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An Insider’s Guide to Using Power BI to Solve Your Data Challenges

Power BI  

Modern enterprises now demand analysis and insights from the massive data that they hold. It’s a daunting task for IT teams to deliver the right data infrastructure to maintain the organization’s competitiveness. To immediately reap from the investment, business intelligence and analytics platforms should be rapidly implemented, either by business users or by IT leaders. The real value of these tools is in applying those insights to create a real and lasting impact for the organization and business.

The current state of the business intelligence and analytics industry can be best summed up by Gartner, “reduced feature differentiation among a crowded market of players, buyer requirements for larger enterprise deployments, and the emergence pricing pressure are evidence of the maturity of the current market”. To that end, the choice of tool that an enterprise adopts and deploys is critical to its success.

It’s difficult for enterprises to keep up with the changes in the industry to the detail of which tools have an edge. This post will share the capabilities of a very powerful but often overlooked business intelligence and analytics platform--Power BI from Microsoft.

Why Microsoft Power BI

Power BI is a suite of business analytics tools that enables organizations to connect to hundreds of data sources and perform ad hoc analysis. Power BI is comprised of a Windows desktop application, an online SaaS service and mobile apps. An organization can create, publish and share a report in the service or via mobile app.

For the tenth consecutive year, Microsoft has been positioned as the leader in the Gartner Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms report*. The 2017 report marked the second year running that Microsoft was positioned furthest for completeness of vision in the Leaders quadrant.

Gartner Majic Quadrant

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All your data in one place

Enterprises need easy-to-use analytics solutions that deliver complex analysis and insights. The Power BI service provides a collection of template visuals, dashboards and reports called Content Packs. When you use the Google Analytics content pack, Power BI connects to your Google Analytics account and populates a pre-defined collection of visuals and dashboards.

The capability of Power BI allows users to merge and create a single dataset sourced from different database fields. While your internal data is important, a combination with 3rd party data can deliver an invaluable amount of insights to your organization. This gives your enterprise a 360-degree view of outcomes.

Using the Power BI service, connecting internal and external data is easy by making use of the ‘Get Data’ button found at the bottom left corner. The Power BI Canvas shows you the available sources of data in the Power BI service. In addition to common data sources such as Excel files, databases, or Azure data. Power BI seamlessly connects to SaaS providers such as Salesforce, Google Analytics and MailChimp.

Get Data

Power to probe your data

Powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI), Power BI enables users to ask questions of their data in natural language. Organizations can manipulate data to unlock more insights in real time. This enables all users across the organization to bring the power of AI in their data decision making. This is made possible with the Power BI Q&A feature which creates responses, in real time.

Data Governance & Security

With increasing regulation in many industries, it’s critical that data collected adheres to company policies, best-practices and remains secure at all times. This compliance ensures that the organization is managing, improving and leveraging information to help gain insight and build confidence in business decisions.

As a Microsoft product, Power BI is built on Azure, Microsoft’s cloud. Its Front End delivers connection and user authentication while the Back End handles all user interactions. Power BI uses Azure Active Directory (AAD) to store and manage user identities, and manages the storage of data and metadata using Azure BLOB and Azure SQL Database.

Conclusion

Power BI enables organizations to collect and aggregate their most important data at scale, produce beautiful reports, and then publish for consumption by decision makers. The platform empowers users to create personalized dashboards with a unique, complete view of their business in addition to offering a competitive pricing.

Discover more on how Microsoft Power BI can improve your enterprise decision making, Click here for a free consultation.