Microsoft Power BI is a free, self-service business intelligence cloud service. It offers tools for non-technical business customers to aggregate, analyze, view and share data. The Power BI interface is very intuitive for users familiar with Excel. Its deep integration with other Microsoft products makes it a very versatile tool that requires very little initial training. See in this article how this tool can make a difference in your business!

1. More accessible data

Power BI is designed to integrate with Microsoft technology, such as SharePoint documents or SQL databases. It can also enhance other solutions. Power BI connects to a variety of software and services that companies already use to extract data in a centralized, easy-to-manage dashboard.

Being data modeling a primary service of Power BI, users do not need to model schemas in native systems before integrating them. This means data can be extracted directly from the cloud, local, and hybrid systems (depending on the software pack). No need for complicated manual exports and imports!

2. Access Control

Power BI configures user access through Active Directory (AD) – the same control panel that an organization uses for other Microsoft solutions. However, what makes BI different is fine-tuning permissions. This allows your staff to grant access to a very specific data level.

For example, through Power BI automation, you can control which team members have access to specific rows of data in reports. This means that you can use the easy-to-implement access controls to set rules such as “just show data from this 6-10 lines of accounting”, while executives can still see the full report.

3. Robust security

The security advantage of Power BI is in its content packs – data users can view without having access to the database. This allows them to see graphs and tables, but not to manipulate raw data. It also protects against human errors and makes Power BI compatible as a system, since data is encrypted at rest.

This not only makes data safer but also increases the usefulness of your reports. You can spend time creating a single report and use permissions to restrict which elements users can see. This type of security filtering is much easier – and less expensive – than creating and maintaining reports for each team member.

4. Easy implementation

Few IT resources are required to deploy Power BI. In fact, some instances do not require any engineering. Managers simply need to create an API key and connect it to the software.

If your organization already uses Microsoft systems, using Power BI will be seamless. It integrates easily with Office 365 groups and Microsoft teams. Without high configuration costs or extensive training, the financial benefits of implementing Power BI are immediate.

5. Concentration on important metrics

Gathering insights from your data is very easy with the simple Power BI drag-and-drop user experience. You can quickly find the data you are looking for and view it in interactive reports. Once your report is ready, you can save it to your personal dashboard.

Imagine seeing all your data – from all your applications – in one dashboard. For example, in a situation where, for decision-making or analysis, you need to have quick access to all your financial metrics, employee productivity numbers, customer satisfaction scores, and marketing metrics, you can have it all in one only place with Power BI.

Now that you know Power BI, check out 5 technology trends to keep an eye in 2018!

BI Leader at AlfaPeople