Leveraging Power BI for better insights than Excel

Stepping up from Excel

Nowadays, various domains deal with enormous amounts of data. Analyzing them is essential for better performance and obtain business insights. Here is where analytics came into play.
Earlier, raw data were analyzed in Excel for useful insights. These insights are represented in customizable charts. Microsoft Power BI is a self-service business intelligence tool that helps visualize data from multiple sources and transform them into informative insights.
Many people still use Excel for accounting and related works, but Power BI can help them to save time from manual work involved and focus on insights and adding value to the business.

Power BI over Excel

Data Volume and Simplicity-

Power BI can handle huge volume and variety of data - subject to design and environmental constraints. Several tables can be loaded as well as correlated, if required, based upon communal fields. The Power Query Editor and the Data Modelling sections are simpler to use in terms of user interface and easy to use.

Data Connectivity and Auto Refresh-

The Reports can be connected with heterogenous data sources (discrete Databases), Infrastructure varieties (On-Prem, Cloud), Social Media, Salesforce, etc - all become easy with Power BI.  The time consumed by the ODBC Driver of Excel for data import is at the high end when compared to Power BI Workbook.
Auto Refresh is one of the interesting features of Power BI which keeps the data in sync with the connected source. Refresh Now and Scheduled Refresh option keeps all the reports updated.

Reports and Cross Filtering-

Being a reporting tool it allows the user to develop reports interactively and a single graph can provide multiple insights than Excel. With this intuitive feature, reports developed are visually appealing and professional.
Cross filtering is not available in Excel but applicable in Power BI. This allows the users to decide the flow for filtering the data with the relationships between the tables.

Alerts and Emails-

Once a dashboard is created, email alerts can be set up on KPIs eg, alert when inventory falls down, Creation of such alert and triggering an email when a condition is met is made very simpler. Where in Excel, we have to create macros using the VBA editor for sending an email or a reminder.
Other Features-

  • Understanding user needs with NLQ

Natural Language Query, Another interesting feature which allows users to get an answer from the insights in Power BI Service. This feature is useful to users who aren’t aware of the data model and has no time to play with the reports.

  • Quick Insights

Being a BI tool, it runs by intelligence and many algorithms in the backend, which in turn helps users to get interactive insights in a single click.

  • Row Level Security

Adding Row Level Security (RLS), this was previously complicated in Excel, can now easily be done for different groups by non-coders. For example, RLS can be implemented to ensure that employees can only see data relevant to their local geography.

  • Download and Export of Dashboards

Users can download the dashboards or export the reports as PowerPoint presentations or PDF or print for a hardcopy.

Conclusion-

Nowadays data-driven world demands a swift and competent data analytics tool. The future is bright and shiny for analytics – companies are swarming to incorporate data visualization, and to do away with tabular reports with huge reams of numbers. 
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.

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