Power BI For Mac : Everything You Need To Know

Exploring how to use Power BI on Mac or M1 Mac devices via Virtual Machines (VM).

Microsoft Power BI is an all-in-one business intelligence tool to create, access, and publish end-to-end reports, visual analytics, and other key metrics to support and strengthen your decision-making. Currently, Microsoft is offering Power BI for Windows users only and Power BI for Mac is still a question. However, enterprises are still utilizing Power BI for Mac devices.

With Power BI, businesses can create powerful reports, visual analytics, interactive actionable data, etc. and can enable everyone in their organization to make instant yet productive decisions. Power BI allows businesses to create, access, and share reports in real-time and can be configured whether on-premises or on-cloud facilitation.

So, let’s uncover the possible ways wherein you can prepare your system to run Power BI on Mac devices. Before revealing the potential ways of leveraging this business intelligence solution for Mac systems, let us reveal what Power BI is and its vital features first.

What is Power BI?

Power BI is referred to as a smart business intelligence software designed to create, publish, and distribute reports instantly and effortlessly across your organization. These reports can be demonstrated on dashboards can be accessed seamlessly to enable people in your organization to make necessary decisions in real-time and support their process flow or continuity.

With Power BI, users can ensure on-premises reporting using desktops with Power BI Report Server and can publish the same later on-cloud whenever need generates. These reports can be shared anytime and from anywhere using any device.  To get a detailed Power Bi overview, check out our blog on Introduction to Microsoft Power BI?

Features of Power BI for Mac

  • Self Service Reports

With Power BI, users can create powerful reports itself without lying any dependency on the development team. Power BI enables users to create and access advanced semantic models, ALM, toolkit, pixel-paginated reports, etc.

  • Actionable Insights

Power BI is designed to seamlessly convert your data into actionable reports and analytics. When you integrate your Power BI system with Microsoft Azure IOT, it allows you to seamlessly connect your data to analyze for reporting and to gain powerful visual insights, custom analytics, and other key graphical metrics.

  • Business Intelligence

With built-in business intelligence, Power BI helps to create data analytics, create & deploy ML models, and gain strategic insights in real-time. These business analytics are served in terms of text or images to create accurate custom reports, efficient analytics, and actionable graphics to faster the operational flow.

  • Custom Reports

Power BI simplifies the way of reporting & analytics wherein enterprises can build custom reports, prepare analytics for a specific process or practice area, etc. It ensures that you can create instant reports and analytics with accuracy and reliability when configured in your Windows system.

  • Accuracy in Business Intelligence

The more your analytics is accurate, the more you can make strategic and productive decisions. Microsoft’s Business Intelligence helps and enables the capability whereby businesses can diagnose differences and can smoothly navigate the data from development to testing to the production phase.

  • Leverage Excel

If you are handy with Excel features and navigations, using Power BI could be a sound deal for you from the very initial day. Enterprises can seamlessly connect with Excel queries, reports, data models, and more with Power BI dashboards as well as can share or publish the Excel data instantly.

  • Turn Insights into Action

By leveraging Power Platform, you can avail of reliable and result-driven insights. All you need to integrate your Power BI and Power Automate to transform your data into powerful decision-making insights to progressively impact the entire operational cycle and production flow.

  • Automate Reports & Analytics

Forget the traditional ways of reporting. It is time to drive streamlined reporting and analytics to support the modernized practices in your organization. Power BI helps to understand overall activities and business flow across the organization and can be utilized to improve your warehousing flow to social campaigns to customer fulfillment, and more.

Since you have gained a Power BI features overview, it is time to navigate the flow of this blog toward – how to use Power BI for Mac Devices?

Potential Ways of Using Power BI for Mac Devices

Power BI is a highly embedded business intelligence solution designed for Windows users but not for Mac users. Here are the ways to run Power BI on Mac devices:

1. Power BI on Virtual Machines

To run Power BI on Virtual Machines, you need to set up an extra physical system configured with Windows Virtual Machine with cloud facilitation. Once your system is ready for such configurations, you can now install the Power BI to utilize at Virtual Machine.

Now, it’s time to install Microsoft Remote Desktop for Mac to those systems wherein you are willing to ensure access to that Virtual Machine.

So, without much ado, you can start setting-up Windows Virtual Machine on Azure, Google Cloud, or AWS (Amazon Web Services):

1. For Azure: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/services/virtual-machines/ (Pricing from $61 per month)

2. For AWS: https://aws.amazon.com/getting-started/tutorials/launch-windows-vm/ 

Once you have a virtual desktop before you, all you must do is install and run Power BI on it.

Disadvantages of using VM for running Power BI:

Tedious to control permission access and Power BI version history.

VM allows one person at a time because the Power BI desktop is not a collaborative tool.

2. Power BI on Remote

Another way to enable Power BI for Mac users, you can consider ‘Power BI on Remote’. Again, you need to set up a physical system facilitated with Windows PC. Once your system is ready, install Power BI on that system.

When early preparations of your system are made, you are required to install and run remote applications to enable remote access to that system. Such remote apps include AnyDesk, TeamViewer, and Microsoft Remote Desktop. All you need to provide access to these Mac device users through these remote applications to start using the Power BĪ on Mac.

Finally, you need to install Microsoft Remote Desktop for Mac using the link:" https://apps.apple.com/vn/app/microsoft-remote-desktop-10/id1295203466 

" On every single device to allow your business intelligence team to access the installed virtual machine (VM)

For instance, first set up a Windows PC, then install and run Power BI on that. For example, Install TeamViewer, AnyDesk, or MSFT Remote Desktop to all access to the users for that PC, and then use Power BI using their Macs.



3. Using Boot Camp Assistant

Boot Camp Assistant is given by Apple Inc. that enables users to install and run Microsoft Windows Operating Systems using Mac Systems.

Considering your customized requirement, you can now switch between your Windows and macOS. This switching can be made possible whenever you restart your system.

For using BootCamp Assistance and to begin with it, you can access the procedure here.

How do I run Power BI on M1 Mac using Parallels Desktop?

Since I have personally checked it and had experience running the Power BI on M1 laptop using Parallels Desktop, I assure you that it does work. But before proceeding further, let me tell you a secret - Mac applications that are originally developed for intel-based Mac computers do work on Mac PCs with Apple M1 processor/Chip by using the Rosetta framework.

Rosetta Framework translates processes that enable running Intel x86_64 applications on Apple M1 processors.

Again, you might ask - which version of Mac is highly compatible with the Power BI desktop?

According to users' feedback, you need a minimum of 8 GB RAM to process data sets. So, I recommend you use Parallels Desktop for Mac Pro or Mac's Business edition. That is because the latter allows up to 128 GB of RAM assignment on your setup.

What is new in Power BI from Microsoft's release wave 2?

  • Power BI Datamart

Access and transform data with Power BI Datamart - a new premium self-service capability that provides an intuitive no-code experience, enabling users to perform relational database analytics

  • Power BI reports integrations into PowerPoint Presentations

Integrate Power BI reports into PowerPoint presentations since Data is at the core of effective decision-making. Providing the right info in the best format enables you to evaluate and monitor your progress.

  • Autodetect Sensitive Information

Leverage auto-detection of sensitive information using this new feature in Power BI. Microsoft Purview - data loss prevention policies for Power BI can now support auto-detection of sensitive info like social security numbers, credit cards, and bank account numbers. This robust feature will help you identify and govern your sensitive data in Power BI.

Does Power BI work with Dynamics 365 Business Central?

The answer is Yes! It does work seamlessly with Dynamics 365 Business Central.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is an all-in-one SaaS/cloud ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solution for mid-market-sized companies.

Small and Midsize Businesses (SMBs) can better manage and automate their daily business operations ranging from accounting and invoicing to tracking KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and charting your business' performance in real-time on a dashboard using built-in Power BI integration.

Below is the general flow diagram, illustrating the basic workflow for you when you connect your business processes using Business Central via Power BI.

How to use Power BI in Dynamics 365 Business Central?

Follow the below-mentioned step-by-step process to operate Power BI in your business central application:

Step-1. Sign up for a Power BI account using your Microsoft account.

Step-2. Connect Business Central to Power BI.

Step-3. Business Central verifies your license for using Power BI.

Step-4. Default reports are then deployed to Power BI from Business Central. Remember, Business Central online only needs to perform this step, the rest is up to Power BI.

Step-5. In Business Central, reports in Power BI are available for selection. There is an automatic display of default reports in Power BI parts.

Step-6. This step lets you create a report in Power BI Desktop.

Step-7. Now you can publish the report to the Power BI service, and it is also available for selection in Business Central itself.

Summing Up!

Power BI is an extensive business intelligence solution that enables enterprises to make instant decisions with the help of self-created instant reports, custom analytics, and other key visualizations.

Since Power BI is still not designed for Mac users, we have revealed possible ways to enable Power BI for Mac users to start creating, publishing, and sharing powerful visual reports and analytics in real-time.

Ayush Jain

Ayush Jain is a seasoned Digital Marketing specialist renowned for his expertise in harnessing the power of cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions to propel business growth. With an impressive track record spanning more than four years, he has cultivated fruitful partnerships with numerous SaaS enterprises, driving substantial brand recognition and unlocking revenue potential.


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