How PowerBI Can Help Your Business Make Better Decisions
Every six months, we email our clients a business survey. We do this to ensure our IT recommendations align with their business goals. One of the critical questions on that survey is in the format of finish this sentence.
I could do my job better if I knew…
I love this question. It makes everyone pause and consider this carefully. We’re so busy doing our day-to-day tasks, we forget to step back and consider how we can do it better, and how we can make better decisions.
With most of our clients running Microsoft 365, you can use technology already available to help you help visualise and better understand your data. That’s by using the software PowerBI.
What is PowerBI?
PowerBI is a powerful data visualisation and business intelligence tool that allows companies to analyse and understand their data in new ways. In this blog post, we will discuss the benefits of using PowerBI for businesses, the best methods to get trained in its use, and real-world examples of how businesses are using PowerBI to improve their operations and decision-making. We will also provide tips and resources to help businesses start with PowerBI.
How is PowerBI beneficial to my business?
Data analysis and decision-making are more important than ever in today’s fast-paced business environment. The ability to quickly and easily understand large amounts of data can give your business a competitive advantage.
How does PowerBI work?
It enables companies to easily connect to various data sources, including Excel workbooks, SQL Server, and Azure databases, and create interactive visualisations and reports to gain insights from that data. One of the critical strengths of PowerBI is its ability to connect to a wide variety of data sources. As a result, businesses can use PowerBI to analyse data from many different sources and see how it fits together. This gives you a holistic view of your business and how it’s performing.
What are PowerBI visualisations?
PowerBI also has various visualisation options, making it easy for businesses to create interactive and engaging reports and dashboards. These visualisations can be customised to suit a business’s specific needs and can be:
- embedded in websites,
- shared with others, or
- exported to other formats.
In addition, PowerBI provides a natural-language query feature that allows users to ask questions about the data in plain language, further simplifying the data analysis process. AI anyone?
What kind of data can I use in PowerBI?
PowerBI can be used to analyse all types of business data, such as:
- sales data,
- customer data, and
- financial data.
It can also combine data from multiple sources, such as:
- sales data from an e-commerce website and combine that with your sales data from your point of sale system
- customer data from a CRM system combined with your Zoom Phone/VoIP system
- financial data from an accounting system,
to give a complete picture of the business. No more silos!
What are some examples of how to use PowerBI?
Industry: Retail Businesses
One example is a retail business that uses PowerBI to track sales data and customer behaviour. By connecting their sales data to PowerBI, they can create interactive visualisations and reports that give them insights into their sales figures, customer demographics, and purchasing habits. They use this information to identify trends and make informed decisions about inventory, marketing, and store layout.
Another example is a healthcare organisation that uses PowerBI to analyse patient data. By connecting their electronic health records to PowerBI, they can create visualisations and reports that give them insights into patient demographics, treatment outcomes, and resource utilisation. This helps them to identify patterns, identify areas for improvement, and make data-driven decisions about patient care.
Industry: Financial Services
A financial service company used PowerBI to analyse financial data and create interactive reports that give them insights into their performance; they were able to identify the areas of their business that were most profitable and make informed decisions about investments, product development, and marketing.
Function: Marketing and SEO
We use visualisations to combine data across our Google Analytics, Search Engine Results Page (SERP), and Mailchimp to decide which of our marketing strategies are working.
Function: Client Reporting
We also use custom dashboards to manage our client reporting. Instead of generating PDFs and emailing reports, we can now present our clients with interactive dashboards with their IT-related data.
PowerBI can be customised to suit the specific needs of a business, regardless of its size or industry. As a result, companies can take advantage of the various features and capabilities of PowerBI to gain insights from their data and make better decisions.
Where can I learn to use PowerBI?
There are several options available when it comes to getting trained in the use of PowerBI. First, Microsoft’s official PowerBI website offers free tutorials and courses on how to use the software. These resources provide a comprehensive introduction to the software and cover everything from the basics to advanced features.
Another excellent resource for learning PowerBI is YouTube. Many tutorials and videos cover a wide range of topics, from beginner to advanced. These tutorials can be a great way to learn at your own pace and can be paused, replayed, or fast-forwarded as needed.
The PowerBI community is an active and supportive group of users who share their knowledge and experience with others. You can find many helpful tips and tricks and answers to common questions. Joining the community can be a great way to learn from others and get support, as you remember.
Online courses and certifications are available from various providers, such as Udemy, Coursera, and LinkedIn Learning. These courses are often led by experienced PowerBI users and provide a structured learning experience. Some also offer certifications, which can be a great way to demonstrate your skills to potential employers.
Lastly, practising on sample data and experimenting with different features is one of the best ways to learn PowerBI. You can download sample data sets from the Microsoft website and use them to create your reports and dashboards. This hands-on experience will help you to learn quickly and efficiently.
Overall, the best way to get trained in PowerBI depends on your learning style and your experience with the software. Combining all the above methods will help you learn quickly and efficiently.
Can Intuitive IT build my PowerBI system?
Yes, we can. We have experience gathering information from disparate systems and presenting it in clean visuals for your entire business. If you are interested in using PowerBI and making data-driven decisions, organise a call with us today.
About the author
Yener is the founder and Managing Director of Intuitive IT. Prior to running his own business Yener worked for a number of corporate organisations where he gained invaluable experience and skills, as well as an understanding of how IT can complement and improve business outcomes.