If you want to deploy self-service business intelligence or reporting solution, you have likely come across Microsoft Power BI. But is it the right business intelligence platform for your organization? How will Power BI benefit your business? This blog post is intended to address all such queries. Here is what you’ll need to know if you’re considering Power BI management.
Power BI in a nutshell.
Power BI is the collective name for various cloud-based apps and services that help organizations collate, manage, and analyze data from various sources through a user-friendly interface.
Business intelligence tools like Power BI can be used for a multitude of purposes.
Primarily, Power BI pulls data together and processes it, turning it into intelligible insights, often using visually compelling and easy-to-process charts and graphs. This allows users to generate and share clear and useful snapshots of what’s happening in their business.
Power BI connects to various data sources, from basic Excel spreadsheets to databases and cloud-based and on-premise apps.
Power BI is something of an umbrella term. It can refer to either a Windows desktop application called Power BI Desktop, an online SaaS (Software as a Service) service called Power BI Service, or mobile Power BI apps available on Windows phones and tablets and iOS and Android devices.
Power BI is built on the foundation of Microsoft Excel, and as such, the learning curve from Excel to Power BI is not that steep; anyone who can use Excel can use Power BI, but the latter is far more powerful than its spreadsheet counterpart.
Functions of Power BI
Microsoft Power BI is used to run reports and surface insights based on a company’s data. Power BI can connect to a wide range of data sets and “tidies up” the info it’s fed so that it can be better digested and understood. The reports and visuals generated from this data can then be shared with other users.
Power BI helps users see what’s happened in the past and what’s happening in the present and what might happen in the future. Power BI is infused with machine learning capabilities, meaning it can spot patterns in data and use those patterns to make informed predictions and run “what if” scenarios. These estimates allow users to generate forecasts and prepare themselves to meet future demand and other key metrics.
Why do Organizations use Power BI?
Power BI is the next level in business intelligence for businesses who want more reporting power and analytical muscle than Excel. With Power BI, businesses can assemble, scrutinize, and visualize data from across the company, giving them greater insight into their operations and performance and making more informed decisions based on real data.
Here are some of the key benefits of using Power BI Management:
- Businesses can input huge quantities of data into Power BI that many other platforms would struggle to process
- Built-in machine learning features can analyze data and help users spot valuable trends, and make educated predictions
- Information can be visualized using powerful templates to allow businesses to make sense of their data better
- Power BI is cloud-based, so users get cutting-edge intelligence capabilities and powerful algorithms that are updated regularly.
- Powerful personalization capabilities allow users to create dashboards so they can access the data they need quickly.
- Alerts can be set up on KPIs to keep users up with date important metrics and measurements.
- Power BI has an intuitive interface that makes it more user-friendly and easy to navigate than complex spreadsheets.
- The platform integrates with other popular business management tools like SharePoint, Office 365, Dynamics 365, and other non-Microsoft products like Spark, Hadoop, Google Analytics, SAP, Salesforce, and MailChimp.
- With data security a massive talking point for modern businesses, Power BI management ensures data is safe, offering granular controls on accessibility both internally and externally.
So, what are the top reasons for using Power BI for your business?
Reason #1: Allows you to build personalized dashboards and interactive reports easily
Power BI is known for its dashboards, which can be customized to fit your company’s requirements. It also has intuitive and interactive visualizations. Plus, thanks to the easy drag-and-drop functionality, your staff can easily generate custom reports quickly. You can easily choose from limitless options and produce powerful models and visualizations.
Reason #2: Gives you access to real-time information
Your dashboards will update in real-time. As data is pushed or streams in, the dashboard will display and update your visuals with the new information, as data is updated several times per day. This gives your staff the ability to solve problems quickly, identify opportunities, handle time-sensitive data or situations more efficiently.
Reason #3: Supports a wide range of data sources and integrations
You can import data from a wide range of data sources. Power BI seamlessly integrates with Microsoft products, such as Dynamics 365, Excel, Azure, and more. It also offers data connectivity with third-party tools and solutions, like Salesforce, Google Analytics, Spark, Hadoop, and more. It can also connect to data files (such as XML and JSON) and SQL server databases. This means you will be able to connect to all sorts of data sources for your analysis and reports.
Reason #4: Offers an unparalleled Excel integration
Many businesses still heavily rely on Excel when it comes to analytics and reporting efforts. Power BI integrates seamlessly with Excel. Without learning a new application or language, you can easily connect queries, data models, and reports to Power BI dashboards and create interactive visualizations. You can set it up so that you get the right data instantly when you open your dashboard.
Reason #5: Is affordable and cost-effective
Power BI is relatively inexpensive for small and mid-sized businesses compared to equivalent business intelligence and analytics tools. It also offers numerous versions so that you can pick the one suited to your business. For instance, Power BI Pro is ideal for small and mid-sized companies, and you can get access to a host of features for as little as USD 9.99 or CAD 12.80 per user per month. You can also download the free version, Power BI Desktop, and start using it to make reports and dashboards on your computer.
Reason #6: Has Regular Monthly Updates
Another striking feature of Microsoft Power BI is that there are regular monthly updates made to the platform. Microsoft also listens to the Power BI community suggestions and implements most asked for functionality on a regular. This means users always have access to the latest and advanced features to help make accurate business decisions.
Reason #7: Allows you to deploy multiple dashboards with Power BI Apps
In many companies, business users need multiple Power BI dashboards and reports to run their business. With Power BI apps available for Power BI Pro users, you can quickly deploy a collection of purpose-built dashboards and reports and efficiently distribute them to the whole company or specific groups of people. This feature also gives report developers the power to customize navigation to help viewers find content quickly and understand the relationships between different reports and dashboards.
Reason #8: Lets you take advantage of cutting-edge AI
Take advantage of Microsoft AI’s latest advances to help non-data scientists prepare data, build machine learning models, and find insights quickly from structured and unstructured data, including text and images.
Reason #9: You don’t need specialized technical support
Power BI empowers your staff to create analyses and reports without requiring a technical or IT team to help as a self-service business intelligence platform. It supports a natural language interface, uses intuitive graphic designer tools, and has a simple drag-and-drop functionality to create dashboards.
Microsoft Power BI may be right for your business if you are looking for reporting and analytical capabilities that go beyond Excel. With Power BI, you can easily visualize and analyze data across your entire business and gain deep insights into your operations and performance.
Recognized by Gartner for the thirteenth consecutive year as an industry-leading business intelligence platform, Power BI management can help you drive better decisions across your organization.