Creating graphs and pie charts have long been part of Microsoft Excel’s default functions. However, with the rise of more complex business processes and the advent of big data, these may not be enough. That’s where Microsoft’s Power BI steps in. This application, part of the software giant’s Business Platform Innovation efforts, may just be what you need to scale up your business.
What Exactly Is Power BI?
The “BI” in Power BI is an acronym for business intelligence—a fitting name for what it tries to achieve. Originally designed to be a plugin for Microsoft Excel, it has now evolved into an entire suite of tools for visualizing and analyzing data. With this software, you can gain valuable new insights into how your business is performing and how you can improve it.This article has a great introduction to Excel PowerBI
Here are some of the benefits you’ll enjoy from using Power BI:
Save Time in Visualizing Data with Custom Dashboards
The main feature of Power BI is its feature to create custom dashboards from various data sources, starting from those in an Excel workbook. It’s definitely a godsend for data analysts, as they can automate reports that would’ve otherwise taken hours to make. You can also check those dashboards while on the go. There’s no need to ask your analysts to create a report, nor do you have to open different programs just to get the information you need.
With this ability to create these custom dashboards, you don’t need to have programming knowledge to build the dashboard that you need. You’ll also eliminate the need to fetch data manually from different applications or services, saving you time and effort. Power BI automatically fetches data for the dashboards you create, helping you minimize the potential for error compared to manual uploads.
Gather Data from Multiple Sources
Of course, these custom dashboards are made possible through Power BI’s many available and compatible channels. This suite of tools can connect to over 50+ web services, including some of the business world’s most popular cloud applications. These include Google Analytics, comScore, MailChimp, Salesforce, Stripe, and even Facebook. You can also connect to your own SQL Databases on Microsoft Azure.
As mentioned earlier, you don’t need programming knowledge to use Power BI. To create your own custom dashboards, all you need to do is to upload an Excel workbook or activate any one of Power BI’s channels. Afterwards, you can simply drag-and-drop the available widgets to the dashboard.
Use It on Multiple Platforms
In today’s interconnected world, if your program runs only on one kind of gadget, you’re going to have a tough time. Thankfully, Power BI doesn’t only come as a desktop program. It’s also available as a web app, accessible through a browser, and a mobile app for Android, iOS, and of course Windows Phones. It can even be embedded in your own mobile app—no tricky redesigns required.
As you can see, there are many benefits your business can enjoy from using Power BI—even if you’re just using the free version. So if you want to elevate your data analysis and visualization processes, this Microsoft app may just be the thing you need.