Adapted from us.hitachi-solutions.com
As Far back as we can remember, Microsoft excel has been the traditional reporting tool for businesses. Its’ ability to organise data and for analysis made Excel the obvious choice, but as systems evolve and data analytics requirements become more intricate, the limitations of the software have become evident. To deal with the new demand, Microsoft introduced the Power BI Solution, which offers powerful analytics and reporting features for organizations.
Here are 5 reasons it would be worthwhile to make the shift:
Most computers would struggle to open a 300 megabyte .csv, making analysis and reporting in Excel a challenge. Power BI has very impressive compression abilities for Microsoft Excel and text/.csv files, which allows you to view, analyse and visualize huge quantities of data that cannot be opened in Excel. Can you imagine having all your files stored, connected, thoroughly analysed, and using only 50mb? That’s now a reality with Microsoft’s Power BI, which uses powerful compression algorithms to import and cache the data within the .PBIX file.
Analysing trends with Power BI is extremely easy. With built-in time intelligence features, it only takes seconds to view vast amounts of data. You can view data by various dimensions and attributes, including date-time dimensions.
If you don’t have the date in a schema structure, you can easily create a date dimension table in seconds to allow the time intelligence functions to work. As an analytics consultant, I have personally met business executives who spend hours every month writing Excel macros across various large files to get comparisons in the form of a time series. These executives work across several large Excel files, be it through using VBA or other coding methods.
The beauty of Power BI is how easy it is to make something visually appealing and neat with limited creativity or UX skills. Drag-and-drop functionality, easy resizing, and copying and pasting makes those who are familiar with the Microsoft Office suite feel right at home.
Creating consistent branding and colour schemas has never been easier than now with Power BI themes. An organization’s branding department can now create a simple Power BI branding theme, in the form of a .json file, and each analyst has only to import this theme during development. From there they will all be creating graphs and charts that are consistent with one another in terms of colouring
Once you have finished constructing your Power BI analysis, you need a way to publish and disseminate your dashboards and reports. In Excel this would typically involve emailing a large file around, putting it in a shared drive or SharePoint portal, and letting people know it has been updated. Now with Power BI, this process has been completely revolutionized.
Adding Row Level Security (RLS), something this was previously complicated in Excel, can now easily be done for different groups by non-coders. A good of example of using RLS is to ensure that employees can only see data relevant to their local geography. Adding these access filters is simple, and the risk of others seeing data they shouldn’t from mailing around an Excel file is eliminated. To set up RLS, the filters for different “roles” are set up within Power BI, and the individuals/ groups are added to the roles through the Power BI Service online.
Power BI is an easy tool to use that helps propel organizations into a data driven culture. With powerful self-service abilities, no longer are business users dependent on IT for gathering, transforming and analyzing data. Automation of dataset integration, ease of expansion into new data sources, rapid visualizations, and easily deployable Row Level Security are amongst the many reasons Power BI is a necessity