Data is the new gold, with data multiplying daily at astronomical rates, the way the world interacts has evolved. Generally, such data insight has uncovered breakthroughs in medicine, and furthered trends in business and innovation. Furthermore, allowing business leaders to gain actionable insights and transformational information into improve service delivery. As a matter of fact, as data becomes more accessible and grows. So does the need to manipulate and visualize it for decision support. Which in turn becomes a challenge. Hence, Power BI for small business to bridge the gap!
What is Power BI?
Power BI (business intelligence) is an online SaaS by Microsoft that brings advanced analytics, predictive analytics, data visualizations, and data analysis expressions to the daily business decision processes. Specifically, allowing users to extract useful knowledge from data to solve business problems. Additionally, available on mobile for both iOS and Android devices, Power BI allows generation of reports and graphs from data shareable with other users. Generally, if you need more reporting and analytical muscle than Excel, Power BI is the next level in business intelligence. This BI tool has applications for small businesses, allowing connection to multiple data sources whilst performing ad-hoc analysis and optimization of data preparation for report generation.
Why Power BI for small businesses?
Generally, business owners in the 21st century need data literacy to understand data and analytics to make the most of their profitability. Furthermore, more entrepreneurs are occasionally hiring experts who understand statistical methods, machine learning, and data manipulation to help them gather insights. Having a 360-view and understanding your business data allows you to make educated business decisions based on the smart use of data, rather than on individual opinions. With the advancement of innovation, employees can collaborate and share business intelligence information across teams, across the enterprise, and beyond. Specifically, providing better actionable 24/7 real-time insight into operations and performance.
Power BI Desktop App
Power BI can pick data from different sources such as ERPs, excel files or real-time systems. Basically, if it has a data stream or database, this business intelligence tool has a gateway provision for it. Essentially, enabling data visualization by converting data from multiple data sources into interactive dashboards and BI reports. Furthermore, it has a free online variation through Power Bi Desktop if you have no internet connection. Power Bi Desktop is a free desktop application that you can install directly on your own computer. With Power BI Desktop, you can create models and then publish them or share them to the web version within the Power BI service. Generally, Power BI Desktop works coherently with the Power BI service, providing advanced capabilities for browsing, shaping, modelling, and reporting with highly interactive visualizations.
Basically, Power BI Desktop users can download extension files and place them in a known directory. Furthermore, desktop users can query the extension files directly on the web or open them as live files. This is all possible with dynamic security using Pro credentials. Though if you want to publish Power BI reports to your Power BI Report Server instance (PBIRS), you need a special version of Power BI Desktop.
An independent service
Today, Microsoft updates the Power Bi application monthly with new features and improvements. With important features such as Power Pivot, Power View, and Power Query and its own portal powerbi.microsoft.com and its own dashboard design, the Power BI service became independent of Office 365 and Excel. With its seamless integration into the Microsoft eco-system, Microsoft Power Bi is one of the cheapest business intelligence solutions on the market. All this is evidenced with its free version, affordable monthly subscription package and a scalable premium version for large deployments. Additionally, for regular updates, users can download the latest edition from the Power BI Web site. Optionally, Windows 10 users can download Power BI Desktop from the Windows Store.
The power of predictive analytics
Essentially, Power BI allows users to leverage the predictive power of advanced analytics. This allows users to create predictive models from their data. This enables small businesses and enterprise organizations to make data-based decisions across all aspects of their business. This basically occurs with the help of machine learning algorithms. These algorithms allow your machine to teach itself to grow and change when exposed to new data. Machine learning is evident in practical speech recognition programs, natural language processing, web searches, and even self-driving cars. Power BI provides a new visual way to manipulate data to a predictive extent and variation. Furthermore, Power Bi has a ‘Quick Insights’ feature that searches different subsets of your data set while applying a set of sophisticated algorithms to discover potentially interesting insights.
R is a programming language used by statisticians, data scientists, and data analysts. In essence, it’s the most widely used statistical language in the world. Generally, R integration in Power BI brings this language into all stages of generating insights. Using the R connector, users can run R scripts directly in Power BI and import the resulting data sets into a Power BI data model. As a matter of fact, since R is run directly in the Power BI service, reports using R are shareable and viewed by anyone—even if they don’t have R installed. With tools to accommodate data segmentation clustering, grouping, and binning, and cohort analysis (the breaking down or combing data into meaningful groups to identify meaningful relationships in your data). Few tools can compare to this tool from Microsoft.
As we’ve mentioned, predictive intelligence allows you to take proactive action, thus making prediction-supported decisions and aggregating your data. Though more impressive, is the real-time streaming feature. Consequently, this feature allows you to stream data and updates your dashboards in real-time. Basically, any visual or dashboard that can be created, displayed and updated in real-time data. This is possible from multiple devices and sources such as factory sensors, social media, service usage metrics. Additionally, streaming data is obtainable two ways: either as tiles with visuals from streaming data or as data sets created from streaming data. The tool lets you choose from a list of available visualizations, add a custom visualization that you create yourself.
In conclusion, Power BI allows display and analysis of real-time data. Whether from social media campaigns to machine parameters or streaming video. Furthermore, it brings your dashboards to life with IoT sensor readouts to allow you to transform the way you do business with minimum setup cost. Power BI allows you to dig deep into your data, while being productive and creative. Essentially with what you build leveraging a gallery of vibrant custom visualizations. Essentially, Power BI makes it easy to use advanced analytics to effectively communicate your message and address business challenges. For any guidance on leveraging and setting up Power BI, feel free to reach out.
A Professional Computer Engineer, technical writer and Software Product Manager, Denis is very passionate about helping businesses create software products and succeed with technology. Denis spends his free time playing the guitar and writing music. Denis passionately believes in sharing any information to help enterprises grow.