Microsoft PowerBI is a great tool for Self Service Business Intelligence.
It has a desktop IDE for development. For all users at any level. And can be uploaded to the Cloud.
You can connect to many different data sources, which is truly powerful. Take the JSON connector for example, how would you easily ingest a JSON feed into the Traditional BI framework. Not so simple.
It has an easy to use Power Query to manipulate the data.
And you can store data in Power Pivot, compressed data to handle large volume of data, the row count exceeds traditional Excel row count limitations.
And it has built in interactive dashboards for quick analysis and visualizations.
And it has a good map interface.
And it has natural query language.
If you compare the basic features, it sort of reminds of Microsoft Access. Access has data storage capabilities, querying, reports.
What I liked about it was the ODBC to connect to different data sources as linked tables. And the OLE feature to embed Access into other computer languages such as Classic Visual Basic and Classic ASP web apps.
Perhaps PowerBI will expose its core features as some type of OLE functionality. Perhaps allow SQL Server Integration Services or SSIS for short, to consume PowerBI components. Like ingest data, run Power Queries, upload to Server, etc.
Another feature it doesn't have, as far as I know, is to store data as a Relational Database. As in, write records directly from another application like c#, as in Relational Database storage, similar to Access, for real time transaction purposes.
Overall, Microsoft PowerBI is widely used in many organizations for a good reason. It simplifies much of the complex heavy lifting traditionally done by full time Business Intelligence or Data Warehouse folks.
And there you have it~!