Microsoft’s Power BI truly offers business intelligence and is a very powerful tool for the modern business.
The computer systems within your business will inevitably hold large amounts of data built up over time, and there are sure to be all sorts of valuable insights and information contained within it.
But unless you are able to analyse it properly, this data is of little value.
However, if you can manipulate this data in such a way that it offers up meaningful information and allows you to spot key trends in your business, then the potential of this data becomes huge.
One problem people often face when trying to draw business intelligence from their data is their systems don’t always give them the information they need. In a lot of cases, reports tend to be static – that is, there is little or no ability to drill down into figures and see alternative views of the data. This means the facts can be difficult to interpret.
Microsoft’s latest range of business analytics tools – called Power BI – has changed all this for the better.
The software produces beautiful looking reports that also offer valuable insights into a business. It gives users reports and graphs on the same page that are easy to understand and can be shared with people across the company.
What’s more, you can add slicers and filters to the information you draw out, so it becomes straightforward to see, for example, how last year’s figures compared to this year, or how one region is performing against another.
On a single screen view, you can see not only the total value of orders, but also the number of orders, and the average value. The tool also allows you to take this information and, for instance, plot the orders on a map, which offers a helpful visual tool for viewing how different geographical areas have performed.
Add to this the ability to see things your system may not hold, like profitability, or, as we did in a training course, sales by age range, when the system only holds date of birth, and you will start to get some truly valuable insights.
If that isn’t enough, Power BI can combine data from multiple sources. If you have two or more systems with a common field then you can link them and use the data to create a single report taking information from all systems.
Armed with this information you can make timely and important decisions knowing they are based on fact. Add to this the power to easily update the data, so you can monitor progress and make any changes needed to ensure your plan stays on track.
We use Power BI within our business and have successfully helped a number of customers implement the software into their organisation.
We feel it truly offers business intelligence and is a very powerful tool for the modern business.
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