Power BI is the leading tool in data visualisation that helps you discover how your business works by visually representing your company’s information.
Businesses use Power BI to gain valuable insights into their internal data, such as the performance of different teams and departments.
It also enables business users to better understand external factors – for example, by analysing competitors or even looking at buying patterns based on demographic trends.
This blog post shares some of the ways to use Power BI in Business and looks at Power BI features you need to know. We’ll also cover how to get started with Power BI.
If you’re ready to learn everything you need to know about Power BI, let’s get started!
What is Microsft Power BI?
Power BI is an all-inclusive software package for business intelligence, analytics, and visualisation of data. The software allows you to access and share your data all in one place.
It’s quick, easy to use, and makes it possible for anyone within a business or organisation (even those without IT experience) to create interactive reports that tell compelling stories based on the most important information to their role.
Power BI is an affordable option compared to other analytics tools, and it offers everything businesses need.
It’s easy to use with drag-and-drop capabilities, preloaded templates that can be customised as required and provides the ability to build custom reports and dashboards.
What Is Power BI Used For?
One of Power BI’s most popular uses is for data visualisation. It allows users to create interactive visualisations that are easily understood at a glance. Reports and visualisations can be used to uncover insights based on an organisation’s data.
Power BI then uses machine-learning techniques to spot patterns in data and use these patterns to generate informed predictions and run ‘what-if scenarios’.
These enable users to calculate forecasts and prep for future demand and other important metrics. The data is then used to create visual reports to send to others in the organisation.
Who Uses Power BI?
Power BI’s primarily use is by internal business intelligence practitioners and Power BI consultants for building data models and reporting. Its flexibility is what makes it perfect for any business willing to invest in improving its data insights.
It is also used by data analysts to create visualisations and dashboards for their projects and reports. Power BI Dashboards help the user to predict when the company will hit certain business goals.
All of this can be shared with other Power BI users within the organisation, even administrators and managers, giving leadership more insight into how departments are performing.
It is often a popular product with finance, marketing, sales, human resources, IT, and operations departments.
Examples of Using Power BI In Business
Thanks to Power BI’s capabilities, it can be used in a wide variety of ways by businesses.
Because it’s very data-centric, it’s an excellent tool for businesses that work with large volumes of complex data.
You can import existing business intelligence reports into Power BI and use them without having to recreate the wheel every time you need new insights from your company’s data.
For example, it could be used to find trends in various aspects that help the company’s bottom line, such as sales numbers or even employee productivity metrics.
With this information, business leaders can make more informed decisions on where their resources should be allocated.
These are some other examples of using Power BI for business.
- Sales teams can use data visualisation to track performance over time.
- Managers can use dashboards to track the performance of several teams at once and view a snapshot of each team’s activities in one glance.
- Ad hoc analysis is made easy for data analysts in Power BI because you can dig into data without relying on IT or other employees for technical issues.
- Marketers can use Power BI to track their lead generation and sales pipelines.
- Product managers can keep an eye on the metrics that matter about a product’s performance with ease by utilising visualisations and dashboards in Power BI.
- Finance departments can get insights into how they perform using accounts payable, receivable, and inventory management data.
The use of Power BI in Business has become more significant with time as it is used for data visualisation by business professionals to get insight into their company’s performance.
With the help of Microsoft Excel integration, even employees without coding experience can build reports and visualisations that guide them through their data sets.
The Benefits Of Power BI For Business
Power BI offers several benefits to your business and your team. Some of the biggest are the easy creation of reports and dashboards and the ability to share them quickly with other members of the organisation.
Users can also use existing App workspaces to collect related data from multiple sources, making it easier for anyone who wants access to this information to find it.
Power BI allows you to refresh data automatically. If new data has been added, it will update automatically without needing someone on your team to check for changes manually.
The value that Power BI creates for your business is more than just the data; it’s also about how you use it to get insights into your company.
Using Power BI For Business Reporting
Power BI helps businesses organise and use their data and provides an easy-to-use interface to access all of their information in one place instead of multiple spreadsheets, documents, or other sources.
This central location makes it much easier for companies to access their information and reports, making it easier to do analysis.
Power BI is an excellent tool for viewing data. It has features that allow companies to create compelling data visualisations to get better insights.
With this functionality, businesses can see trends that may have been missed before, which allows them to make better-informed decisions that will impact the business.
Another great feature is its easy integration into Microsoft Office applications, such as Excel and PowerPoint. This allows companies to easily pull information from their data sources to create reports for internal use or presentations for clients and customers alike.
Power BI is also available in an ad hoc mode which allows users to access data without knowing how to write queries or set up reports manually. Employees can use ad hoc analysis to create data visualisations for all types of uses, from sales to marketing and finance.
9 Key Features Of Microsoft Power BI
Microsoft has introduced several analytics enhancements for Power BI since its development, and here we’ll look through some of the most significant Power BI features you need to know!
1. The Data Visualisation Feature In Power BI
Power BI has been designed to offer an easy way of creating reports, dashboards and interactive visualisations, including different charts such as bar charts, line charts, pie charts and more.
With the help of this tool, anyone can easily create compelling visualisations which can be embedded in websites, mobile apps and other platforms.
2. ‘Get Data’ Power BI Feature
The ‘Get Data’ feature allows you to create reports without writing queries or using a third-party tool. Assets are automatically updated when new data is available, which saves time by eliminating the need for employees to check every day.
This feature allows users to easily connect with their organisation’s most important sources of information, including SQL database, Azure SQL Database and Oracle databases.
In addition to the datasets like MailChimp, SurveyMonkey, and Facebook Ads included with all accounts, you can also use premium data sources.
Premium data sources include LinkedIn company profiles; Microsoft Dynamics 365 online service; Zillow housing prices; Nielsen television viewership ratings; marketing metrics from AdRollasets from Power BI Premium can also be used with the ‘Get Data’ feature.
3. The Refresh Feature
Power BI’s refresh function allows users to update their datasets automatically without needing a person on your team to manually check for changes every time.
This saves your company valuable time and resources by eliminating employees’ need to constantly check that assets are automatically updated with the latest information so that reports can be used to make business decisions.
When an update is available, Power BI will notify users who access the dataset and inform them of how many days they now need until it’s refreshed.
4. Dataset Filtration In Power BI
With the help of the data cleansing feature, you can quickly transform your dataset into a useable form. With this feature, users can select which columns should be included in their datasets and how they would like them displayed on the chart.
If you are dealing with big datasets from many different sources, it is best to filter out irrelevant values before moving forward, as the visualisations will be much more accurate and effective this way.
5. Customizable Power BI Dashboards
Power BI is all about business data. It allows you to create custom dashboards, reports and even apps in an easy-to-use format that can be understood by everyone in your organisation.
The customisable dashboards enable employees to focus on what they want to see while filtering out everything else not to distract them from their daily tasks.
6. Flexible Tiles
With the introduction of Flexible Tiles, users can now create custom views tailored specifically for them or specific team members. Users have complete control over how they want to see their data using customisable tiles aligned with their unique business needs.
With the help of Power BI, users can easily integrate their apps with Microsoft Excel, Jive and Sharepoint and access all these services without leaving their Dashboard. This gives them more time to focus on business-related tasks rather than dealing with many different applications at once.
7. Natural Language Q&A Question Box In Power BI
The Natural Language Question and Answer box is a new feature that allows users to ask questions of their data with natural language such as “What were my sales numbers last year?” or “How many employees do we have total?”. The answer will then populate in a table in the data view.
Using natural language makes it easier to interact with your data and get answers without learning complex queries or asking for help from IT. It is also useful when you want to give people outside of the business intelligence department like executives, sales, marketing and finance access to monitor real-time updates.
8. DAX Data Analysis Function
The DAX language is the connective tissue that ties together all of Power BI’s data visualisation capabilities. Almost every button on the toolbar has some link to a function within this programming language, making it easy for users familiar with Excel formulas to make sense of what they’re doing.
The DAX language has four main components, which can be broken down into expressions, functions, measures, and columns.
The first part of any expression begins with an equal sign (=), whereas function calls do not. The measure is a term that refers to aggregations like sum or average. Columns refer to items on-axis in data visualisation. Custom measures allow users to aggregate data based on their own specific needs.
When writing in DAX, there are two things you need to watch out for – errors and references.
- Errors occur when something goes wrong with your expression, which results in an error message popping up either on the spreadsheet itself or within Power BI’s preview pane.
- References can be somewhat confusing because they do not always appear where one might expect them to. However, they are essential because they may cause an error within your expression if the reference is eliminated or moved somewhere else in the spreadsheet.
9. Power BI Content Packs
Power BI content packs are available for free via the Power BI website for data discovery. These are not just limited to Microsoft products but can also include data from other platforms such as Google Analytics, Facebook, and Salesforce.
Content Packs help users get started with their analysis quickly by providing pre-built reports and datasets that they can view using just one click. This eliminates the need to create reports, datasets and dashboards manually.
Analysts use Power BI Content Packs to quickly find the right mix of information without manually stitching together various data sources. If you are not sure about what content packs to download, there is a wide range of samples available on the Power BI website which can act as guides for analysts.
Power BI content packs can be shared with other users who have a Power BI subscription so that they too can use them in their analysis.
What Is Microsoft Power BI Desktop?
Power BI Desktop is a free, self-serve analytics and reporting system tool you install on a Windows PC. The device can be linked with nearly 70 on-demand and cloud data sources, making it possible to display information in interactive visuals.
Data analysts and engineers use Power BI Desktop to create reports and provide them to Power BI services. Users can discover fast ways to get business insights for the data that is most important to them. With Power BI Desktop, users can build reports and save them in the cloud for access from anywhere across any device.
What Are Microsoft Power BI Mobile Apps?
Microsoft Power BI Mobile Apps power business intelligence in the palm of your hands. With these apps, you can view and interact with data everywhere you go—on the go or offline!
Power BI Mobile Apps turn any iOS device into a powerful real-time dashboard for viewing critical information about company operations at all times. Hence, it’s easy to stay informed when travelling or on the road.
The app also enables you to edit and update data right from your phone or tablet, making it easy for users of all skill levels to create interactive reports and dashboards that give real-time insights into company performance at any given moment.
Is Power BI Better Than Microsft Excel?
Power BI vs Excel is a common comparison, and it’s often said that Power BI is better than Microsoft Excel for data visualisation. Data analysis can be done in real-time by anyone who has access to the system, which means you will get faster results because everyone can work from anywhere.
With Power BI for Business, there are no limits to the number of people viewing and interacting with your data from various devices, including using Power BI Desktop and Power BI Mobile Apps.
Power BI is the leading tool in data visualisation because it has a wide range of features and capabilities that include real-time collaboration, improved reporting tools, and easy access to multiple devices.
Microsoft Power BI Cost & Subscription Types
The cost of Microsft Power BI will depend on the type of plan you choose and the features you need. If you’re an existing Microsoft Enterprise Agreement customer (EA), Power BI is available at no additional cost to your EA subscription.
Power BI offers three different plans: Pro, Premium Per User and Premium Per Capacity. Each plan allows for a certain amount of users, but what are the different features of each plan?
What are the features of the Power BI Free Trial?
Microsoft offers a free trial that allows users to experience the full power of Power BI for 30 days. You can sign up directly on your computer or through any device, including phones and tablets. The only thing you need is an email address so you can get started!
What is Power BI Pro? ($9.99 per user per month)
Power BI Personal or Basic provides access to a single user. It is suitable for light users and those who need quick insights at any time of the day without needing too many features and capabilities. There are no limits on data storage, and you can create one report that updates automatically.
What is Power BI Premium Per User? ($20 per user per month)
Power BI Premium Per User provides access to up to ten users. It is suitable for Power and enterprise-level users who need a variety of data sources, unlimited reports with their data source, the ability to set refresh rates on-demand or daily, as well as control over the usage level of Power BI.
What is Power BI Premium Per Capacity? ($4,996 per capacity per month)
Power BI Premium Per Capacity is an alternative way to get into Power BI. You pay for the space and processing volume you want to provide for your business.
Premium is not an application for licensing but rather an exclusive use of a predefined amount of computing power. There are six capacity variants, each with varying amounts of memory, so users can choose the amount they need to run their Power BI platform.
Premium is geared explicitly to enterprise-level businesses which generate considerable amounts of data or require extensive access to the app. Users creating reports, sharing a dashboard and using existing App workspaces will need a Power BI license.
To learn more about Power BI pricing and plans, visit https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/pricing/.
Microsoft Power BI Pro Vs Premium
Microsoft Power BI Premium offers a lot more features and capabilities for the higher pricer. For Power BI businesses users, it’s worth getting the full Microsoft Power BI suite which includes PBI Premium, along with other tools such as Excel and Word so that you can work on all of your data seamlessly in one place.
Power BI Premium is a great tool but can be expensive for personal use. If you’re looking for a cheaper solution, then Microsoft Power BI Pro might fit your needs.
It’s best for personal users with a single project that needs a dashboard and those learning to use Power BI.
Is Power BI Difficult To Learn?
Here at The Excel Experts, we’re always asked, ‘Is Power BI hard to learn?’. The answer will vary depending on what you use Power BI for, how much experience you have with data analysis and other similar tasks, your technical skills.
It’s essential to understand how Power BI works, what it is capable of and whether or not your business benefits from using this technology before committing the time needed to learn the ins and outs.
If you need your information quickly, then Power BI may not be the best option for you as it can take time to set up complex reports with multiple charts and graphs. We recommend hiring a Power BI expert to help with the initial setup.
Data analysis tools are different from one-time reporting platforms like Excel, which makes understanding these differences necessary before deciding what kind it takes to learn Power BI depends on the goals of your business.
If you are planning to use it for one-off reports, then learning the basics is likely enough. However, if you plan to use Power BI as a reporting platform or data analysis tool, expect some more time spent mastering the product and its features.
The time it takes to learn how to use Power BI is a great investment. It will enable you and your company or business to make informed decisions based on data.
With some basic Power BI training, you can get started with an easy-to-use tool that can benefit businesses of all sizes.
Conclusion – Why Power BI Is Great For Business
Using Power BI for business is a great choice because it’s a versatile tool that gives you the ability to analyze your data in new and innovative ways, all while presenting your analysis visually with stunning dashboards built directly into Excel or PowerPoint.
With Power BI, there’s no need to spend too much time and money implementing yet another complex solution. Because of its simplicity and ease of use, businesses can start using Power BI without having any employees with special knowledge.
From its inception Power BI was built as an enterprise-level product; it’s now available as a cloud-based service as is very affordable for all.
With no need to purchase any additional hardware or software licenses, this makes Power BI a perfect solution for small businesses with limited resources and budgets.
Power BI is just the tip of the iceberg for Microsoft’s data visualisation products, but if you are not already using this tool in your company, get started today!