Microsoft Power BI

Data offers a treasure of valuable information, but it is often difficult to pull together to gain meaningful insights. Microsoft solves this challenge with Power BI, which enables you to gain the knowledge to make insightful decisions. 

Microsoft Power BI is bundled into the Microsoft 365 Government Community Cloud G5 package for government and available at no cost to users. 

With this cloud-based solution, you can import data from different kinds of data sources in different formats, enabling you to conduct sophisticated analysis and make informed decisions. These data sources include cloud-based data sources, local databases, simple Excel files, big data sources and other hybrid sources. 

By consolidating these data sources into a single data set, you gain a single source of truth to better evaluate and analyze data. Power BI enables users to produce more informative reports with greater speed and efficiency and share them with other users. These reports include data visualizations and interactive dashboards that bring data to life.

Request Microsoft Power BI

Getting Help

Support Get Technical Support
NCDIT Service Desk: 919-754-6000
Support Hours 24/7
Tab/Accordion Items


  • Custom visualizations – Find meaningful insights with hundreds of data visualizations, including bar charts, line charts, pie charts, area charts and maps.
  • Filters – Interact with visualizations by applying filters to transform and model the data.
  • Dashboards – Create customized dashboards that contain collections of information and visuals. Easily connect Excel queries, data models and reports.
  • Navigation pane – Easily locate and move between your workspaces, datasets, workbooks, dashboards and reports.
  • Ad hoc analysis – Drill down into the data and compare different variables.
  • Reports and ad-hoc reporting – Easily drag-and-drop to add different visualizations in a report with the user-friendly, self-service tool.
  • Trend indicators – Show performance metrics and trends over time.
  • Natural-language Q&A box – Use natural-language questions to get answers directly from the data.
  • Get data for data sources and connections – Easily transfer your current Excel queries, data models and reports to Power BI without learning a new application or language.
  • Peer-to-peer sharing - Give access to shared reports and underlying data via links.
  • Export to PowerPoint and email subscriptions.
  • Connect to more than 70 data sources.
  • Datasets – Set your data to refresh manually or automatically at any frequency you choose and get updated information when you open your dashboard.
  • Online analytical processing (OLAP) – Integrate Microsoft Power BI with your existing business environment. Embed APIs and controls.
  • Data Analysis Expressions (DAX) functions and formula – More than 200 types of DAX functions are supported to simplify building formulas and expressions.

See the Technical Information section on this page for more details.


  • Transform, model and analyze large volumes of data with ease.
  • Turn data from different data sources into interactive visuals (e.g., charts, graphs, KPIs, maps) that enable you to glean valuable insights.
  • Reduce the time it takes to get insights by creating data dashboards and visualizations in minutes.
  • Share meaningful insights across your organization.
  • Access Power BI reports across PCs, laptops, tablets and mobile phones running iOS, Android and Windows.
  • Drive a data culture across your organization by offering everyone business intelligence self-service and analytics capabilities.
  • Learn Power BI quickly, and start creating data visualizations, reports and dashboards. Learning is easy even for those with little technical background.
  • Create powerful PivotTables and charts in Excel by easily connecting to your Power BI data models.

Request Process

To request this service, or for more information, submit a ticket using the NCDIT Service Portal.


  • Service requests that incur a cost to the agency will typically require approval from the requesting agency’s CIO, financial officer or manager, depending upon your agency's requirements. 
  • Any staff with access to the NCDIT Service Portal may engage the team for support or information.

Requirements & Customer Responsibility

Required NCDIT Services Microsoft 365  
Other Technical Requirements & Prerequisites

Power BI Pro license (data saved in Government Cloud with 10 GB storage):

  • A server close to your data
  • Agencies responsible for their own data gateway

Power BI Desktop (desktop application):

  • CPU: 1 GHz or faster
  • Memory: 16 GB RAM
  • Hard drive: 3 GB of available space (6 GB for Mac)
  • Display: 1280x800 screen resolution
  • Operating system: Windows 10, Mac OS X 10.10
  • Microsoft 365 Office license
Customer Responsibility
  • Agency staff are required to submit a ticket using the NCDIT Service Portal for additional support or information regarding this service. 
  • The staff and agency receiving services are also responsible for coordination with their administrative team for agency end-user communications and training.
  • Other technical responsibilities include trouble shooting, external data sources, Power BI Desktop license and mobile app, and data gateway (free).

Expected Delivery

Acknowledgment Time The service team should acknowledge a service request within about 2-3 business days.
Turnaround Time
  • The service team should be able to complete a well-defined service request within about two weeks.
  • Procurement and licensing steps required before the delivery of services may extend the timeline.


Suggested For Any state or local government agency as well as educational institutions
Required For None
Spotlight Customers N.C. Department of Health and Human Services

Support Process
Service Support Hours
  • Support for emergencies is available 24/7.
  • Support for low- or medium-priority end-user incidents is available 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, except for state holidays.
Service Availability
  • The service is available 24/7, excluding planned outages and maintenance windows.
  • NCDIT does not provide support for Power BI Desktop.
Standard Maintenance Windows There are no maintenance windows because Microsoft provides product maintenance.
Service Communications
  • Changes or outages that might have an impact on customers are communicated through the NCDIT Communications Hub and Agency Change Advisory Board. 
  • The agency's admin for this service will support communications to the agency users of the service.
Service Level Agreements NCDIT supports a 99.9% financially backed service-level agreement to state agencies from Microsoft for Microsoft 365 subscription services.  
Enterprise Collaboration Services Service Level Agreement

There is no additional cost for PowerBI, as it is included within the Government Community Cloud G5 packaged service.

View NCDIT Rate Schedule

Power BI can connect to cloud-based sources, on-premises data sources using gateways, online services direct connections, etc.  Common data sources include:

  • Files: Excel, Text/CSV, XML, PDF, JSON, Folder, SharePoint.
  • Databases: SQL Server database, Access database, Oracle database, SAP HANA database, IBM, MySQL, Teradata, Impala, Amazon Redshift, Google BigQuery, etc.
  • Power BI: Power BI datasets and Power BI and dataflows.
  • Azure: Azure SQL, Azure SQL Data Warehouse, Azure Analysis Services, Azure Data Lake, Azure Cosmos DB, etc.
  • Online services: Salesforce, Azure DevOps, Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics, Dynamics 365, Facebook, GitHub, etc.
  • Others: Python script, R script, Web, Spark, Hadoop File (HDFS), ODBC, OLE DB, Active Directory, etc.