Microsoft 365 reporting

10 advantages of using Power BI

Discover the 10 benefits of Power BI, a powerful and intuitive business analytics service for businesses and organizations of all sizes.

What would an organization look like without Power BI? Well, it would still be operational, that’s for sure, but it would miss out on a lot of features and benefits. 10 benefits of Power BI, to be precise; we’ll get to those in a bit.

What is Power BI? 

Power BI is Microsoft’s premier business analytics service designed to give you access to interactive visualizations and business intelligence capabilities. 

What sets Power BI apart from multiple similar services is the ease of use for ordinary individuals. The intuitive user interface allows users to navigate around easily and make their reports and dashboards.

Today’s corporate world and business environment are more competitive than ever. Business intelligence may once have been an additional factor that helped your business to succeed, but it is now almost crucial for survival and long-term sustainability.

Still not convinced about the usefulness of Power BI?

Here’s an overview of 10 features and benefits that Power BI can give you and your business or organization:

1. Interactive personalized dashboards and reports

One of the central features and utilities of Power BI is its varied dashboard and report options, which are not only interactive but can be personalized to a great extent.

Power BI interactive features allow you to:

  • Drill Down/Drill Up: Allows users to explore data at different levels of detail.
  • Cross-Filter: Selecting a data point in one visual can filter other visuals on the same report.
  • Slice: Provide intuitive filtering options for users to slice data by different dimensions.
  • Bookmark: Save the current state of a report page, including filters and slicers, and switch between different views easily.

Working with the countless visualization options in Power BI, dashboards, and reports means you can collate, summarize and present information in a straightforward visual manner. Power BI comes with a comprehensive set of built-in visualizations such as:

  • Bar and Column Charts: Ideal for comparing values across categories.
  • Line and Area Charts: Useful for showing trends over time.
  • Pie and Donut Charts: Effective for illustrating proportions.
  • Scatter and Bubble Charts: Great for showing relationships between two variables.
  • Maps: Various types of maps (basic, filled, and ArcGIS) for geographic data visualization.
  • Tables and Matrices: For detailed data representation.
  • Cards and KPIs: For highlighting key metrics.

Additionally, generating dashboards and reports is no longer a complicated and specialized process. Power BI breaks down that barrier and allows regular untrained employees to benefit from the platform and easily create them – reducing dependency on technical specialists.

2. Real-time information

Similar to the last point, getting new information and data in the old days meant going through the process of report or dashboard generation all over again.

That’s no longer the case, thanks to Power BI, where dashboards and reports are updated with the latest data from the data source in real time, giving you real-time insights that can drastically transform decision-making processes in dynamic business environments.

This one feature results in multiple advantages by itself: time savings, cost savings, increased efficiency, and better decision-making, to name a couple.

3. Integration with a wide array of data sources

One prized feature in particular which makes Power BI a must for your organization is its integration feature that allows you to use many different data sources.

From Microsoft products to third-party tools and sources to data files or server databases, the true extent of Power BI’s data source integration is staggering.

All of this combines to give an organization a powerful data analytics platform that can call upon data from almost unlimited data sources for the most comprehensive and statistically accurate reports.

Also, these data sources are frequently updated and added, continuously expanding the scope of Power BI as an analytics platform.

With Power BI, you can connect to a lot of data sources, including:

  • Databases: SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Teradata, IBM DB2, and more.
  • Cloud Services: Azure SQL Database, Azure Data Lake, Azure Blob Storage, Google BigQuery, Amazon Redshift, Snowflake, and more.
  • Data Warehouses: Azure Synapse Analytics, Google BigQuery, Amazon Redshift.
  • Big Data: Hadoop, Spark, Hive.
  • Online Services: Google Analytics, Salesforce, Dynamics 365, SharePoint Online, Adobe Analytics, and more.
  • Flat Files: Excel, CSV, XML, JSON.

4. Excel integration without compare

Power BI is consistently recognized for its ease of use and versatility, allowing anyone to become proficient with it quickly.

This also extends to welcoming new users. How so? Many businesses still depend on Excel for their reporting or analytic needs, and power BI ensures a seamless transition to its platform by providing robust excel integration.

A business can connect its excel queries, data models, and reports to Power BI’s ecosystem and benefit immediately by using its features and services – without spending time learning a new language or software.

5. Cost-savings

Business intelligence and data analytics were once premium services with premium costs, and the situation still persists to some extent with independent experts or analytic platforms.

However, Power BI has gone a long way in breaking that expensive ceiling by being comparably affordable for businesses of all sizes, from small to big.

Regardless of size, your organization can take advantage of these powerful computing services at a fraction of the cost through Power BI and ensure that you don’t lose out against bigger businesses.

Not to mention the natural cost savings your organization will achieve by transitioning to Power BI and leveraging it in many of your processes – helping you reduce time, redundancies, and errors.

6. Frequent and consistent updates

Despite its power and impressive scope of tools and capabilities, Power BI is very much a living piece of software and a work in progress.

There are regular and consistently frequent updates to the software, which not only add more and more new features but also fix any problems and bugs.

Since it is Microsoft’s premier business intelligence platform, the company takes great care to listen to community suggestions and implement the most demanded changes and functions.

7. Added functionality with other Microsoft apps

Power BI also has built-in functionality and support with many other Microsoft apps, allowing you to take advantage of them when needed.

For example, business users frequently need several Power BI dashboards and reports for their business operations.

Applications for Power BI can help streamline this process by deploying a variety of purpose-built dashboards and reports for efficient and quick distribution to the entire organization or certain groups of individuals.

Another option that opens up through Power BI apps is developers customizing navigation routes to help viewers find their desired content easily and understand the network of relationships connecting different reports and dashboards.

8. The power of modern AI systems at hand

Besides being a business intelligence and data analytics platform, Power BI boasts powerful and robust cutting-edge artificial intelligence prowess.

Microsoft is already a pioneer in AI, and its continuous advances in this field flow down to its Power BI suite of services.

The applications range from preparing data to building machine learning models and finding key insights from structured and unstructured data – without taking days or sometimes even weeks.

As mentioned, these help reduce dependency on expensive technical specialists, allowing even non-data scientists to autonomously create insightful reports and benefit from data on their own.

9. No geographic limits to accessing Power BI

Power BI’s servers are not limited by geographic location since it is a cloud-based platform.

Your employees and organization staff can access Power BI, resume their work, or check their reports and dashboards from any location imaginable, provided they have an internet connection, of course.

And, making it even more convenient, the platform can be accessed through smartphone applications and not only on laptops or desktop computers.

This feature greatly benefits both the employees and the organization if they need to work from home or during travel, ensuring their work is not interrupted, and business operations remain calm and carry on.

10. Collaboration and sharing

Finally, Power BI is a platform meant to facilitate collaboration and sharing. Sharing is as easy as a click of a button. You can quickly share reports and dashboards with internal or external users through channels that allow real-time collaboration – unlike the hoops you had to jump through to share reports and gain feedback from others previously

Furthermore, features such as workspaces allow teams to simultaneously work together on a single report and see what others are doing in the report.

The collaboration and sharing features result in several benefits that will increase the overall efficiency of your business:

  • Quick feedback
  • Active in-sync collaboration
  • Faster decision-making
  • Agile adjustment to new situations

Immense possibility and benefits of Power BI

The above are ten solid benefits and reasons you should strongly consider using Power BI in your organization.

The truth is that the possibilities offered by Power BI are immense as it keeps getting refined and updated with more features. There are many more reasons and benefits which could sing praises about the virtues of Power BI for business use, but if you’re still not convinced, then more simply won’t do.

Keeping it all safe and sound

It must be reiterated, however, that Power BI, though powerful, still has some security risks. Therefore, security will be paramount, and you will best ensure your overall Power BI and M365 environment is well protected.

Tools like Microsoft 365 Groups and Yammer can help you mitigate inherent cons to Power BI and maintain a secure M365 environment that allows you to fully optimize and leverage the benefits of a Power BI workspace no matter which model you go for.

Many IT admins use Syskit Point’s customized easy-to-use provisioning templates for Teams, Yammer Communities, Microsoft 365 Groups, and SharePoint Sites to help solve the challenges of Power BI security.

How to get complete visibility into Power BI workspaces and permissions

Getting detailed visibility into Power BI workspaces is easy with Syskit Point. You can quickly get a list of all detected workspaces in your Microsoft 365 environment in a central web interface and save hours of manual work.

You will get an overview of all dashboards, reports, dataflows, and datasets per each workspace so you can find the answers you need immediately. 

Power BI permissions in Syskit Point

And if you want to find out who has permissions to what, the Power BI workspace permissions report in Syskit Point will give you a detailed overview of who has access to your Power BI workspaces – including directly given permissions as well as users that gained access via a sharing link.

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