Power BI Doesn’t Replace Warehouses

Jesse Seymour argues that Power BI won’t replace traditional data warehouses:

Pesonally, I am still struggling to see where PowerBI fits in my organization.  I am the only BI professional here, so I have to do every bit of the process from data modeling to building front end applications.  Right now, my organization has a data warehouse with some processes in the warehouse, a Datazen environment and an SSRS environment.  There is no SSAS cubes or any power users using PowerPivot to analyze data.

Data warehouses serve a particular role in an environment:  they answer known business questions and give consistent answers across an organization.  I see Power BI as a tool with a few separate uses depending upon organizational size and maturity.  I think its best use in shops which are not large enough, well-established enough, or with enough non-IT business intelligence expertise is BI developers building beautiful dashboards for business data consumers, feeding from existing systems (including data warehouses).  In that sense, it is a complement to a Kimball-style data warehouse.

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