Is Power BI Right For Your Business?

Power BI has gained significant popularity over the last few years. More and more people are interested in what the product has to offer and whether it’s a good fit for their business needs. In this blog, we’ll examine what Power BI is as well as how to tell if it’s right for your business.

What is Power BI?

Power BI’s intuitive UI means you don’t need to be an expert in database design or a developer to produce a report. Drag-and-drop controls and visuals, filtering data, dropdowns, and tables offer the means to create simple yet professional-looking reports. If successful, it can lead to the next important business question: Why is the number so high or low? This can result in another report which can show how the purchased items’ prices have changed over X amount of years or explore how the users’ age and interests are affecting the result.

Is Power BI Right For Your Business?

Data Volume

Data Sources

For example, if your data comes from a web API service, a local CSV file, an Excel worksheet, Google Analytics or an SQL Server Database, the records will need to be transformed in different ways but will all be organized in rows and columns. That way, despite the data’s heterogeneous origin, the user can define relationships between sources, combine the data, and manipulate it. The Power BI team is constantly adding more and more source types to improve the user experience and work as efficiently as possible. If you’re gathering information from many different places, Power BI has a solution for you. If you only need to query a small number of records from your database, Power BI might be overkill.

Usage

Let’s assume you have two visuals: a bar chart and a table. Based on the report filters, they show some information from the datasets aggregated accordingly. Once we select a specific row in the table, the other rows are greyed out. The selected one gains focus and the bar chart now only shows records relevant to the selected row. This interaction, combined with the complex calculations and aggregations the environment provides, can be key in your decision-making process.

Technical and Business Knowledge

When creating reports, you should be aware of how, when, and where the data encryption and compression process take place. Having more in-depth knowledge on what is happening under the hood enables you to grasp Power BI’s full potential. Your reports will be better structured, more effective, and easily maintainable. They’ll also offer better insights and lead to better business decisions.

Complexity

If you’re developing complex data manipulations, formulas, and so on, you need to understand which operations are best to happen on which level. Too often, not knowing this leads to performance issues.

If you’re considering using Power BI, it would be wise to do some research first. Although it might sound flashy and modern, it may not be the best fit for your business needs. If used properly, Power BI can truly be a business driver. Here at MentorMate, it’s proven extremely helpful on several projects.

We’ve used it Power BI answer questions like:

  • Are people interested in the classes I am opening or should I open different ones in a different time interval?
  • How have my finances changed compared to a previous period of time?
  • What percentage of my customers are new/returning?
  • Have there been issue blockers in the current sprint and if so, what is the cause?
  • How much time has an employee spent working on issues in this sprint? What is his cumulative work and cost for the specified time period?

There are others who have also expressed interest and have added ‘Power BI Interactive Reporting’ to the tasks in their backlog. With the constant improvements and innovations from the Power BI team, the technology is gaining more and more popularity and has earned its place as a leader according to Gartner’s ‘Magic Quadrant for Analytics and Business Intelligence Platforms’, the criteria being the completeness of vision and ability to execute.

Image Source: Johannes Groll on Unsplash

Original post can be found here.

Authored by Violeta Nikolcheva:

As a Database Developer, Violeta is well-versed in a wide range of systems including MS SQL Server, Power BI and SSIS, but constantly seeks out new technologies to learn about. She loves the satisfaction that comes along with seeing her development work in production and improving a client’s business. Outside of MentorMate, you can find her reading books, watching movies, and satisfying her appetite for chocolate.

Digital Ideas Accelerated // Global software development team, 700 strong // Learn more: http://bit.ly/2jjoQsp