A guide to Power BI and how to use it for business analytics
Business data analysis plays a vital role in the operation of companies across industries today. This is because the ability to extract information from dispersed data provides the opportunity to align strategies better and accelerates the achievement of goals. All this ultimately translates into company development and market growth. How can Power BI help with this? Why use modern systems for data analysis? You will read about this in the following part of the article.
What is Power BI?
Power BI is a business analytics tool from Microsoft that helps aggregate and visualise data. It is an interactive and user-friendly system that will help you extract valuable information from your data.
The application’s interface is simple, intuitive and easy to use. You can start working in Power BI in minutes by simply dragging and dropping data. However, there are more possibilities. After all, Microsoft Power BI allows you to analyse data from many other sources – CRM systems, CSV files, and services such as Microsoft Dynamics, Google Analytics, Twilio, Marketeo, and Salesforce.
Power BI also allows connections to cloud databases. For example, a dynamic connection can be made using direct queries to Azure SQL Database, Azure SQL Data Warehouse, Spark on Azure HDInsight, and SQL Server Analysis Services. You can also connect directly to local SQL Server Analysis Services databases.
Once the data has been imported, you can start analysing it using a variety of visualisations such as charts, tables, maps, or matrices. Visualisations help you understand your data better and answer business questions faster than ever before. Notably, the reports created in Power BI can be easily and quickly shared with selected people without the need to save them as a pdf or send them by email.
How can Power BI be used?
Excel may not be a powerful enough solution for businesses that prioritize comprehensive reporting and analysis. Microsoft Power BI is a decidedly higher level of a modern analytical tool that builds on business intelligence. With the help of Power BI, companies can collect, analyse and visualise data from every department of the company, giving them greater insight into their business and making more informed decisions based on accurate data.
Power BI works well wherever:
– there is a need to analyse large data sets that other tools might struggle to handle;
– it is essential to be able to spot trends and make predictions – Microsoft Power BI meets these criteria as it has built-in machine learning capabilities;
– users need to be able to access data at all times – regardless of when or where they are working;
– it is vital to be able to implement personalisation in reports – Power BI’s advanced dashboard customisation capabilities allow users to create dashboards that give them quick access to the data they need;
– need to be constantly vigilant about KPIs – alerts in Microsoft Power BI can be configured according to user’s preferences, so they can stay on top of critical metrics and measurements;
– people with little technical knowledge work on data analysis – Power BI has an intuitive interface that makes it a friendly and easy-to-navigate system compared to complex spreadsheets;
– There is a need to aggregate data from multiple sources – Microsoft Power BI integrates with other popular business management tools such as SharePoint, Office 365, and Dynamics 365, as well as other non-Microsoft products such as Spark, Hadoop, Google Analytics, SAP, Salesforce and MailChimp;
– data security is critical – Power BI ensures data security by offering control over internal and external access.
Who can use Power BI?
Although Business Intelligence tools are mainly associated with the work of business analysts and data specialists, thanks to their user-friendly nature, they can also be successfully used by many other people in a company. This principle also applies to Power BI.
How Microsoft Power BI is used depends primarily on the individual user’s role within the company. This is because Power BI enables the creation of customised dashboards depending on what data is perceived as key and what information the user needs access to.
In practice, Microsoft Power BI is most often used mainly by business analytics professionals, who use it to create data models and reports that are then shared across the organisation and with contractors. However, it also successfully serves smaller businesses operating on a smaller scale. This is because Power BI is such a flexible system that different departments within a company can use it as a self-service tool to review progress and gain insights into their team’s performance.
Reporting in Power BI is based on virtually any data, so almost every aspect of companies’ business activity can be analysed in this system. As a result, Microsoft Power BI is most prevalent in departments such as finance, marketing, logistics, sales, human resources, and IT.
Why use Power BI?
Power BI is a business analysis system that allows you to explore and visualise data and share information with colleagues or contractors. It is a tool dedicated even to people with little technical knowledge, which makes it easy to prepare reports for everyone in the organisation.
The Power BI service is not just for reporting. It has interactive features that ‘bring to life’ the data on the screen and help you discover it in a whole new way. With the Power BI service, you can answer questions, validate hypotheses and make better decisions, bringing people together around tasks that are important for your business to grow and become more competitive.
The benefits of using Microsoft Power BI are:
– is easy to learn and use,
– makes it easy to create data visualisations, charts, and reports with interactive features,
– has built-in analytical tools that turn dry data into business-useful information,
– facilitates the sharing of insights with others,
– provides the ability to integrate with a range of external tools to aggregate data,
– is available in various price options to help optimise company expenditure.
We invite you to contact us if you want to implement Power BI in your company. Our certified consultants will help you choose the best solution and guide you step by step through the entire process.