For businesses who want more reporting power and analytical muscle than that offered by Excel, Power BI is the next level in business intelligence. With Power BI, businesses can assemble, scrutinize, and visualize data from across the company, giving them greater insight into their operations and performance, and allowing them to make more informed decisions based on real data.
Here are some of the key benefits of using Power BI:
- Businesses can input huge quantities of data into Power BI that many other platforms would struggle to process
- Built-in machine learning features can analyze data and help users spot valuable trends and make educated predictions
- Information can be visualized using powerful templates to allow businesses to better make sense of their data
- Power BI is cloud-based, so users get cutting edge intelligence capabilities and powerful algorithms that are updated regularly
- Powerful personalization capabilities allow users to create dashboards so they can access the data they need quickly
- Alerts can be set up on KPIs to keep users up to date important metrics and measurements.
- Power BI has an intuitive interface that makes it far more user-friendly and easy to navigate then complex spreadsheets
- The platform integrates with other popular business management tools like SharePoint, Office 365, and Dynamics 365, as well as other non-Microsoft products like Spark, Hadoop, Google Analytics, SAP, Salesforce, and MailChimp
- With data security a massive talking point for modern businesses, Power BI ensures data is safe, offering granular controls on accessibility both internally and externally
Who uses Power BI?
Though business intelligence products tend to be mainly the remit of business analysts and data scientists, thanks to its user-friendly nature, Power BI can be used by a range of people within a business.
How you use it depends on what your role is; Power BI can generate custom dashboards depending on what data is relevant, and what information you need access to.
It’s primarily used by business intelligence professionals, who use it to create data models and reports which are then shared throughout their organization. Not all businesses will have the scale or the need to support a full-time data whiz, however, so Power BI is often used as a self-service tool by various branches of the business to check up on progress and turn up insight into their team’s performance.
Power BI works with whatever data you tell it to, so you can report on pretty much anything. It’s often most popular with departments like finance, marketing, sales, human resources, it, and operations.
In terms of the product’s popularity, Microsoft doesn’t typically release user numbers, but in 2016 the number was around five million.