Nowadays, businesses are dealing with huge amounts of data, which is true for brands hailing from diverse sectors. These entities obtain such data from both online and offline sources. The reality is just gathering data is not enough, but businesses also need to compile and process the data properly. This is where the data analytic and business intelligence software solutions come into the picture. There are plenty of BI solutions available, but Microsoft Power BI is a leading contender.
The basics of Power BI
Power BI comes from the stable of Microsoft, and it is a feature-packed data analytics and BI solution. It is used by businesses of varying sizes and types across the world. With it, you can connect to diverse data sources and then compile the data without hassle. It also lets you generate intuitive reports and view the output in many formats, online and through printed media. Creating different types of charts is also possible. The tool also lets you share the reports without issues.
Power BI is available in different versions, and pricing is also different for those. There is a desktop version, and a mobile app is also there. For enterprise users seeking advanced feature sets, Microsoft offers Power BI in two unique flavors- namely Premium and professional. In fact, businesses can opt for more customized Power BI solutions aka Power BI Report Server.
Power BI features that give it an edge over rivals and lure the users
Microsoft unveiled Power BI as a powerful and versatile data analytics and BI solution targeting a wide gamut of users. Its customer base has grown steadily. Brands hailing from sectors like IT, education, FMCG, healthcare have embraced the platform for their operational needs. As per Microsoft, over 250,000 organizations are using the BI solution globally.
One of the reasons for Power BI enjoying an edge over rival offerings and its steady popularity is the consistent addition of new features. Microsoft keeps adding new and useful features every year to the tool, making it more lucrative to the users. Listed here are some useful features of Power BI that give it a competitive edge:
Smooth UI- The UI of Power BI is simple and devoid of clutter. Even for a first-time user, using the tool and getting habituated to the UI is not hard. The UI is also quite customizable, and that makes it more acceptable to new users.
Integration with Microsoft products- It is a fact that thousands of companies from various sectors use Microsoft software applications and online services. They would prefer using a BI solution that syncs with such software applications easily. In this regard, Power BI scores very well. It offers superb integration with applications like Microsoft Excel, Dynamics 365, and Teams. Data sharing between MS Office suites and Power BI is a smooth experience.
A multitude of charts and graphs- The charts are useful for showcasing data in a visually understandable manner. Power BI supports a wide range of charts like pie, donut, and linear charts. These charts can be useful for various brands. These can be showcasing for making region and time-wise sales reports, growth trends, etc. It also offers the option of using custom visual elements for making reports and graphs.
Amazing report creation and sharing capabilities- Report creation is a prerequisite in any BI solution. Using Power BI, generating reports is a cakewalk. These reports can be shared with others, even if they do not use this tool.
Flexible pricing model- Power Bi pricing is very flexible, making the platform well-suited for a broad range of users. The desktop edition is free, and it has enough features for SMBs and average users. The feature-laden Premium edition is now available for $20/month for each user. The company offers a 60-day free trial, which is longer than what most competing services offer.
Compatibility with third-party services- Power BI not only integrates with Microsoft’s own solutions and software, but it has good compatibility with third-party cloud services. It also offers good database connectivity. This makes it easy for organizations that rely on diverse third-party cloud services and online tools to sync and utilize data.
Regular updates- Microsoft is particular about updating the Power Bi as a platform. It pays attention to user feedback and adds new features almost on a monthly basis. It also irons out the existing glitches in the tool. Not all BI solution providers match Power BI on this front.
Decent security- When you use a BI tool and deal with a huge amount of data, application security has to be analyzed. Insecurity aspect, Power BI scores well. It deploys Azure security through a cloud environment. The Azure Vnet connectivity feature is meant for securing outbound connectivity. The embedded Azure Active Directory feature is useful for validating user authentication.
Data compression- One big advantage of Power BI is it can achieve excellent data compression. The Power BI Workbooks tend to be 1/10th of the original data sets in size. This can be helpful for companies that deal with mammoth amounts of data. Power BI sails smoothly with large datasets with over 100 million records.
Native R integration- While Power Bi is simple to use, that does not mean it lacks advanced data analysis capabilities. It supports an open-source programming language called R by default. It is used mostly by data analytics veterans. The ace power bi consultants power can incorporate detailed R visualizations into the application’s dashboard without hassles.
Usage simplification with Q&A feature- If you had thought to use a feature-rich BI tool, you have to be well-versed in coding or know how to program, relax. Power BI comes with a handy and simple Q&A feature. You just have to type in a plain question pertaining to data sets, and you will get a visual representation of the answer soon. The mobile Power BI app lets you use voice-based queries too. The tool’s natural language query engine is intuitive and powerful.
Hire a consultant or agency for making the best use of Power BI
While Power BI is a versatile and useful BI solution, you have to know the right ways to use it for your business needs. It is not hard to learn the application and use it but hiring a veteran power bi developer would be a better option. This is what you should do if business growth and proper analysis of market trends are what you seek. You may choose a power BI development agency or a freelancing Power BI consultant based on your budget and requirements.
Wrapping it up
Nowadays, most BI solutions come laden with useful features and offer to woo the target users. However, Power BI gets an edge on some key grounds over the others. Brands already using other Microsoft solutions and products will prefer it for excellent compatibility. In fact, its support for third-party cloud services and online tools is also top-notch. The regular updates, enhanced security provisions, and diversity of versions make it a great contender for businesses of varying dimensions.