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How Power BI Leads to Better Business Decisions

What is Power BI?

Power BI is a business analytic product from Microsoft that allows you to visually analyze and manipulate data, quickly and easily. Businesses can use Power BI to learn more about their company’s activities. Such as sales, production, and marketing—and how they affect their bottom line.

Power BI is one of the more popular analytics tools available today making it easier for users of all skill levels to drive business decisions based on data. The way Power BI works is by providing users with self-service access to powerful business analytics and data exploration tools in the cloud. This user-friendly software works well regardless of limited technical skills or time available to analyze data. With Power BI, you’re able to quickly and easily make sense of a business’s big data in new ways, giving you real insights into trends that help you run your business more efficiently, boost revenue, and ultimately make your organization more profitable.

Benefits of Business Analytics

Business analytics tools have become beneficial not only for financial purposes but also in other areas like marketing, research and development, project management, and even human resources. 

These tools offer a number of benefits for businesses of all kinds, including the following:

  • Businesses can remain more competitive ahead of their competitors.
  • Marketing campaigns become more targeted, efficient, and profitable. 
  • Organizations have greater control over different areas like finance and sales.
  • Businesses become more agile, efficient, and profitable with a faster decision-making cycle. 

Considerations Implementing a Data Analysis Solution

Analytics is no longer just for big businesses. Smaller companies now have access to the same powerful analytics tools that offer deep insights into data, to aid in making better business decisions. Before implementing an analytics solution, small businesses should consider how much data they want to analyze, what kind of analysis they need to run and where they’ll house their data once it’s analyzed.

You’ll also need to determine what tools you want to use. Businesses with fewer data may benefit from cloud-based solutions like Microsoft’s Azure platform, which offers several analytics services such as Power BI and Cortana Analytics Suite. 

Another consideration is where your data will be stored. Most cloud-based solutions work by linking an organization’s datasets to its account on a cloud platform. That means you have to ensure your data is housed on that platform before using it.

Microsoft Power Platform: An Integrated Solution

Microsoft Power Platform: An Integrated Solution

Creating an Effective Data Visualization Strategy

Data analytics is one of the more popular trends today. This popularity is the reason more products like Microsoft Power BI are gaining momentum. But just because you have access to these powerful tools doesn’t mean your business will be able to take advantage of them. To make better decisions, you need a strategy and a system that works for your organization. And there’s no one-size-fits-all solution; successful data visualization depends on having an understanding of how business intelligence can positively impact your business. With so many different options available, choosing what will work best can seem daunting—but it doesn’t have to be. By defining some key factors beforehand, you can create an effective data visualization strategy. And get maximum value from your investment in technology.

Which Reports Are Most Important?

When you’re looking at reports, it can be easy to think that all reports are created equal. Some of them may not seem too useful at first glance. But when you look more closely, you might find that they’re extremely helpful. Which reports should you be spending more time with? The answer depends on what kind of business decisions you need to make. 

For example, if your company sells a single product or service and is trying to understand its sales trends over time, you probably don’t need as much sales data as a high-volume retailer does. You also don’t need as much data if you aren’t trying to run campaigns or ads. In short, your needs will be very different from other companies and organizations that depend on Power BI for business decisions. Once you identify what kind of information you really need from Power BI, it becomes much easier to choose which reports are most important for improving those critical business decisions.

When trying to understand business data, analysts turn to charts. Power BI offers more than 200 chart types (including multiple columns, bar, and pie options), each with its own strengths. When it comes to finding which chart to use for your analysis, here are some tips: Use a column chart when you want users to read across from left to right. Use a bar chart when you want users to compare categories at a glance.

What About Power Query

Power Query is a big part of Microsoft Power BI, working as a powerful and versatile data import tool for both Excel and SQL Server. While power query might seem confusing If you’re not familiar with it, we’ve got a few tips and tricks to try out the next time you need to import data into your reports.

If you don’t have access to an application program interface (API) but have data on a website or an internal server, you can use Power Query for Excel for even more speed and automation.

You don’t necessarily need additional skills beyond Power Query proficiency to collect information from Web pages or other sources by using existing APIs—the APIs retrieve data from their sites automatically. What if there is no API? Or, what if you prefer a more manual approach and have time to spare? 

The following procedure shows how to copy and paste HTML code into Power Query and convert it into an extract. Then you can import it into a report as raw text that uses direct formatting, tables, or both. If your HTML table is not fixed-width, you can use the Power Query’s Group function with some tinkering.

This section offers another way to bring text directly into Power Query. 

  1. First, click anywhere inside the query editor and then choose Edit > Paste Special. 
  2. In the Paste Special dialog box, select the All tab at the left. Make sure HTML is selected from the Web Options pane on right. 
  3. Click OK. A new column with no header appears above your existing dataset. If you are working with more than one table, add a column header such as table1_copy (for example). The HTML data is imported as a Text File Column node with its own schema. 
  4. To import other columns of your data set, highlight them first and copy-and-paste them into an empty row below your imported table(s). 
  5. Now highlight all of your columns again except for your raw copied HTML data columns. You should see that they have been expanded out by default. 
  6. From the Transform group on the Home tab, select Unpivot Rows or Unpivot Columns. Select a destination table name that matches what you will call your resulting dataset (the same number of rows with the same names as before unpivoting), and press Ok twice to run transformations.

Conclusion

Business analytics works best when it’s not just a tool being used by business leaders to get data. But by everyone within the organization. With Power BI’s natural language query capability, you can easily query your data to find insights that help inform more educated business decisions. No longer is Power BI meant for only those in charge; with Power BI and Analysis Services 2016, everyone has access to Power Analytics regardless of their role within your company. Finally, no more waiting for IT or analytics specialists. Business users can self-serve and use Power BI whenever they need answers from their data.

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