What is Business Intelligence?
By using a Business Intelligence software solution, the decision makers will always have access to up to date, quality information and powerful tools to visualize it. This will allow them to take the right decisions, based on real, well known facts.
Basically, Business Intelligence represents a set of processes accomplished through technology which lead to effective data analysis and generating high quality indicators for decision making.
For example, by using the What If analysis, marketing managers can decide which is the most efficient marketing channels mix for each market they target.
An essential component of the whole process is represented by the software solution. To obtain complex, comprehensive, scalable and relevant reports and information you must choose a Business Intelligence solution that will not limit you in any way. There are a lot of alternatives on the market and one of them is Power BI.
Microsoft is recognized by Gartner as a leader for Business Intelligence solutions in 2017.
Power BI represents the Business Intelligence solution created by Microsoft and used worldwide by companies with various industries and dimensions.
FREE for life
The cost is one of the main factors that influence an organization to buy a software solution or not. Power BI has a capable version that can be used for free.
Indeed, besides this free version there are also paid versions that come with certain advantages.
What does Power BI Free offer?
The following essentials features are available both in the free version and in the paid versions
- 1. Connect to many different data source types (70+)
Power BI can get data from:
- Files stored locally or in cloud;
- Every major SQL database;
- Business Applications (Saas) used for CRM, Newsletters, Analytics etc.
- 2. Use advanced functions and formulas to create data analysis models
Power BI allows data manipulation within the software itself to create new indicators. The advantage of this approach is represented by keeping the information intact in its sources. This way, additional storage space for the data sources is not required, and the flexibility and scalability of the information are not affected by any analysis.
There are over 200 functions available in Power BI. The Free version allows using every one of these available functions, as well as every tool and feature available for data manipulation.
- 3. Use every data visualization that Power BI offers and import new visuals
For every type of information that needs to be visualized, Power BI offers at least one visualization that fits and displays the information in an efficient way. A list with examples for the default Power BI visualizations can be accessed here. In case you need additional data visualizations, you can download them from the Office Store.
- 4. Share the information online using dashboards and web publishing
If you want to include information coming from multiple reports in a single dashboard, it will be created online and the visualizations will be easily chosen and included in this dashboard.
But what happens if someone outside the organization needs access to a report? You can publish the reports online and following this action, a unique URL will be created for each report. By accessing this URL, anyone from anywhere will be able to access the report and see the information. And the people that see these reports don’t even have to be registered Power BI users.
- 5. Schedule automatic refresh times for your reports
The Power BI reports can be easily updated to reflect the latest changes in the source data. All it takes for the user is pressing a button, Refresh. Besides, you can set up to 8 times/day when automatic data refresh occurs. After the refresh times are scheduled, human interaction will be required only if a data refresh is needed sooner than the next one scheduled.
The elements that turn Power BI into a great solution for organizations are:
- The high variety of supported data sources;
- The large number of functions available and the large possibilities for analyzing data;
- Multiple, efficient alternatives for data visualizations;
- The ability to share information with anyone, with ease;
- Automatic information updates (automatic refresh).
And, maybe the most important, the developer of the solution (Microsoft) offers all these features for FREE.
Let us know what you think!
Use the comments section or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to share with us what you appreciate the most at Power BI or what are the barriers that stand between your organizations and implementing a Business Intelligence solution.