Power BI can give organizations the competitive edge they need with proper data analytics practices.
Many companies go through an annual process of creating goals for the key aspects of their business. Generally, the finance team works with business leaders to create an Excel spreadsheet that breaks down the yearly goals by product category, sales areas, and a time period (month or week). As the year progresses, these goals become the measuring stick by which various areas in the company are measured. Often, the process of delivering monthly performance reports is still done manually within an Excel spreadsheet - distributed via email or posted to a SharePoint page.
In a more perfect world, these goals or forecasts would live in a corporate data warehouse along with the operational data. The goal data and the performance data could easily be combined and made available through a tool like Power BI - no more Excel data manipulation or manual file distribution.
Living in the heart of Utah’s Silicon Slopes, I have seen many start-up companies that don’t have the luxury of a corporate data warehouse, but they still need to bring together data from source systems and combine that data with their target goals. This generally becomes someone’s tedious manual weekly or monthly task.
Power BI is more than just a reporting tool. It is also a data integration platform that can serve many of the needs of an organization, especially one that does not have a data warehouse. Power BI can easily connect to an Excel spreadsheet as well as over 115 other data platforms (including databases, applications, and cloud services). The Power BI datasets can be scheduled to refresh on a desired schedule. Automating this process saves time, improves reliability, and affords more flexibility in the way the data can be visualized.
By Jim Hill – Senior BI and Analytics Consultant at JourneyTeam