I love this program. Having joined the KGC Solutions team at the beginning of this year with a background in geography and spatial data analysis using mapping programs like ESRI ArcGIS in grad school, learning and working with Power BI has been right up my alley. When I discovered that Power BI is officially integrated with ArcGIS, that was icing on the cake!
You don’t have to be like me and love working with data. This tool makes life at work simply easier, and it’s a heck of a lot more interesting and pleasing to the eyes than putzing around in an Excel spreadsheet. Dare I use the word fun? Power BI is useful in any industry and any organization, whether you work for a state university in Virginia, a small chain of Mediterranean-style restaurants in Minneapolis, a startup solar-powered event production company in San Diego, or the world’s largest manufacturer of AA batteries.
So what’s so special about this thing? Why should you be interested? Well, first of all: it’s engaging. Enticing and colorful visualizations of your company’s most important numbers and trends will make meetings with your staff much more interesting, and everyone will be much more likely to retain the info you’re throwing at them. How often have you heard someone say, “I’m a visual learner”? Probably a lot, because 65% of the general population is. You’re probably also having a more difficult time in 2019 holding onto people’s attention when you’re competing with those pocket-sized (well, not so much anymore) computer-phones and their moth-like allure. Power BI dashboards are interactive, highly customizable, and can be queried on the spot if someone has a question about last quarter’s drop in Romaine lettuce revenue during your New Year, New Greens kickoff meeting.
It’s automated. Yes, the world is moving faster and faster and faster, and we all have our own opinions about that, but if you’re resistant to the automation trend, let’s just say the train has left the station. Fortunately for you and me, with Power BI there’s no more need to create new reports from scratch every single month entirely in Excel. Power BI can be set up with automatic data refresh so that when you update your data source, your reports and dashboards update automatically. It’s seriously amazing.
Is it a perfect program? No. I’m not super keen on having to click the Format tab every time I click a different visualization tile, but I have faith that little kinks like that will be resolved as updates are released. Overall, it’s intuitive, easy to use, and has that same look and feel we’re used to with the classic Office 365 applications. I predict that Power BI will be a go-to classic for businesses everywhere. With big data available in every corner of the global economy as time moves forward, it’s a powerful tool that helps us visualize our data so we can make more informed decisions.
Click here to learn more about Power BI.