Business intelligence and data driven decision making became a standard way of business improvement processes for many companies. There are numerous BI solutions available on the market, among them Excel with advanced tools for BI like Power Query, Power Pivot and Power BI suite. Excel excels in flexibility and diversity of advanced functions and programming features.
Power BI with Flexibility, Agility and Cost Efficiency
Business performance analysis is a fundamental component to manage organization's competitiveness and business continuity. Business intelligence means measuring performance along with internal and external financial and operational measurements to gain insight about the organization's status regarding its provided services and products. Organizing data to structured information and indicators helps to identify trends and market infrastructure, of a department or product, and sheds light on the organization's ability to continue to be a competitive factor.
Thorough analysis of business performance data requires unification/extraction of data from various sources such as ERP, CRM, SalesForce and others to allow a cross-section situation report. Excel is usually the last part of the analysis before the results are presented to policy makers. Typically, because of the high dynamism that has become an integral part of the competition, analysts need to explore new directions and trends that have not yet been investigated. Sometimes, there is no escape from using the available multi-functions in Excel to get insights. Excel allows great flexibility in data processing, but doing all the work manually without the use of advanced tools is expensive, inefficient and time-consuming. Automation of such processes allows more time for inspection and innovation on the basis of the results.
Power BI As Business Intelligence Platform
The process of utilizing Power BI platform can be described by following ETL (extract transform load) sequence:
1) Import data from various data systems (SQL server, Analysis services, spreadsheets, text files ...)
2) Data processing and business logic model
3) User interface for creating reports
Microsoft BI - The Future Is Now
The globalization process drives the need to improve business competitive advantage and therefore requires accurate analysis of business trends. Such analysis usually requires data consolidation from various sources which may appear a complex project. Business intelligence solutions solve these difficulties through customized integration projects. Excel BI, when done by professionals, can appear an efficient and agile alternative.
Self BI with Microsoft
Office 365 BI suite offers an agile alternative to business intelligence solutions. The suite contains:
- POWER QUERY - import data from various sources and design the data patterns
- POWER PIVOT - native excel add--on to import big amounts of data and apply complex data manipulation logic
- POWER VIEW - allows sharing and presenting insights via POWER BI suite
- POWER MAP - provides geographic based analysis visual platform
BI suite used with Excel suggests advanced environment to create data logic and reach business insights in an efficient way.
POWER BI provides set of tools to present, share and collaborate BI platform:
- POWER BI SITES - present BI visual results through internet browser and Office 365
- POWER BI Q&A - allows textual search in BI platform
- QUERY & DATA MANAGEMENT - developer tool for sharing data logic components
- POWER BI APP - allows presenting BI solution on various Windows devices