Business intelligence is more important than ever – Harness the possibilities of Power BI

Written by Andy Irvine
You’ve probably heard its name a lot, but could Microsoft’s flagship business intelligence project help you make better decisions within your business?
Business intelligence is more important than ever – Harness the possibilities of Power BI

Have you heard ‘Power BI’ mentioned a lot, but aren’t sure what it could mean for your business? Want to know how it pulls your data together to provide actionable insights to help you grow and hit your targets?

 

Great! Then read on…

 

The power of data

There is so much data available to businesses nowadays. However, if businesses and teams do not know how to utilise and analyse their data to create actionable change or processes, this data becomes completely worthless.

Knowing how to apply this data for extensive insight into your business performance is paramount to creating strong strategies and noticing when things are not performing as they should. Bringing together data from various places, however, can be time-consuming and confusing.

This is where business intelligence software comes in.

Business intelligence combines analytics, data visualisation, data mining and best practices in order to present information to stakeholders, who can then make informed corporate decisions that drive change and improvements.

 

What is Power BI?

Power BI is Microsoft’s flagship business intelligence offering. It has many different aspects and can be utilised by a range of different departments within an organisation. However, in the simplest terms Power BI collects and mines data and processes it into easy-to-read graphs, charts and intelligent insights. This then allows users to share snapshots and information of what is going on in their business to draw conclusions and make decisions that generate positive changes.

Power BI connects to a whole range of different data sources in order to present this in-depth information. From basic Excel spreadsheets and databases right through to cloud-based apps.

There are various parts of Power BI – ‘Power BI’ is the umbrella term used to refer to the group of products. The one you choose to use may depend largely on your job role within the organisation and the insights you’re trying access.

  • Power BI Desktop is where the number-crunching job roles will find the most value. It’s intended for SMEs.
  • Power BI Report Builder offers advanced features from the Power BI Desktop, and is likely to offer the best service to enterprise report creators for large national or global companies.
  • Power BI Service is where you can view the reports created by the team and is paid for on a per-user licence subscription.
  • Power BI phone app is where data can be accessed in a few quick taps, ideal for fast-moving, or target-driven, areas of the business such as sales.

 

What does Power BI do?

Power BI is used to run reports and insights, essential to make use of the extensive data that’s available to a company. It makes the data easier to understand and digest and puts it into visuals that can be used in reports of any size, from project or monthly reports right through to yearly global reports that provide insight to the company’s performance or key data for the year.

It can help users understand the company’s performance and achievement in the past and present and give intelligent forecasts for what might happen in the future by spotting patterns in the data and using these to make informed predictions.

These estimates can be key when planning budgets and targets for the year ahead. If the business knows there is going to be disruption to its year, senior teams can use the data available to them to make contingencies for this.

Power BI can analyse and pull together data from a range of sources but may be most beneficial to the following departments:

  • Sales
  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • HR
  • Operations
  • Tech
  • Projects / project managers

 

Why do businesses use Power BI?

The amount of data now available to a business is extremely valuable, but it is useless if it is not organised, presented and analysed in a way that offers feedback on trends.

The features within Power BI enable data analysts and data scientists, sales managers (and most other job roles in-between) to access information they need to do their jobs and to improve efficiency and output.

Generally, it is used by business intelligence professionals or consultants who can use it to create data models and reports to then be shared with the business.

Some of the key benefits of Power BI for businesses include:

  • It can handle a large amount of data, which other platforms would struggle to process.
  • As it is cloud-based, users get cutting-edge insights, reports and intelligence that is updated regularly.
  • Information can be visualised using powerful templates to make it easy to understand throughout departments.
  • It can help back-up the reasons for implementing process changes within large corporations.
  • Built-in machine learning features enable users to identify trends to make educated predictions and forecasts.
  • Alerts can be set up on KPIs to keep users up to date with important metrics, measurements and milestones.
  • With cyber security being a huge priority for modern businesses, Power BI ensures data is safe and offers a range of controls on accessibility for employees and external stakeholders.

 

Feeling inspired? Want to utilise the data that’s available to your business? Get in touch with the Boldfield team today and we’ll give you more insight on how this could work for your business.

Share this post: