We’ve all been there: a blank spreadsheet and no idea where to start.
If you’re a business owner, you know that it’s important to visualize data in order to make informed decisions. But how do you do it? The days of spreadsheets for data visualizations are long gone, and now there are many tools available that make it easy for anyone—no matter their skill level—to create beautiful reports that help them see their data in new ways.
Today we’ll be looking at one of those tools: Power BI. Power BI is a cloud-based platform that makes it easy for anyone from IT professionals to marketing managers to create interactive dashboards that allow users to explore their data in new and exciting ways. We’ll walk you through what this tool can do so you can get started on your own data visualization journey!
What is Power BI?
Power BI is a platform that allows you to create, publish, and share data analytics. It’s not just for the people who work with data daily—it’s for anyone who wants to make their business more innovative. Power BI can analyze data from any source and then share it with your team and clients. You can also use it to build dashboards, reports, and other visualizations that are easy to understand at a glance.
Power BI is a tool for connecting to data sources and creating compelling visualizations. It’s easy to use but also powerful—you can connect to nearly any kind of data source, including big data sets like Google Analytics or Salesforce. You can even create custom connectors if there isn’t something available that works well enough for your needs.
Once you’ve connected to the right data source, Power BI will automatically display it intuitively. For example, if you’re using Salesforce as your source, then Power BI will show you sales metrics as bars on a chart and other data like customer location as dots on a map.
It integrates with other Office 365 applications and services, like Excel and SharePoint Online. You can use the same tools to analyze and visualize your data for other business tasks like writing documents or managing projects.
When you’re ready to publish or share your Power BI report, you can embed your reports and dashboards into a webpage and share them with your team.
What versions of Power BI are available?
There are a few different available versions, each with its perks. We’ll review them here so that you can decide which version will work best for your business.
Power BI Desktop:
Power BI Desktop is a desktop app you can install right on your own computer and is included in Office 365 plans. It works cohesively with the Power BI service to provide advanced data exploration, shaping, modelling, and report creation with highly interactive visualizations. You can save your work to a file and publish your data and reports right to your Power BI site to share with others.
Power BI Service:
Power BI Service is Microsoft’s cloud-based analytics tool that lets you connect to multiple data sources, such as SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS), SQL Database, Azure Analysis Services (AAS), Salesforce and more. It also allows you to share reports with others without any setup on their end.
Power BI Pro:
Power BI Pro is a commercial version of Power BI Desktop that adds features like advanced analytics, interactive dashboards and more customization options for reports. It also comes with 1TB of monthly storage per user for all your datasets (up from 10GB for free users).
Power BI Mobile:
Power BI Mobile apps let you view your reports on the go from your iOS or Android device—no internet connection required! You can even download them for offline viewing later when there’s no signal available in remote locations where connectivity might be spotty (like rural areas).
Power BI Embedded:
Power BI Embedded is a free software version that allows users to access their data from any device that supports the Microsoft Office suite, including Macs and iPads. With Power BI Embedded, users can create reports using templates or an interactive report designer. They can also embed these reports into their apps or websites.
Power BI Report Server:
Power BI Report Server is another paid version of the software with some additional features, like creating custom reports and dashboards without using a developer’s toolkit. Users also have access to more advanced analytical functions, like forecasting and reporting on historical trends over periods as far back as 20 years ago.
How can my business use Power BI?
Power BI is a business intelligence tool with a ton of potential. It can help you manage your business and get the most out of your data, but it also has a lot of uses outside of just business.
You can use Power BI to gain insight into how customers interact with your products or services by looking at their buying habits, demographics, etc. This will help you better understand who they are and what they want from your company—and then use this information to improve your offerings accordingly!
You can use Power BI to predict future trends based on historical data. For example, suppose sales have declined over time because of increased competition from other companies in the industry. In that case, this could mean there are ways for you to reduce costs by streamlining operations or changing pricing structures. Otherwise, there may be no other way for the company to survive long-term.
Whether you’re looking for sales reports or trying to understand why customers might not be buying from your company anymore (and thus need some help coming up with ideas for how to fix it), Power BI will help!
Should I leverage Power BI in my business?
You might be wondering why you would need this kind of technology if you already have other tools like Excel or Tableau at your disposal. The answer is simple: Power BI is different from other analytics software because it’s designed specifically for consumers who don’t have much experience with data analysis or visualization techniques (like me!). Finding insights in your data takes some guesswork because the platform does all the work. Power BI can help small and medium-sized businesses gain insight into their operations and use this data to make better decisions that lead to a more robust bottom line.