What is Microsoft Power BI? Uses, pricing and more.

In today’s data-driven world, businesses and professionals are constantly seeking tools to effectively analyse and visualise large volumes of data. One powerful solution that has gained popularity is Microsoft Power BI. In this article, we will explore what Power BI is, its uses, and the professionals who benefit from it.

What is Power BI?

At its core, Power BI is a business analytics tool that enables users to visualise and analyse data with unparalleled ease and efficiency. Leveraging a combination of interactive dashboards, reports, and real-time insights, Power BI empowers stakeholders at all levels to swiftly make informed decisions.

Components of Power BI:

Power BI consists of several components that seamlessly work together to ensure an optimal user experience and smooth running of the platform. Understanding these main components is essential for effectively harnessing Power BI.

  • Power BI Desktop: Lets users connect to various data sources, create data models, and build interactive reports and dashboards with a drag and drop interface.
  • Power BI Service: Provides a cloud-based service to enable users to publish, share, and collaborate on Power BI reports and dashboards from any device.
  • Power BI Mobile: Readily accessible for IOS, Android and Windows devices, enabling users to access and interact with Power BI content on the go.
  • Power Query: Creates a user-friendly interface for performing data cleansing and merging, for various data sources, before uploading to Power BI.
  • Power Pivot: Supports the smooth running of Power BI by creating relationships between different data tables, calculated columns, and measures for advanced analysis.
  • Power View: Helps users by allowing data visualisation enabling the creation of interactive reports, dashboards, charts, and other visual elements.

Explore Power BI’s functionality in our Power BI Demo.

 

Power BI Uses

Businesses and individuals leverage Power BI and its features for various data-related tasks such as crafting dashboards, generating reports, conducting thorough analysis and so much more. Users can utilise Power BI’s features to:

Create interactive reports and dashboards: Power BI allows users to present data in varying interactive visual formats, such as graphs, maps, charts, and scatter plots. This helps users to transform data into engaging, easy-to understand visuals.

Connect multiple data sources: Through its many connectors, Power BI seamlessly integrates with different data sources, whether they are Excel sheets, onsite data warehouses, or cloud-based storage. This means that you can access and analyse all your data in one easy-to-access space.

Make the most of AI: Through its natural language processing users can ask questions about data sets to get instant insights. The AI can also be used to recommend layouts, features, and new reports.

Easy Collaboration: Power BI’s cloud-based functionality enables secure sharing of reports and dashboards with stakeholders anywhere, on any device. This feature has recently been developed with the introduction of Power BI Teams App, meaning you can now access Power BI’s insight within Teams.

CRM Integration: Another feature of Power BI is its seamless ability to integrate with your existing CRM system. This allows businesses to gain a central hub for all their customers and business data, providing advanced actionable insights.

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Benefits of Power BI

Power BI’s advanced features make it no surprise that this solution comes with a plethora of benefits for your business, here are a few:

  • Visualise the complex, simplified: Transform complex data into easy-to-read interactive reports and dashboards, making trends and patterns instantly apparent.
  • Unify your data landscape: Create a holistic view of your data by eliminating data silos through integrating multiple data sources in Power BI.
  • Empower everyone with data: Dive into data analysis intuitively, regardless of technical background. Power BI’s user-friendly interface welcomes all skill levels.
  • Real-time decisions, real-time results: Act swiftly with up-to-the-minute insights at your fingertips through Power BI.
  • Collaborate and share: Break down information barriers and foster knowledge sharing, driving teamwork and productivity.
  • Data-driven culture: Equip your business with the tools and insights needed to make informed choices, fuelling a data-centric organisation.

Who uses Power BI?

Power BI caters to a diverse range of professionals, including engineers, business analysts, supply chain professionals, marketers, and various other roles. We have come up with some examples of how Power BI could be used across these job roles and industries.

Power BI Examples

Universities: 

  • Challenge: Low student completion rates and unclear reasons for dropout.
  • Solution: Power BI’s interactive dashboard visualises completion rates, attendance, and key dropout factors.
  • Impact: Gain insights to improve student experience and boost completion rates.

Membership-based businesses: 

  • Challenge: Fragmented data across multiple systems hindering operational efficiency.
  • Solution: Power BI consolidates data into a single platform for holistic monitoring, all in a custom dashboard.
  • Impact: Streamlined operations and data-driven decisions for a competitive edge.

Financial service providers: 

  • Challenge: Time-consuming creation of complex reports, like average balance sheets.
  • Solution: Power BI generates reports and dashboards with advanced visualisations and AI-powered insights.
  • Impact: Increased efficiency and faster access to valuable financial information.

Charity/non-profits: 

  • Challenge: Difficulty managing and analysing donor data for informed fundraising strategies.
  • Solution: Power BI creates a comprehensive donor dashboard with insightful views.
  • Impact: Improved donor management, stronger engagement, and optimised fundraising efforts.

How much does Power BI cost?

While understanding Power BI’s cost is crucial, it’s equally as important to consider the potential return on investment (ROI). Research shows businesses implementing Power BI experienced an impressive 366% ROI over three years! That’s the power of data-driven decision making at its finest.

Finding the Right Fit: Power BI Licenses

In order to gain access to Power BI your organisation has various options available. The platform offers tiered subscriptions, each unlocking different functionalities. Let’s explore the available license options:

  • Power BI Desktop (free) – This entry level tier grants access to fundamental platform features, enabling users to connect to various data sources and craft dashboards within their personal workspace. However, sharing or publishing these creations is not supported.
  • Power BI Pro (£8.20* per user, per month) – This tier unlocks full functionality, empowering users to construct dashboards and reports, along with unrestricted viewing, sharing, and utilisation of both their reports and those shared by others.
  • Power BI Premium (£16.40* per user, per month)- Geared towards addressing the complexities of larger enterprise deployments and workloads, this tier offers considerably advanced functionality compared to other licensing options.

Discover more about Power BI’s licensing options in our comprehensive breakdown to learn which license is right for your business.

*Licensing fee correct as of February 2024

 

Empower your business with Power BI

At Pragmatiq, we’ve successfully implemented Power BI for various clients across sectors, ranging from charities to financial services. Power BI fits perfectly with your data reporting needs no matter the industry or objective, from monitoring production to tracking patient satisfaction the possibilities are limitless. Find out if Power BI could solve your reporting challenges in our blog.

Discover more about Power BI and how it can benefit your business, contact us today by calling 01908 038110 or emailing info@pragmatiq.co.uk to get started on your journey towards data-driven success.

Woman looking at Power BI dashboard

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