Let’s talk about the power behind data analytics. Data analytics can drive your organization forward, help with strategic decision making, give you a visual way to effectively become a data storyteller and measure if you are meeting your business objectives.
That leads to an important question: what’s the best way to use data analytics?
There’s no right or wrong answer, but Microsoft Power BI makes it easy to create a data-driven culture with business intelligence for every team member.
In this blog, we’re going to highlight three reasons why you and your organization should be using Power BI (if you aren’t already), to reap the rewards of data analytics.
1. Power BI Gives You Data Readiness
Data preparation is important to ensure you can effectively meet your business’s objectives and its needs. And with Power BI, you can bring self-service data preparation capabilities into the picture so your data is ready for any type of analysis.
What does this mean exactly for you and your organization? What is Power BI?
Power BI allows you to easily understand, clean, transform and integrate your data from a large pool of data sources. You can also easily create data flows by leveraging Power Query.
According to this Microsoft article, Power BI moved from a previous ETL-based logic for datasets to current dataflows with ELT logic elevated to a first-class artifact within Power BI.
Power BI also has the added benefit of storing data in Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2, simply meaning that your organization’s business analysts, data engineers and data scientists can collaborate on the same data together. That feature makes data preparation a lot smoother. The Power BI dashboard supports the Common Data Model (CDM), which is essentially a set of standard data schemas and metadata systems that will allow for standardized consistency across the platform.
And as Gartner points out, Power BI is known for its capabilities of augmented analytics and automated ML, as well as AI-powered services, such as text sentiment and image analytics, all contributing to your data readiness.
2. Power BI Is Inclusive, With High Software Adaptability and Usability
Power BI is powerful for its data analytics capabilities, but an even more impressive attribute is that it’s known for its high adaptability and usability. Power BI is designed in an accessible way so that different users, regardless of their roles, can access and understand data reports quite easily.
According to this Microsoft article, Power BI also designs reports to “enable users who may have visual or physical impairments to benefit from your reports.” Ventana’s 2021 research ranked Power BI at 74.3% in terms of adaptability and 78.4% in terms of usability.
Power BI is also included with the broader Office 365 package. According to Gartner’s 2021 research, “the inclusion of Power BI in the Office 365 E5 SKU has provided an enormous channel for the platform’s spread, making it ‘self-seeding’ in many organizations.”
Power BI’s integration with Office 365 makes it easier for Office users to begin working with the data analytical program. Power BI also has the added benefit of a low cost of entry, therefore creating one of the most powerful BI tools on the market at a price point that is accessible.
3. How To Use Power BI’s Intuitive Analytics and Easy Access Features
When you utilize Power BI, you gain access to all of its latest features, from report and dashboard creation, report themes, table formatting and all the new ways to organize your workspace. A Power BI report gives your team the freedom to expand its capabilities in working with your data. Vena also integrates with Power BI, giving you access to all our latest features and connectors such as:
With Vena’s Power BI integration, you have access to project data visualizations that you can filter by your organization’s department to see how specific departments are contributing to revenue.
You can also see the data over a selected series of time, with the ability to dive into each dimension so that you can do in-depth, cross-dimensional analysis of the data. This is an extremely powerful feature. For example, with a Power BI report, you can quickly see what the key influencers are and where you should be paying attention.
If you are making a stand-alone Excel report with this kind of data, you will have to manually drill down into specific regions to see what’s performing best for revenue, but with Power BI users can go into specific accounts and divide it into different dimensions and see the key drivers for your business. By using Excel alone, generating insights can be extremely time consuming as you build specific queries. It’s not how you want to be spending your time.
Key influencers in a Power BI report allow you to visualize what members and dimensions have the most influence. So for example, a rate increase, if sales increased by 20% last year, what exactly influenced that the most? What is the investment in expenses? Incentives? This feature quickly illustrates the top influencers to help make the right decisions. At the bottom, you see the impact (the % or dollar value) and count (specific clients, new logo clients).
Explain Increases / Decreases
Power BI can pinpoint exactly how an increase or decrease happened over a period of time between two data points. For example, if you see a large increase or decrease in sales between two years, you can pinpoint exactly when and why that may have occurred. With Power BI and Vena, the analysis is performed with the click of a button.
Power BI users can track goals and see who on your team contributes to each goal. Power BI even has visual progress tracking integrated. This feature becomes important when you have finance and operations managers tracking goals since they will be able to see quickly where things may be tracking ahead or behind. Power BI gives you the ability to know instantly when to make a change if there is a problem because you can see who is at risk of not meeting their goal.
Smart narratives are key for any team to obtain timely takeaways, trends and other pertinent report information. Smart narratives help you tell a story through your data in Power BI. The best part? Since Power BI is integrated with Office, instead of pasting screenshots of the key takeaways from your data reports, you can add narratives that are updated with every refresh across Office programs such as PowerPoint.
Start Using Power BI Now
These are our top three reasons why you and your organization should be using Power BI reports to help drive your organization forward, enable strategic decision making and master effective data storytelling.
And while data is on your mind, learn more about our Power BI Connector. With this, you can supplement your FP&A processes with business intelligence and visual data analytics from Microsoft Power BI. And best yet, there’s no technical experience required. You don’t need formal Power BI training, but should you require integration assistance, we’re here every step of the way.