Is Microsoft Power BI right for your business? Discover the top benefits Power BI offers small and mid-sized companies.
If you are in the market for self-service business intelligence or reporting solution, you have likely come across Microsoft Power BI. But is it the right business intelligence platform for your company? How will Power BI benefit your business? Our blog post addresses all these questions and more. Here is what you’ll need to know if you’re considering Power BI.
What is Microsoft Power BI?
Microsoft Power BI is a suite of business intelligence (BI), reporting, and data visualization tools and services for businesses. It converts your raw data into dashboards and visualizations. This allows you to analyze your data more efficiently, spot trends and patterns, and obtain actionable insights to make better business decisions.
Power BI consists of several elements that all work together and let you create and share business insights. They also offer different products based on your business needs. For instance:
What is Power BI Desktop?
It is a complete data analysis and reports creation tool that you can install for free on your computer. Most users use Power BI Desktop to create reports and then share them with others using Power BI Service.
What is Power BI Pro? This is the full paid version of Power BI. It is a cloud-based self-service analytics tool. It allows you to build dashboards and reports and embed them into apps, share with users, and integrate with other Microsoft solutions.
What is Power BI Premium?
This version is best suited for larger enterprise organizations with many users. Consider it a super upgrade of Power BI Pro. On top of the features and functionality you’d receive in Power BI Pro, you also receive increased data capacity limits, maximum performance, access to one API surface, and many other features.
Then there are also other tools such as:
Power BI Report Server - An on-premises report server that stores the reports you created with Power BI Desktop or Pro.
Power BI Mobile – get access on the go with mobile apps available for iOS, Android, and Windows phones
Power BI Embedded – this allows developers to embed Power BI dashboards and reports into other applications.
So, what are the top benefits of using Power BI for your business?
Power BI Benefit #1: Allows you to build personalized dashboards and interactive reports easily
Power BI is known for its dashboards, which can be customized to fit your company’s requirements. It also has intuitive and interactive visualizations. Plus, thanks to the easy drag-and-drop functionality, your staff can easily generate custom reports quickly. You can easily choose from limitless options and produce powerful models and visualizations.
Power BI Benefit #2: Gives you access to real-time information
Your dashboards will update in real-time. As data is pushed or streams in, the dashboard will display and update your visuals with the new information, as data is updated several times per day. This gives your staff the ability to solve problems quickly, identify opportunities, handle time-sensitive data, or situations more efficiently.
Power BI Benefit #3: Supports a wide range of data sources and integrations
You can import data from a wide range of data sources. Power BI seamlessly integrates with all Microsoft products, such as Dynamics 365, Excel, Azure, and more. It also offers data connectivity with third-party tools and solutions, like Salesforce, Google Analytics, Spark, Hadoop, and more. It can also connect to data files (such as XML and JSON) and SQL server databases. This means you will be able to connect to all sorts of data sources for your analysis and reports.
Power BI Benefit #4: Offers an unparalleled Excel integration
Many businesses still heavily rely on Excel when it comes to analytics and reporting efforts. Power BI integrates seamlessly with Excel. You can easily connect queries, data models, and reports to Power BI dashboards and create interactive visualizations - without learning a new application or language. You can set it up so that you get the right data instantly when you open your dashboard.
Power BI Benefit #5: Is affordable and cost-effective
Compared to equivalent business intelligence and analytics tools, Power BI is relatively inexpensive and affordable for small and mid-sized businesses. It also offers numerous versions so that you can pick the one suited to your business. For instance, Power BI Pro is ideal for small and mid-sized companies, and you can get access to a host of features for as little as $9.99 USD or $12.80 CAD per user per month. You can also download the free version, Power BI Desktop, and start using it to make reports and dashboards on your computer.
Power BI Benefit #6: Has Regular Monthly Updates
Another striking feature of Microsoft Power BI is that there are regular monthly updates made to the platform. Microsoft also listens to the Power BI community suggestions and implements most asked for functionality on the regular. This means users always have access to the latest and advanced features to help make accurate business decisions.
Power BI Benefit #7: Allows you to deploy multiple dashboards with Power BI Apps
In many companies, business users need multiple Power BI dashboards and reports to run their business. With Power BI apps available for Power BI Pro users, you can quickly deploy a collection of purpose-built dashboards and reports and efficiently distribute them to the whole company or specific groups of people. This feature also gives report developers the power to customize navigation to help viewers find content quickly and understand the relationships between different reports and dashboards.
Power BI Benefit #8: Lets you take advantage of cutting-edge AI
Take advantage of Microsoft AI's latest advances to help non-data scientists prepare data, build machine learning models, and find insights quickly from both structured and unstructured data, including text and images.
Power BI Benefit #9: You don’t need specialized technical support
As a self-service business intelligence platform, Power BI empowers your staff to create analyses and reports without requiring a technical or IT team to help. It supports a natural language interface, uses intuitive graphic designer tools, and even has a simple drag-and-drop functionality available to create dashboards.
Final Thoughts on Power BI for SMBs
Microsoft Power BI may be right for your business if you are looking for reporting and analytical capabilities that go beyond Excel. With Power BI, you can easily visualize and analyze data across your entire business and gain deep insights into your operations and performance.
Recognized by Gartner for the thirteenth consecutive year as an industry-leading business intelligence platform, Power BI can help you drive better decisions across your organization.
We have rounded up some of our resources to help you learn more about Power BI and the importance of business intelligence:
Find the Right Power BI Partner
Whether you are still evaluating your business needs, need help getting started with Power BI, or need to get more out of your existing Power BI platform, Kwixand Solutions can help.