As the title of the event suggests, gaining deeper insights in internal systems and from external sources, is essential in taking more informed decisions. With its data insight capabilities and visual analysis features, Microsoft Power BI is clearly an enabler for management in this regard.
A distinction can be made between Microsoft Power BI desktop and Microsoft Power BI Cloud Service. In a nutshell, Microsoft Power BI desktop is an on premise application which allows users to create Power BI reports whereas Microsoft Power BI Cloud Service allows the sharing of reports with colleagues or clients.
Key to Power BI is its ease of use. This was demonstrated during the event with live demonstrations of how Microsoft Power BI can enable management to overcome various business challenges. Three such situations were mentioned as described below.
- Creating reports and insights from scratch: Power BI desktop enables a user to connect to multiple data sources. Once connected, the user can clean and transform data and merge multiple data sources into one single version of the truth. Once the model is set up, Power BI desktop enables the creation of visualisations. Also, users can share their results with members of their organisation on the Power BI cloud service. Finally, Power BI cloud service has the Q&A functionality which enables a user to explore his data intuitively by asking natural queries and receiving answers in the form of charts and graphs.
- SaaS content packs: Another feature of Microsoft Power BI is ready-prepared data and reports. Two types of content packs exist: those from external sources such as, Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Microsoft Dynamics AX and those already prepared by people working in the same organization. During the event, we demonstrated the ease of use and importance of this feature using the Bing and Microsoft Dynamics NAV content packs.
- Facebook analytics: When it comes to social media, Facebook is one of the most popular social networking sites. Given its popularity, it makes sense to gain more insight into the behaviours of customers and this can be achieved using Microsoft Power BI desktop. During the event, it was demonstrated how users can connect to their company’s Facebook page, clean and transform data attributable to the specific Facebook page and create measures and visualisations.
Another important discussion held during this event was how Microsoft Power BI can serve as an asset to people working in departments and businesses as diverse as Human Resources (HR), Finance department and retail shops. With regards to HR, it was shown how businesses can analyse overtime and absence levels using a custom calendar visualisation. Custom map visualisation can be used to analyse sales data in a retail shop. Finally, finance departments can use Microsoft Power BI for revenue and profitability management, expense management, financial planning and analysis, and risk and compliance management.
Whilst hoping that attendees found this event insightful and interesting, we invite you to contact us directly should you have any questions.