10 reasons why Microsoft Power BI is winning over Excel

10 reasons why Microsoft Power BI is winning over Excel

Published by: Kasia Janus
Published date: 30th Jan 2019

Microsoft Excel has been the go-to reporting tool for businesses for years. But since 2015 when Microsoft released Power BI – a “business intelligence” tool that offers powerful analytics and reporting features, which makes it easier to visualise and understand complex data, business users started to shift and it quickly transformed how they analysed and presented their data.

Power BI was designed to help in systematically analysing data and sharing insights. Thanks to the ability to carry out faster experimentation with visualizations, managing calculations and statistical functions across extensive datasets, or the ability to quickly obtain answers via robust dashboards in order to craft effective strategies, it is clear that Power BI delivers far greater insights into data than Excel.

So what does Power BI have that Excel doesn’t?

1. Integrates with multiple cloud services

Power BI was built to integrate with Microsoft technologies like Excel files, SharePoint docs or SQL databases, but is not exclusive to such systems! Since it’s a cloud-based service, it can consolidate and extract data from all other sources. In fact, Power BI currently connects to 60 common software solutions, including, amongst others Salesforce, SAP, Google Analytics, Zendesk, MailChimp, QuickBooks and even Facebook. Thanks to access to a wider range of data you can leverage the insights better and most importantly save a lot of operational time involved in moving and sharing data. Other benefits include: cost effectiveness, getting real-time data updates and being accessible to social media.

2. Combines the data into a centralized dashboard

Analysing information from multiple sources is quicker and easier, as you can view them all in one dashboard! Power BI helps you to stay on top of all insights, and makes it easy to draw comparisons, apply analytics, or chart and visualise reports. And since data modelling is a primary service of Power BI, you don’t have to model data in the native systems before the integration is made. Simply extract all data directly from the cloud, on-premise, and hybrid systems, without a need for complicated manual exports and imports!

3. Custom content pack and Q&A feature

A content pack is a set of out-of-box content allowing users (subscribers) to immediately gain insights from a source, and see data through live dashboards and interactive reports that have been pre-built. Businesses can also create their own customised content packs to combine data from on-premise and the Cloud, and to share within their organization. The Q&A feature lets you get answers by using common phrases and natural language, rather than a code.

Q&A Feature in Microsoft Power BI

4. Access, store and analyse large amount of data without any issues

Power BI uses powerful compression algorithms to import and store the data, which allows you to view, analyse and visualise huge quantities of data that can’t be opened in Excel. Thanks to this impressive feature you don’t need to cut down in size large datasets to show more encompassing analysis anymore, even most detailed reports and summarisations can exists in one file, and can be analysed through drill downs.

5. Spot data trends quickly and easily

Analysing trends with Power BI is extremely easy. With built-in time intelligence features, it only takes seconds to view massive amounts of data. You can view data by various dimensions and attributes, including date-time dimensions.

6. Predictive forecasting

The forecasting feature utilizes built-in predictive forecasting models to automatically detect the step (weekly/monthly /annually) in your data and make predictions or estimates about the future. Power BI looks at your data and selects the best algorithm to run the forecast. This forecasting tool gives Power BI users the ability to use artificial intelligence on their data.

7. Intuitive UX features

No need for advance UX skills, it’s so easy to make something visually great in Power BI! Drag-and-drop functionality, easy resizing, and copying and pasting, all those functionalities will be very familiar for Microsoft Office suite users. Creating graphs and charts that are consistent with one another in terms of colouring has never been easier, thanks to Power BI branding theme.

Power BI dashboard

8. Access Control & Row Level Security Features

Power BI uses Active Directory (AD) for access control, exactly the same control panel used by other Microsoft solutions at your business. Thanks to Row Level Security (RLS) feature you can control security levels and have a power to grant and withdraw access, even to specific rows of data on reports. This creates an extra security layer for all data, and makes your work more efficient which saves time and money. Instead of creating and maintain multiple reports for every team member, you only invest time in building single report, and then with a use of access control restrict which data users can see.

9. Mobile: access on-the-go

While Excel isn’t exactly mobile friendly, with Power BI mobile app for iOS, Android or Windows you can stay on the top of your business with easy access to full dashboards and reports. More mobile functionalities including KPI tracking, or global search function which allows users to search for dashboards, report or groups by name.

10. Schedule Data Refresh

In Power BI (premium) you can conveniently schedule your data refresh to be daily or even hourly. Benefit from faster and more reliable data refresh, that also reduces resource consumption.

Conclusions

Power BI is an easy tool that can help you visually explore your data shamelessly. Thanks to its powerful self-service abilities, business users can work independently and are no longer dependent on IT for gathering, transforming and analysing data. With real-time analytics and visualizations, Power BI can help your business shift to a culture of modern business intelligence, that is focused on data driven decision making.

 

About Codec

Codec are Microsoft partner of the year with 13 gold specialisations across the Microsoft stack. We have a team dedicated to helping organisations better understand and analyse their data through the use of Power BI. We work with some of Ireland’s leading organisations in building Power BI Dashboards.

Contact Codec directly to find out more about our Power BI Services and how they can benefit your organisation by clicking here.

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