insights. Datamart in Power BI allows developers who are more comfortable with T-SQL tools to do additional analysis and integration into apps and solutions while also establishing a procedure for more inexperienced users to create a datamart that can be governed and managed centrally. Datamart in Power BI is an upgrade of the Power BI service that uses the familiar Power BI experience to democratize data for everyone securely.

Microsoft's Power BI team is one of the busiest in the company. It revises the product every month, and every now and then, including right now, the team assembles enough work to constitute a platform overhaul.

However, despite the success of Power BI, Microsoft remains a distant second in the cloud to Amazon Web Services. The question that looms big is whether and how Power BI's supremacy in the BI industry can transform Microsoft's overall position in the cloud market. Microsoft must do more than just build; it must also win. The momentum of Power BI offers one possible path to such a win, and Microsoft observers should keep an eye on it.

Do you want to be able to turn data into insights that help your business grow?

Interest: Microsoft Power BI is the perfect tool for you. With our data analyst training and certification, you will be able to use this tool like a pro. You will be able to transform data into valuable insights that will help your business grow.

Do you want to be able to turn data into insights that help your business grow?

Microsoft Power BI is the perfect tool for you. With Microsoft Power BI data analyst training and certification, you will be able to use this tool like a pro and transform data into valuable insights that will help your business grow. This is the perfect opportunity for you to improve your career prospects and become an invaluable asset to any company.

Enroll in our Microsoft Power BI training programs today.


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