Ask not what BI can do for you…

Oct 26, 2016
BI is all about getting the right reports in the right format. Right?
Well… it is and… it isn’t.
After all, a report is just showing you the facts and figures on your business. But what about the deeper insights behind these figures?
Nowadays, a self-service analytics tool like Power BI can help you get so much more out of your reporting.

Traditional vs. Power BI

I have been a BI consultant for 10 years now, and within a traditional BI context, these are the questions I get most often:

  1. ‘Can I modify reports myself or, even better, create new ones?’
  2. ‘Can we add new fields from our local system ourselves, or do we need you to do that?’
  3. ‘Am I able to drill-through to the details and see the data that is behind?’

All very legitimate questions and the traditional answer used to be: ‘Well, yes… but…’. In fact, many BI solutions do provide such functionalities in both a simple and sustainable manner.

But Power BI really takes this to a whole new level. Imagine your IT department has created the ideal analytics starting point: a data warehouse with all the quality data you need.

Now, instead of having IT create predefined reports and reporting models (cubes, universes, etc.) for you, Power BI simply allows you to create your own reporting models and lets you name them whatever you want. Need a new field? Just add it to the model you created yourself.

The next step is to create your own reports and share them when needed. With Power BI, creating a report is as simple as performing some drag-and-drop operations. You actually change the visualization in just one click.

Maybe you don’t want create your own reports: you just want to query your data right now! Want to know which customers generated between 100.000 and 500.000 euro of revenue last year? Simply type into the Power BI Q&A system “show customer name as table, where total gross sales amount in 2015 between 100000 and 500000”, and… voilà. A results list is instantly generated. Agile BI at its best!

Finally, you may want to better understand what you’re looking at. After all, 100 is just a figure. Really understanding why this is 100 and not 10, requires you to dig into the details behind this figure. With just one click on the See Records button, you can now see all the ins and outs of each figure.
As a BI consultant who has seen many companies struggle with the flexibility of their reporting, this is in a glance what Power BI can do for you.

It’s time to stop asking what BI can do for you. Instead, ask what you can do with Power BI!
Want to know more? Do reach out to me!

Enjoy the power of Power BI!

Author: Edel Boone. You can contact Edel by e-mail