Demystifying Power BI

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Microsoft Power BI

Moving from Opinion-Driven to Data-Driven – The Way to Strategic Business Decision!

Data has become the new battlefield in today’s competitive business environment. More and more enterprises are leveraging Business Intelligence (BI) tools to combat data explosion and make sense out of it.

Some of the current business challenges on analytics:

  • Poor visibility of data available in the enterprise and difficulty in getting the required information at the right time in the right context.
  • Poor data quality at every level of the organization.
  • Maximum time is spent on reconciliation of reports.
  • Important goals are always documented but poor tracking of progress due to lack of data against goals & plans.
  • Strategic priorities that need analytics and insights are controlled by few, and is viewed as a ‘Strategy Function’ whereas the requirement of the business is ground-level insights that result in quick actions

Few business leaders will dispute the fact that the enterprise data does not support them in making objective data-driven business decisions. They agree that their enterprises must use the data they generate, and if analyzed well they can build competitive advantage and enhance their customer experience. They always strive to graduate from being opinion-driven organizations to data and metrics-driven organizations.

Metrics-driven decisions based on empirical hypotheses supported by the right degree of analysis enables better outcomes.

Traditionally, people have often associated analytics and BI as a domain for large corporations with teams of dedicated IT specialists. But that mindset has begun to change.

Data-Driven Decisions help better:

When you align strategy, goals, roles, processes and track key metrics for your strategic objectives, it helps in measuring the progress and making the decisions faster.

Introducing Microsoft Power BI

To understand the full impact of Power BI, consider the following two scenarios in the business world:

  1. Before Power BI:

During pre-Power BI days, users depend on Vendors to develop the required reports, and the insights that can be culled out from data is bottled and is monolithic. In the case of any change or a new dimension of analysis – the power shifts back to the vendor resources for new development or a change request that is time-consuming, and user is powerless.

  1. After Power BI:

There’s a big river of data out there in your enterprise. Rather than building dams of controlled data distribution bottling up into discrete little entities of reports and intelligence, Power BI is like enabling people with canoes and compasses to discover what they need across the enterprise data assets, and obviously with right access controls.

A comparison between Power BI & Corporate BI initiatives

Power BI and Corporate BI are two approaches for an enterprise to maximize on Business Insights.

  • They are not mutually antagonistic
  • Both serve the enterprise, and exist to provide timely analysis
  • The two approaches can work together or on standalone basis

Corporate BI projects are often the result of many months (or years) of careful thought and intricate data processing and cleansing. While Power BI projects are:

  • Purely self-service approach – very agile
  • Deliver rapid discovery, analysis, and presentation of data
  • Relieve hard-pressed IT departments from ad-hoc jobs that distract from larger projects

Power BI is a part of total solution of enterprise analytics journey. It’s a simple way of sharing your analysis and insights on PCs and mobile devices from Microsoft.

Omnipresent tools and skills on Microsoft Excel across the enterprise users, Power BI becomes a self-service platform.

Why Power BI?

Businesses struggle to deploy the right analytical resources to power data-intensive process of analytics for business insights. Even if resources are dedicated representations and visualizations of data, for CXOs the challenge is to drive the decision forward. However, with Power BI, a user with reasonable knowledge on analytic tools can leverage his skills to produce his own analysis, and the right visualizations with minimal support from IT or developers.

The Road Ahead:

Digital Information surrounding People, Processes, Products, Functions, Customers, and Enterprises is the new currency. It is critical for gaining new insights and bringing in differentiation for survival. The earlier paradigm of ‘measurement’ – it could be throughput (Rate at which company makes its revenue) of men, method and machines- has changed to a hyper scale with the advent of analytics and insights driving the new value in business. It is now clear that business Insight is the next frontier for productivity and competitive advantage.

Microsoft Power BI along with Microsoft SQL 2016 helps enterprises in squeezing more value from the data available within the enterprise thus enabling faster data processing to spot early opportunities, improved customer understanding linking various data sources, and data to drive strategic/tactical business decisions for business growth.

No BI investments are rightly utilized unless the complete potential is leveraged. It is these tools that offer benefits to business.

With 18 years in the IT business, Aditya has witnessed the various paradigms of internet for business. He has handled many roles including development, program management, consulting, practice development, sales and solution architect and has played an imperative role in a few start-ups to build them to predictable growth units.

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