As businesses become more technology reliant for day-to-day operations, they collect and create massive amounts of data. Visualisation and analysis of this data can transform the way businesses make strategic decisions. However, the sheer amount of data can pose a challenge for businesses, especially as the data is often stored in multiple locations and gathered from different services.
This is where Microsoft Power BI, a business intelligence platform, can help. Power BI allows businesses to connect unrelated data sources and transform them into coherent, visually immersive, and interactive insights. In this article, we discuss 5 ways businesses can gain value from Power BI.
Power BI helps businesses visualise their data in a simple, easy to understand format. These visualisations enable businesses to view trends and correlations that would be impossible to find otherwise. Data visualisations are a powerful tool for sharing and communicating the story behind the information. For reporting purposes, data visualisation helps individuals understand trends, performance, and relationships without having an in-depth working knowledge of how the data is collected. As the data visualisations are interactive, businesses can either see the big picture, or drill down into individual data points.
For businesses looking for sustainable long-term growth, data modelling is an important stage in the decision-making process. With Power BI, businesses can view current trends, and anticipate outcomes from various scenarios with predictive analytics and forecasting functionality Forecast models are built from historical data, all without any specialist knowledge or explicit coding required. This functionality, together with other business intelligence features, lets businesses harness the power of data to drive strategic decision making.
With Power BI businesses can stream data and update subsequent dashboards in real time. These data sources can be anything from factory sensors to social media metrics and everything in-between. This functionality delivers insights based on what is happening at any given time. Regardless of its operational sector, having access to real-time data insights lets businesses stand apart from the competition with much faster, proactive, and reactive decision making. If a report doesn’t need to be updated in real time, it’s also possible to set up dashboards to automatically refresh at a specified cadence which ensures that data is up to date when it needs to be.
Every department within a business has its own requirements for data visualisation and business intelligence. With Power BI, businesses can create custom dashboards for each department or individual employees. This ensures that every employee has the data insights required to make informed decisions. Although employees within a department will likely require more in-depth levels of data, this often isn’t required for managers or executives. For these employees, custom dashboards can be created with each department’s key performance indicators, allowing them to keep track of outcomes, without unnecessary complexity. Power BI is a flexible platform that can be tailored to suit a wide variety of uses.
Businesses looking to get the most out of their data can connect multiple disparate data sources to view correlations, causations, and trends. This data connection process can be extremely tedious, time consuming and expensive. Power BI makes this significantly easier, with over 150 data connectors available for use, and more being added regularly. These data connectors include many popular cloud-based sources, such as Azure, Google Analytics, SalesForce, MailChimp and more. There are also connectors for excel spreadsheets, and other on-premises data, such as SQL databases.
With these connectors, businesses can load pre-built Power BI dashboard templates instantly and use other functionality for in-depth data analysis. This wide variety of data sources ensures that regardless of where or how businesses are collecting data, they can make the most of it, quickly and easily.
Power BI can transform the way that your business uses data. The features and functionality within Power BI empower companies to accurately analyse data, improve productivity and give all its departments the tools necessary for data-driven strategic decisions. If you want to find out more about how your business could benefit from Power BI, contact us today.