With data being the lifeforce behind businesses of all shapes and sizes, solutions like Power BI are absolutely essential in allowing organisations to harness the information available do them and drive effective decision-making. Through it, people can visualise and analyse data in ways that were never possible before, and place it at the heart of their business strategy.
Here, we give 6 reasons why our team at Fundipedia value Power BI, and how its numerous benefits extend to our clients seeking to take control of their fund data.
Reason #1: Integrations, and lots of them…
Out of the box, Power BI includes a huge amount of integrations with almost any data provider you need. Whether your data is sourced from an SQL database in Azure, Google Analytics or even a simple Excel worksheet, Power BI has you covered. These data sources integrate with Power BI seamlessly, meaning you can add them to existing or new reports without hesitation or difficulty.
You’ll no longer need to spend hours studying the Google Analytics API and building microservices to integrate useful metrics into your existing reports. You can simply navigate to the “Get Data” option in Power BI, link your Google Analytics account, and pull in the data you require.
Reason #2: Data, beautiful data
The beauty of Power BI is that it allows you to create stunning visuals for your data without any prior knowledge needed. You can move away from those dreadful reports you still maintain in excel years later, to a feature-rich environment that provides the tools required to build even the most complex of reports in a few clicks of a button.
Before Power BI there wasn’t any software that allowed us to develop such beautiful and interactive data insights without the use of some bespoke, in-house solution from our development team. Whilst that old process did work, the costs and pain of maintaining bespoke reports never seemed to pay off.
With Power BI, all of that pain goes away. Now there’s no need to schedule in a sprint of work just to create a report from a new data source. In Power BI you can just spin up reports ad-hoc whenever you like and publish them when needed.
Reason #3: Easy data queries
One of the most important parts of any BI/Data Analysis software is having the ability to query your data in a more complex manner. Although generating custom visuals from a data source can be and usually is enough, sometimes you might require a slightly more complex approach.
For instance, you might want to calculate the moving average of some time-series data, or generate the percentage growth of sales for the last year. One of the reasons we love Power BI is DAX (Data Analysis Expressions). This powerful language allows us (and you) to develop far more complicated data models.
Take a look at the example below:
We used DAX here to calculate the 30-day moving average of approvals (the blue line), and then to project those averages into the next year to give us some future insights (the white line).
Reason #4: Timeless reports? Power BI has you covered
An issue with most reports is that, while the data stays relevant, the relevancy of the metrics and the visualisations of the data itself depreciates. Now how would you react if there was a simple and easy solution to this problem?
Luckily the solution already exists and is built into Power BI. The Interactive Q&A feature uses the power of Natural Language Processing (NLP), which allows you and anyone who consumes your report to ask questions about the data directly. You won’t need to rely solely on the insights – instead you have the power to create your insights when you want and need them.
Reason #5: Real-time data, no need for snapshots
Something that has always kept us interested in Power BI is that it supports real-time data streams. There is nothing more powerful than being able to load up a report and be confident that the data displayed is up-to-date.
This is not only an excellent experience, but it’s also extremely useful when making key business decisions. As well as access to all your beautiful data insights to help you make data-driven decisions, you also have the comfort in knowing that any decision you make is based on the most relevant data available to you. Real-time data also helps ensure that any future predictive forecasts you utilise are of the utmost accuracy, as these will be updated alongside your data.
Reason #6: Quickly and easily share data and reports with your organisation
Finally, have you ever created a report and struggled to share it with the right people in your organisation? It’s possible you were sending around Excel files and these became lost in a chain of emails. Power BI presents a range of choices when it comes to sharing reports:
The first (and most simple) option is to publish your report publicly. This means it is no longer private to your workspace and a link will be generated. You can then use this to embed the report into other services, or simply share the link and view the report in your browser without requiring a Power BI Pro Licence.
Sharing with other pro users
The second option, which is as simple as the first, is to just share the report with the users of your choice. The only downside to this is that you and the users you share with must have a Power BI Pro Licence.
On-premise report servers (Power BI Premium)
The third option is to purchase Power BI Premium and self-host the reports. This also allows you to keep your reports private whilst sharing them with users that don’t have a Power BI Pro Licence, but it comes at a price tag of around £4000 a month.
The fourth option is to manually embed the reports into an application. However, this requires some purchases in Azure to host the Power BI service, which comes to around £500 a month.
The final option is to embed the reports into office 365 products, such as Microsoft Teams and Sharepoint.
Start benefiting from Power BI
These are just 6 examples of the capabilities Power BI offers to our team at Fundipedia and consequently our clients in the ongoing battle to harness data. Thanks to this and similar solutions, more and more organisations are unlocking the insights they need to make powerful decisions to improve their processes and drive their company forward.
To learn more about Power BI, speak to one of our specialists today. We work with asset management firms everyday to support their efforts to collect, manage, distribute and secure their valuable data.
Matt Hope, Software Consultant