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Tech Insights 4 min read

What is Microsoft Power BI ?

Creating reports so you can analyze data and collect information is a cornerstone of all successful organizations. How else can you learn without insights, right? But working with a plethora of programs and applications to create your reports can leave you tearing your hair out. That’s where Microsoft’s Power BI application comes into play.

Microsoft defines Power BI as a “business analytics service that delivers insights to enable fast, informed decisions.” Available across all digital platforms, the application was designed to support companies in their decision-making processes.

But before we can understand what the Power BI application brings to the table, we need to define BI (Business Intelligence) itself.

Business Intelligence (BI)

Business intelligence (BI) is sometimes also referred to as a Decision Support System.

BI is an umbrella term for the applications, infrastructures, and tools designed for decision makers and business executives. Business intelligence brings together the means, tools, and methods used to consolidate and model data from multiple sources about a particular company. It provides decision makers with a clear, detailed overview of all available data.

BI can be divided into 4 stages:

  1. Data collection—extracting and filtering data from targeted databases and then sorting it;
  2. Data integration—coherently structuring the mined data to create a seamless data set;
  3. Data dissemination—presenting data to the user and managing access rights;
  4. Data presentation—visually presenting data in the clearest way possible in accordance with custom settings to help you make decisions based on your current situation and needs.

When used properly, BI can be a major ally for any company aspiring to make better decisions and improve their performance.

Benefits of BI

As a decision maker or business executive, you’re likely aware that disparate data can complicate the decision-making process. Most of the time, the inability of obtaining a practical overview and of easily and quickly handling data plays a major role in the complexity of decision-making processes. Nobody likes to make important decisions on the spur of the moment.

This is where BI comes into play.

During the data collection stage, BI groups together operational activity data from all available sources in your company, regardless of their native format. You don’t need to handle or sort through the data yourself. The system creates a new data source that includes all the data collected.

Then, during the data integration stage, the BI system structures the data in accordance with the user’s desired outcome, ensuring that it is coherent and guaranteeing its semantic value. Therefore, the data you are shown will be of significant value.

During the data dissemination stage, BI segments the data in accordance with the user’s access restriction or by their job title. Therefore users, whether they are analysts or decision makers, only have access to data that is relevant to them. Users do not require access to source databases.

Finally, the data presentation stage enables users to interact with the data without having to know or understand how it was extracted nor how it is structured. As a result, users can sort, group or break down data in accordance with custom settings. The intuitive interface empowers users to customize reports and their appearance, and as a result, generate reports that only continue the data they require. Nothing more, nothing less.

It therefore makes perfect sense why companies are rapidly adopting BI systems. The ability to create custom reports and interactive dashboards greatly facilitates inter-team collaborations and provides a better overview for users.

So, what exactly does Power BI Bring to the Table?

With Power BI, Microsoft is making it easier for your company to see your data in new ways and to make informed decisions quickly. The application empowers companies to connect to their data across multiple platforms, and then explore the data using stunning interactive visualizations that can be shared with colleagues across a multitude of devices making sure that everyone has access to what they need.

Power BI empowers analysts to quickly go from data to insight to action, by connecting hundreds of sources so that you can prepare data easily and create beautiful reports that you can share with everyone who needs to see them in the blink of an eye. What’s more, the tool helps to simplify management, achieve compliance and keep data secure, so that you can rest easy knowing your team has access to the information they need to perform their best, and that no-one else does.

One of the biggest advantages of Power BI is that you can access your insights from absolutely anywhere and on any device. Working from home for the day or on the road? No problem! With Power BI you can access your reports and dashboards at any time from the office, home, the airport or the gym, even!

Why it’s a Good Idea to Combine Power BI and Dynamics 365

As a business analytics service using BI, Power BI is a useful tool in itself. So, imagine the possibilities when combined with Dynamics 365!

Power BI can easily mine data collected through Dynamics 365 and its modules. In doing so, users can view custom reports based on real-time data mined from your company’s operations and compiled by Dynamics 365. Users can sort through the data in accordance with their specific needs.

Furthermore, Power BI empowers you to improve performance and customer satisfaction as you’ll be able to better prioritize your customer service processes.

Go Further with Power BI

Using Power BI to mine data from your company will be very beneficial to your business, but, you can take this one step further and also mine external data. This concept, known as Economic Intelligence (EI), enables you to mine data from people with whom you interact (or aspire to interact with).

This can help you better establish priorities and possibilities available in markets you aspire to develop. Therefore decision makers and executives can use external data reports and future projections to make better decisions tied to the company’s business development.

Gestisoft and Microsoft Power BI

This blog inspires you ? You have project ideas and would like to integrate Power BI to be part of your daily activities ? Gestisoft and its team of experts are here for you. We will be happy to listen to your needs and build the best real-time and interactive dashboard for you and your business.

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May 09, 2019 by Frédéric Charest VP of Marketing

Data-driven Growth Marketer with a Passion for SEO - Driving Results through Analytics and Optimization