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Dobias Frequent Visitor
Frequent Visitor

Can I say that Power BI acts as a Data Warehouse, even if it isn't one?

Hey all,


I'm currently writing a paper on Business Intelligence and Reporting and I was wondering if I could say the following line: "Power BI can act as a data warehouse" if I then specify that Power BI doesn't have a data warehouse. I know that Power BI is usually used complementary to a data warehouse, but it would be so helpful for my paper if I could say that Power BI can act as a data warehouse. Thanks in advance! Cheers

cnweke Member

Re: Can I say that Power BI acts as a Data Warehouse, even if it isn't one?

Definitely not. 

If you connect Power BI to your operational DBs, transform and then report you're still querying operational DBs which should (preferably) not be done for enterprise level BI.

a DW combines data from various sources into a single source of the truth, it's the result of an ETL process.


To put it into practice, if you clean your data, do a ton of transformations and modelling straight in PBI, bypassing a DWH/SSAS you'll have to do it again for your next model, which is time consuming.

Also, if two people are modelling/building reports there's no consistency, which a DWH ensures. Let's say you're reporting on customers, one person might say a customer is a company (B2B) who buys services/products from your company and another person might model customers as the person who runs the actual company.

A DWH's customer dimension would provide a 'stable' definition for all the (relevant) business objects in their respective dimensions.

Dobias Frequent Visitor
Frequent Visitor

Re: Can I say that Power BI acts as a Data Warehouse, even if it isn't one?

Thanks for your answer. I think I will then just say "Power BI shows some of the characteristics that a data warehouse has, such as being subject oriented and time variant" and that it is advisable to base Power BI on a data warehouse.

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