Microsoft Power BI

Gain enhanced insights from your data

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Microsoft Power BI is a data and analytics reporting tool which essentially brings together disparate data – anything from basic Excel spreadsheets to databases, including both cloud-based and on-premise apps. This is then presented in dashboards & reports with visual, easy-to-read graphs and charts, allowing businesses to drill down and gain valuable insights. Drill-down capabilities then allow you to interrogate your data further than basic reporting functionality, making data extraction and analysis much simpler than in the past. As a result, businesses can gain valuable insights into performance and make more informed decisions.

As part of the Power Platform, Power BI integrates with various Microsoft services and apps; Power Apps, Power Automate, Dynamics 365 and Office 365, to name but a few.

Why you might need Power BI

There are many challenges that organisations face that Power BI can solve, here are some of the most common reasons why businesses look to implement Power BI…

Reporting is laborious and time-consuming

Reporting within a business can often be a time-consuming and laborious task, reliant on multiple departments and siloed data. Due to the manual nature of collating the information and producing reports, the chances of human error are increased and therefore reliability could be comprised.

Team collaboration is difficult

Effective reporting is measured on your team’s ability to understand and act upon the information provided. If your reports aren’t providing the detail needed this can lead to guesswork or stagnation, and you want your teams to be able to act upon report insights independently.

Due to the manual nature of the reporting and lack of supporting technology, multiple versions can get shared, edited, and stored locally. As a result, challenges arise around understanding where the most up-to-date file is, and team collaboration can be difficult.

Reporting activities are restricted to the office

If your spreadsheets can only be accessed from the office or are stored locally on employees’ laptops, then reporting can be challenging. You are limited to where you can work and with more businesses working remotely, having remote access would be beneficial.

Additionally, spreadsheets are not renowned for being overly mobile-friendly, so trying to display large amounts of data can be a poor user experience.

Power BI Dashboards

Everything you need, on one dashboard

  • Power BI can handle huge quantities of data, so you gain meaningful insights across the entire business 
  • Once Power BI is set up, the data will be pulled from the sources automatically in real-time, meaning there is no need for someone to manually collate the information 
  • Gartner recognises Microsoft as a Leader for the fourteenth consecutive year in the 2021 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Analytics and Business Intelligence Platforms, so you can be confident in the technology you are using 
  • There are hundreds of visualisations available within Power BI, from area charts to maps, each of which serves a different purpose
  • Power BI benefits from regular updates from Microsoft, that are rolled out automatically, ensuring that the technology is always up to date  

Turn insights into actions

  • Dashboards and reports can be personalised to suit your individual business needs 
  • Alerts and notifications can be set around particular data to keep employees up to date on the most important metrics  
  • Power BI’s intuitive interface is designed to be user-friendly and easy to navigate 
  • A wide range of data sources are supported, such as the sales data captured in CRM or financial data from ERP 
  • Power BI has different price tiers with varying access, to suit different levels of business needs 
  • Drag-and-drop functionality means that staff can generate custom-made reports quickly, without the need for in-depth technical knowledge 
  • Power BI is available across devices, ensuring users can access data on-the-go 

What is the cost of Power BI?

There are three kinds of Power BI per-user license: Desktop (Free), Pro, and Premium. Which type of license a user needs is determined by where data is stored, how they’ll interact with that data, and if that data requires Premium features. Where data can be stored is determined by your organisation’s license type.

For more information, check out our blog post; “Power BI Desktop, Power BI Pro and Power BI Premium – What’s the difference?”

Power BI Desktop

FREE

The desktop application is the entry-level licensfor Power BI. It is worth noting that a user with a free license can only use the Power BI service to connect to data and create reports and dashboards in ‘My Workspace’. They can’t share content with others or publish content to other workspaces. 

Power BI Pro

£7.50

Per User, Per Month

Power BI Pro provides the complete ability to use Power BI for building dashboards and reports as well as unlimited viewing, sharing and use of your reports and those shared by others. 

Power BI Premium

£15.10

Per User, Per Month

Can also be licensed at an enterpise level, starting at £3766.70.

Power BI Premium is designed to address the challenges of large enterprise deployments and workloads, and comes with considerably more advanced functionality in comparison to the other plans. 

 

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