How to Use Microsoft Power BI to Crush Your Goals

June 5, 2020 Joe Little

Continuing our deep dive into the Microsoft Power Platform, Power BI is probably the best known of the bunch. It is an affordable, flexible business intelligence and data visualization tool that allows users at every level of your organization access to customizable dashboards and reports so they can understand the data relevant to their roles.  

 

As businesses grow, the volume of data grows. It becomes more essential for organizations to access and use that data to improve their business operations, to make confident decisions and to stay ahead of the competition. Power BI enables businesses of all sizes to get insights that were previously limited to dedicated teams of data scientists. 

 

Empower employees with self-service analytics 

With the free Power BI Desktop, or with the per-user monthly cost of Power BI Pro, your employees can build their own dashboards, charts, graphs, and reports that connect data from a wide variety of sources and applications. These custom interfaces can be built using a drag-and-drop method to display up-to-the-minute analytics, giving workers information they need to boost their effectiveness, collaborate on new ideas, and measure the effects of their efforts.  

 

Connect your data from any source 

Power BI can be used with both pre-built and custom data connectors to allow users to gather financial and operational data, as well as analyze non-numerical information, from a wide variety of source applications. These connectors allow you to access data and analyze anything from social media engagement, to productivity on the shop floor, to changes in consumer preferences. 

 

Model data with built-in machine learning and artificial intelligence 

Power BI can leverage Microsoft AI to analyze complicated, unstructured data like text and images. Using AI within Power BI also makes it possible for your business to quickly build machine learning models without needing a whole team of advanced data professionals.   

 

Strengthen data security 

For any business, protecting data is a huge deal. Cybersecurity threats from both outside and within your organization can be incredibly costly – and incredibly common. Staying compliant with regulations and preventing data loss are integral components of any quality analytics tool. Power BI keeps your data secure, even when you’re exporting it.  

 

The Value of Connecting Power BI with Power Platform 

There are limitless possibilities for how Power BI can be connected with the rest of Microsoft Power Platform to create unique solutions for your organization. For example, an HVAC business could use Power Apps to create an app that allows field technicians to take photos of a broken part within a furnace and automatically lookup a knowledgebase on the part and automatically submit a service ticket.  

 

This data is also automatically synced to Power BI to give the HVAC business a big-picture view of field service details such as the fix rates of different technicians, the most common failures for different types of furnaces, and customer satisfaction metrics. Power Automate (formerly Microsoft Flow) can be used to push data from the custom app to Power BI, as well as initiate workflows like purchase orders and invoice creation.  

 

Want to learn how you can use Power Platform in your business? 

Here at Western Computer, we believe in empowering businesses like yours to use technology solutions to their fullest potential.  Power Platform is a versatile set of tools offering businesses the opportunity to easily create end-to-end solutions that are completely unique. To talk to an expert about your business challenges and opportunities and brainstorm how Power Platform could be used to help, contact Western Computer today.  

About the Author

Joe Little

Joe Little is Western Computer’s Power Platform Program Manager. With over 30 years of software experience, Joe has performed many roles throughout his career in several functional areas including pre-sales, architecture, development, implementation, and support. Joe believes the Microsoft Power Platform is a powerful solution that allows users to make small changes that have a huge impact on a business’s bottom line, such as viewing their data in new ways and creating workflows that help further automate their processes.

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