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What's The Story With Microsoft Power BI?

It’s easy to use and if you use Microsoft Office 365®, Power BI® is already available to you. Now, how are you? How is your family? How is work? Let’s pause on that last question, so you can tell me a story about your data. Huh? Just share your dashboard with me! As organizations begin to adopt a more data driven culture, it is critical to have a way to see and measure against your KPIs (or “KR”s if following an OKR model). This information needs to be easily viewed, easily configured and easily actionable by nearly anyone in the organization. Using one of Microsoft’s flagship products means it’s not necessary to be a Data Analyst, a seasoned BI Architect or be well versed in all of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant providers for Analytics and BI Platforms.

- If you use Microsoft Office 365, Power BI is already available to you. – I have found Power BI to be especially powerful for day-to-day ERP users, managers, directors, C-level executives and perhaps even for our, newly critical additions to the workforce, non-sales Customer Success Managers. How well are you able to illustrate your impact on the variables that affect churn and retention, for instance? The beauty of working with Power BI is that it is not necessary to be a power-user for your ERP system data warehouse, cloud or other services in order to quickly and easily develop visualizations that tell a story by using a mix of art and science. I’d venture that you could even onboard your interns with a Power BI project. A Story? Yes-Of-Course-You-Need-A-Story! You’re not alone though. Again, you don’t need to be a Data Analyst. PBI’s “Quick Insights” uses an algorithm that offers you just that, quick insights into your dataset that will act as your detective and helps you to identify the story or stories of your data. You can then easily communicate and collaborate with other users by sharing those stories with visualizations and dashboards via a shared workspace. Then, use these insights in order to make business decisions. Sometimes, I need to see that detail though? No problem. You can actually type questions into the dashboard query box in order to get more pointed details from the data models behind the visualizations. Why Power BI®? Price and power. I’ve created reports in Access, Excel, J.D. Edwards® batch jobs and OneView® and even Lotus 1-2-3®. I’ve also migrated reports from various legacy systems and sources into ReportsNow®, Hubble® and Power BI®. While each solution may have their own benefits, none can deliver the depth of configuration, and ease of use at the same price point. At Main Street, we routinely work with customers to deliver solutions in Power BI that have an ROI of less than 12 months. Now that’s a KPI that’s hard to beat! - Joe Wolf is an ERP Functional Analyst and Business Intelligence Solution Consultant with Main Street Apps.

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