Small businesses need to be resilient. You’re in a constant ‘David and Goliath’ type situation with cash happy competitors. Then just when you’re getting ahead, an unexpected challenge (here’s looking at you, COVID-19) completely alters the playing field.
Where well-resourced corporations can buy their way out of trouble, smaller companies and start-ups have to resort to strategy. They have to use their smarts. And it doesn’t come much smarter than Power BI from Microsoft. As your Brisbane Power BI consultants, we want to tell you a bit more about this unique software.
What is Power BI?
BI stands for Business Intelligence, and Power BI is a suite of business analytic tools. It collects data from different sources and presents it in interactive dashboards. We’re talking meaningful insights into everything from customers and markets to logistics and staffing. All broken down into visually appealing and easily comprehended reports and visuals. That is power.
Most businesses have all sorts of data, and Power BI brings it together. From Salesforce and Excel to Facebook, more than sixty apps can be quickly integrated. You can see your entire business in a single dashboard and make connections or spot opportunities in moments. Performing queries is easy and results are available in well-designed graphic options.
For small businesses, competing with well-resourced corporations can feel mismatched. It pays to focus on tools and techniques that tip the game in your favour. Trying to match big enterprise IT budgets may not be realistic, but small players shouldn’t be afraid to reach high. Power BI gives you that reach.
Why Power BI Matters
Data is the lifeblood of any business. Think about it… analytics of their enormous data volumes gave big business insights into customer behaviours, patterns and motivations. It was costly data crunching, but very effective.
Small businesses could only match that with their ability to provide a personable service. You get to know your customers better and can cater to their individual tastes and preferences.
Now, with Power BI, the playing field is level, especially for those with more modest means.
The basic Power BI package is free, while pro users get some great additional tools. It is also designed to be easy to use, so users don’t need to be data engineers to get results. Let’s take a look at the three levels of Power BI available in Australia:
Power BI Desktop
Desktop is the starting point for Power BI users. Its completely free for all users, as well as being included in all Office 365 plans. That doesn’t detract in any way from the immense value it offers:
– You can connect to your data, no matter where it is.
– Transform and model it into charts and graphs.
– Create visual reports that can be shared with others.
– Desktop uses the familiar tools of office to help you provide advanced analytics.
– AI-driven analytics allow you to discover insights that promote better results.
Power BI Pro
The Pro version brings all the tools and benefits of Power Bi Desktop. You get the same visualisation capabilities, templates and data insights. The main difference is found in the sharing and collaboration features in Pro. In Desktop when you share data or a report it becomes public, whereas in Pro you can share privately with other Pro users. You can also create App workspaces and peer-to-peer sharing.
Power BI Pro is licensed per user and is mostly used by larger companies with a strong focus on their business analytics.
Power BI Premium
Power BI Premium comes with a different licensing model. Instead of licensing individual users, you pay for a capacity size with different memory and virtual cores. This makes scalability easier as data analysis requirements change. All your data content is stored and can be viewed by anyone in your organisation, not just individually-licensed users.
Why You Should Use Power BI
What can you do with all this information Power BI helps you glean from your data? How can it improve your resilience to the raft of challenges facing business today?
Well, say you’re in retail. You get more accurate prediction of buying patterns, so you can have the right stock on the shelf and avoid overstocking elsewhere. You can also identify where spending needs to be tightened, or where you will get more value investing your resources. You can even unearth strong supporting information about which products or business locations will bring you greatest returns.
Of course, you may be already gathering and reporting much of this information already. Power BI just pulls together the diverse information very quickly – no more running overnight reports that are out of date before they finish printing. When you have the information quickly, you get to use the agility that small and mid-sized businesses are known for. And agility promotes resilience. Well-supported business decisions promote success.
Brisbane Power BI Consultants
Smile IT can help you integrate Power BI in your own environment and start bringing your data to life. Our team of techs can assist with your Power BI setup and deployment, software integration and training.
As your IT partner Smile It is completely invested in your success. If you’re part of a business looking to improve your data analytics processes, get in touch with us today. We’d love to help you become more resilient to the changing business environment.
When he’s not writing tech articles or turning IT startups into established and consistent managed service providers, Peter Drummond can be found kitesurfing on the Gold Coast or hanging out with his family!