The core purpose of Business Intelligence is to support and facilitate better business decisions. It allows organizations to access information that is critical to the success of multiple areas including sales, finance, marketing, and a multitude of other areas and departments
There are various tools available for Data analysis, Business Intelligence and reporting in which these are some most popular
Among these, Power BI is one of the best tools used by
industry professionals today
Power BI makes your job easier and more impactful at the same time. All that data becomes charts and graphs, and visualizes key insights. Instead of long lists and numbers, your data insights are beautiful, with colorful visuals that tell stories about the insights of your data
Business intelligence (BI) is a technology-driven process for analyzing data and delivering actionable information that helps executives, managers and workers make informed business decisions.
As part of the BI process
● Organizations collect data from internal IT systems and external sources
● Prepare it for analysis
● Run queries against the data and create data visualizations
BI dashboards and reports to make the analytics results available to business users for operational decision-making and strategic planning.
The importance of business intelligence continues to grow as businesses face an ever-increasing flow of raw data and the challenges of gaining insight from enormous volumes of information. Business intelligence helps organizations analyze data with a historical context i.e.
● Optimize operations
● Track performance
● Accelerate and improve decision-making
● Identify and eliminate business problems and inefficiencies
● Identify market trends and patterns
● Drive new revenues and profitability
● Increase productivity and accelerate growth
● Analyze customer behavior
● Compare data with competitors
Dashboards are a wonderful way to monitor your business, get quick and relevant reports, and glance quickly at important metrics. A BI dashboard is a one-page canvas that uses visualizations to tell a story. A dashboard connects different tables and columns to create a meaningful visualization. Visualization elements like charts and graphs offer an overview of any business’ operations. Dashboards are extremely important for an organization’s stakeholders since multiple departments can access single-page dashboards that allow them to understand their business.
Using KPI (Key Performance Indicators) a user can check the level of business processes implementation (e.g. sale) and evaluate the effectiveness of their realization (e.g. cost, time, quality).
● Financial KPI’s
● Customer KPI’s
● Operational KPI’s
● Marketing KPI’s
● Sales KPI’s
● Process Performance Indicators
● Quantitative Indicators
● Qualitative Indicators
● Leading Indicators
● Lagging Indicators
● Actionable Indicators
Power BI was introduced by Microsoft to combine the multiple data visualization features into one. Power BI is the new term for the data-driven industry and thus carries a lot of opportunities on its shoulders. It comes as a package of three major components:
● Power BI services
● Power BI Desktop
● Power BI mobile app
Power BI is a strong business analytical tool that creates useful insights and reports by collating data from unrelated sources. This data can be extracted from any source like Microsoft Excel or hybrid data warehouses.
● Easily connect, clean and mashup data
● Ingest, transform and integrate Big Data
● Build powerful models and dashboards
● Create stunning interactive reports
● Share insights with others
The three major connectivity modes in Power BI are: Direct Query: The method allows direct connection to the Power BI model. The data doesn’t get stored in Power BI. Interestingly, Power BI will only store the metadata of the data tables involved and not the actual data. The supported sources of data query are:
● Amazon Redshift
● Azure HDInsight Spark (Beta)
● Azure SQL Database
● Azure SQL Data Warehouse
● Oracle Database (version 12 and above)
● SAP Business Warehouse (Beta)
● SAP HANA
● Spark (Beta) (version 0.9 and above)
● SQL Server
● Teradata Database
The data source is the point from which the data has been retrieved. It can be anything like files in various formats (.xlsx, .csv, .pbix, .xml, .txt etc) i.e Databases
● SQL database
● SQL Data Warehouse
● Spark on Azure HDInsight
● Google Analytics
The major building blocks of Power BI are:
Datasets: Dataset is a collection of data gathered from various sources like SQL Server, Azure, Text, Oracle, XML, JSON, and many more. With the Get Data feature in Power BI, we can easily fetch data from any data source.
Reports: Reports are a structured representation of datasets that consists of multiple pages. Reports help to extract important information and insights from datasets to make major business decisions.
Dashboards: A dashboard is a single-page representation of reports made of various datasets. Each element is termed a tile.
Tiles: Tiles are single-block containing visualizations of a report. Tiles help to differentiate each report.
Visualization is a graphical representation of data. We can use visualizations to create reports and dashboards. The kinds of visualizations available in Power BI are
● Bar charts
● Column charts
● Line chart
● Area chart
● Stacked area chart
● Ribbon chart
● Waterfall chart
● Scatter chart
● Pie chart
● Donut chart
● Tree-map chart
● Map, Funnel chart
● Gauge chart
● R script visual
● Python visual etc.
● Finance & Banking
● HR & Payroll
● Consulting Services
● Food and Beverages
● Operations Analytics
● Product Analytics
● Growth Analytics
● Product Revenue Analysis
● Product/Service Reachability Analysis
● Sales Analytics
● Human Resources Analytics
● Customer Service Analytics
● Marketing Analytics
Power BI is a powerful interactive data visualization and analytics tool that can draw data from a wide variety of sources including budgeting and forecasting data that can reside in an ERP system and/or Excel. In many cases, Excel is still the tool of choice for an organization’s planning and budgeting process especially if there is not a lot of complexity and minimal requirements in the model structure.
Power BI can function as an aggregation and modeling tool, to aggregate separate planning datasets (created in Excel or other systems) together with data actuals and create a consolidated planning report. There are still some downsides to this approach, especially uncovering errors when using Excel and implementing top down changes.
Anyone and everyone can use Power BI to their advantage. But even then a specific set of users are more likely to use it:
● Management Team: Management team who are managing whole business departments and divisions and responsible for whole functions. They can take timely and critical decisions based on existing data pattern
● Service/Product/Process Owners: Teams who are managing any service, product and key business processes to take certain decisions to increase the profitability and business sales.
● Business Users: Business users are the ones who constantly keep an eye on the reports to make important business decisions based on the insights.
● Business Analysts: Analysts are the ones who create dashboards, reports, and visual representations of data to study the dataset properly. Studying data needs an analytical eye to capture important trends within the reports.
● Developers: Developers are involved while creating custom visuals to create Power BI, integrating Power BI with other applications, etc.
● Professionals: They use Power BI to check the data scalability, security, and availability of data.