Aaron Watt, BI Solutions Developer at Cloud Cover IT
One of the themes at Microsoft’s Ignite conference in 2020 was empowerment. Out of all the products in the Microsoft stack, personally I do not think there is one that deserves this title more than Power BI.
The public release of Power BI five years ago shook the world of data analytics. It made business intelligence affordable and approachable for all, no matter size from one person operations to fortune 500 companies.
It has been great watching Power BI develop from not much more than an excel skin to a fully featured cloud data analytics tool and the journey doesn’t stop there. Every month Microsoft release an update and without fail, there’s always something new to empower decision making through using data intelligently.
Power BI empowers individuals by allowing them to take back control of their data. No longer do users have to contact IT professionals to make changes. Basing decisions on incomplete information can be as bad as basing it on information that is wrong, and Power BI helps to stop this from happening.
Here are some of the features that allow individuals to be more agile and empower their decision making:
- Self-Service Analytics: Power BI desktop’s intuitive user interface lets users with little experience build their own dashboards and add missing pieces in minutes to suit their own needs.
- Data Flows: Data Flows is one of the relatively new features. It allows users to mashup multiple data sets to compare and contrast then develop an integrated report.
- Question and Answer: Question and Answer uses Microsoft cognitive services. It is able to understand the English language. All you need to do is ask it a question and it will show you what you’ve asked for, building the element into the report for you.
The big difference between Power BI and other data analytics tools is that it encourages collaboration between team members; much like the other Microsoft applications and tools. Once a report and published to a workspace, anyone in that workspace can view, modify, and transform the report and can build their own report based the data presented.
This allows a team to all piece together their own insights and, therefore, empowering the team to make smarter decisions.
Traditionally business intelligence wasn’t readily available to SME’s due to the high cost of the software and the need for IT professionals to configure, maintain and manage the reporting infrastructure. This led to large amounts of time and money being invested before getting a single report. With Power BI, the entire estate is managed in the cloud. There’s no costly infrastructure to be maintained by IT professionals as it’s per user licence, so you can buy as many or as few as you’d like and only roll out Power BI fully once you know it’s right for you.
Are you ready to empower your teams using data? Watch the recording from the Lunch and Learn on YouTube here.