The Best AI Features In Power BI For Maximum Efficiency

May 29, 2024 Matt Baum

Power BI is the gold standard for reporting and analysis…but with the advent of generative AI, it just got even better. This blog article provides an overview of the performance-driving AI features in Power BI. Whether you’re a data analyst, business intelligence professional, or just curious about the latest advancements, this blog article will provide you with insights into how AI enhances your data analysis and reporting. 

How is AI used in Business Intelligence (BI)? 

Before diving into the specifics of Power BI AI, let’s briefly explore how AI works within Power BI: 

  • Automated Insights: AI algorithms analyze data, identify patterns, and generate insights automatically. This streamlines decision-making and reduces manual effort.
  • Predictive Analytics: AI models predict future outcomes based on historical data. These predictions help organizations optimize resource allocation, inventory management, and more.
  • Natural Language Processing (NLP): AI-powered NLP allows users to query data using natural language. It bridges the gap between technical and non-technical users.


Power BI AI features 

Following are just a few of the AI features in Power BI: 

Key Influencers 

Key Influencers identifies factors that significantly impact a specific metric. It helps answer questions like, “What drives sales?” or “Which variables affect customer churn?” Use Key Influencers to explore relationships between different data attributes. For example, analyze which product features influence customer satisfaction. 

Example: A retail company wants to understand why certain products sell better in specific regions. Key Influencers reveals correlations between product features, pricing, and customer demographics.

Decomposition Tree 

Decomposition Tree visualizes hierarchical data breakdowns. It’s like drilling down into a multi-level pie chart. Use Decomposition Tree to explore data hierarchies. For instance, analyze sales by region, product category, and individual products. 

Example: A manufacturing company wants to understand its revenue distribution across different product lines. Decomposition Tree reveals the contribution of each level (e.g., product category, subcategory, SKU). 

Smart Narrative visuals 

Smart Narrative generates natural language explanations for visuals. It turns data insights into plain language. Add smart narrative to your reports. It automatically explains trends, outliers, and patterns. 

Example: An executive dashboard shows revenue trends. Smart Narrative describes why revenue increased in Q3, highlighting key contributing factors. 

Anomaly Detection 

Anomaly Detection identifies unusual data points. It’s crucial for fraud detection, quality control, and performance monitoring. Apply anomaly detection to time-series data. Detect sudden spikes, drops, or irregular patterns.

Example: A financial institution monitors transaction volumes. Anomaly Detection alerts when unexpected spikes occur, indicating potential fraud. 

Sentiment Analysis 

Sentiment Analysis evaluates text data (customer reviews, social media posts) and assigns sentiment scores (positive, negative, neutral). Use it to analyze customer feedback sentiment. Understand brand perception and identify areas for improvement. 

Example: A hotel chain analyzes guest reviews. Sentiment Analysis reveals which aspects (service, cleanliness, amenities) impact overall satisfaction. 


Forecasting predicts future values based on historical data. It’s essential for demand planning and resource allocation. Apply Forecasting to sales, inventory, or website traffic data. 

Example: An e-commerce company forecasts holiday season sales. It estimates demand for specific products and allocates inventory accordingly. 

Machine Learning capabilities in Power BI 

Power BI integrates with Azure Machine Learning. You can create custom machine learning models directly within Power BI using automated machine learning (AutoML). This empowers data analysts to build predictive models without extensive coding expertise.


Will Power BI be replaced by AI? 

Not necessarily. While AI enhances Power BI, it doesn’t replace it. Power BI remains a powerful tool for data visualization, reporting, and collaboration. AI augments these capabilities, making them more efficient and insightful. 

Other benefits of Power BI 

Apart from AI features, there are other benefits of Power BI that are very powerful, setting it apart from other business intelligence tools: 

  • Interactive reports and dashboards: Design interactive reports and dashboards by arranging visualizations, text, images, and buttons on pages. Also offers bookmarks, drill-through, and the ability to add filters and slicers for an enhanced user experience.
  • Data connectivity: Connect to various data sources, including databases, spreadsheets, cloud services, web APIs, and more, making it easier to import and transform data for analysis.
  • Power Query: Use this powerful data transformation tool integrated into Power BI to shape and cleanse data from multiple sources, readying it for data preparation tasks.
  • Semantic Models: Create models within Power BI to define tables, relationships, calculated columns, and measures, making it easier to prepare data for analysis while supporting complex calculations and enabling the creation of meaningful reports and visualizations.
  • Rich visualizations: Creating interactive reports using a wide range of customizable data visualizations, including charts, tables, maps, and custom visuals.  
  • Power BI Service: Publish, share, and collaborate on reports and dashboards with features such as automatic data refresh, scheduling, and the ability to create apps and workspaces for team collaboration.
  • Natural language queries: Use natural language queries and Q&A functionality to ask questions about your data in plain language.  
  • Power BI Mobile: Choose from apps for various platforms (iOS, Android, Windows) to access and interact with reports and dashboards from anywhere
  • Data Security and Governance: Rest easy thanks to robust security and governance features, including role-level security, data sensitivity labels, and audit logs.  


Put AI to work for enhanced efficiency and great insights with Power BI 

If you’re already a Power BI user, you have benefitted from its capabilities. With AI in the mix, your Power BI experience will be even better. Regardless of how you use it, your data analysis and reporting will reach new heights, thanks to AI and the other benefits of Power BI. 

Want to learn more about Power BI? Read what Western Computer’s experts have to say about BI and explore our Power BI solutions. Are you using Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central? Check out Power BI videos for BC

About the Author

Matt Baum

Matt is currently a Business Development Manager at Western Computer, emphasizing the transformative power that Customer Engagement, Power Platform, and data intelligence can have on businesses. Working his way up from a Functional Consultant, he has held titles of Engagement Manager, Program Manager, and Vice President in the Microsoft consulting space. Matt is currently a Business Development Manager at Western Computer, where he specializes in CE, Power Platform, and data

More Content by Matt Baum
Previous Article
Dynamics 365 Business Central Tips and Tricks: Save Keystrokes and Time in Dynamics 365 Business Central Cloud Part I
Dynamics 365 Business Central Tips and Tricks: Save Keystrokes and Time in Dynamics 365 Business Central Cloud Part I

Learn more about how to effectively save time while utilizing Dynamics 365 Business Central Cloud.

Next Flipbook
The ERP Buyer's Journey
The ERP Buyer's Journey

Ready to order your subscription of D365 Business Central?

Click Here