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    December 3, 2020

    Acting on real-time data to improve your business with Power BI

    Power BI is a business intelligence and analytics tool that, among other capabilities, enables businesses to act on data in real time.

    Users, from CEOs to department managers and field service agents, can set up personalized dashboards with live visualizations of information relevant to their roles and objectives.

    If a notable change or pattern emerges, they’ll see it on their dashboard and use it to inform next steps. Or they can easily access up-to-date data as needed by generating custom reports within the Power BI platform.

    Additionally, teams can design department-specific dashboards to keep an eye on metrics important to them, such as sales or marketing performance.

    Real-time data dramatically shortens the time it takes to receive actionable information. It’s worth pausing to digest the value here. Many businesses’ reporting processes are limited, and it can take days, weeks and even months for reports to come through. They’re continually operating on aged-out information.

    This doesn’t serve the needs of businesses today.

    Yes, you can still make great business decisions when you analyze reports on a monthly or quarterly basis. But imagine the possibilities if you could see data right away, any employee could access those insights, and new reports could be generated quickly. Also, consider that your competitors are reviewing these same possibilities, raising the stakes today.

    Real-World Applications for Real-Time Data Analytics

    With access to up-to-the-minute information, users can react faster, allowing them to stay ahead of internal and external disruption, and act sooner on opportunities. But what does that look like?

    Here’s how businesses are using real-time data in their operations.

    • Conduct Immediate Maintenance on Equipment – Using the Internet of Things (IoT), access data from your equipment and machinery to monitor performance, catch issues as they occur and even recognize patterns that warn of potential failure so you can perform predictive maintenance.
    • Improve Efficiency With Live Energy Data – Monitor energy use across your operations to see where you can increase efficiency. You might find ways to adjust by time of day or uncover energy waste, such as equipment that uses more energy than necessary.
    • Optimize Operations to Fit the Day’s Need – Daily data can let you know if you’re over- or under-staffed as volume changes from day to day. Being able to monitor real-time volume allows you to get ahead of surges, reduce downtime and reallocate tasks.
    • Catch Abnormal Financial Transaction Data – You can catch abnormalities in your financial information much faster than with weekly or monthly reporting. This will make it easier to trace transactions, determine if they’re problematic and immediately address any issues.
    • Scale Inventory Needs – Make quick decisions about inventory with instant visibility into sales performance across segments. Should demand surge or drop, such as with the coronavirus pandemic, you’ll catch it sooner so you can get in touch with your suppliers and take actions that will either reduce costs or capitalize on opportunities.
    • Edit Campaigns as You Go With Current Marketing Data – With up-to-the-minute data from marketing campaigns, you can monitor effectiveness and how audiences interact – and improve them from day to day to optimize your time, spending and reach. For instance, if a campaign is resonating well with a certain audience segment or in a specific location, you can concentrate your efforts there. Or if a campaign isn’t getting any traction at all, it’s easy to switch gears.
    • Monitor Sales Team Performance Day to Day – Know how individual sales reps and teams are performing throughout the day, week and month so you can identify issues and opportunities right away. Seeing this data on a daily basis, you can easily monitor quotas, win rates and results. You can also see where sales reps can be more efficient, which team members would benefit from additional training, which strategies are working best in the moment, and which opportunities and products are strengths for certain reps.
    • Locate Assets and Products – Connect the Internet of Things (IoT) to your Power BI platform to get real-time location tracking on everything from your fleet vehicles to products as they move along the supply chain. Having this information from minute to minute means you can anticipate delays and shortages and act to buffer the impact. You can also see where tracked items have been redirected, where bottlenecks tend to occur, and where an item or vehicle has completely stalled on its journey.

    These use cases barely scratch the surface of what’s possible with Power BI. Our Power BI team at Enavate can help you get the most out of the platform, so you can put actionable data in front of the right people at the right time. Get in touch to learn more.

    About the Author

    Ray Fratto Head Shot 300x300Ray Fratto, Business Intelligence Practice Leader, Enavate
    Ray Fratto is a Business Intelligence Practice Leader at Enavate. He has over 20 years of delivering solutions on Microsoft data and reporting platforms. In his day to day, Ray consults, writes, speaks, and teaches about business intelligence, data warehousing, and reporting solutions. Ray has advised companies around the world to realize their goals of modernizing their analytical processes. Critical to this is simplifying and streamlining integrations, building more effective data solutions to support organizational growth, and creating visualizations that allow for more rapid decision making.  

    Ray Fratto

    Ray Fratto is a Business Intelligence Practice Leader at Enavate. He has over 20 years of delivering solutions on Microsoft data and reporting platforms. In his day to day, Ray consults, writes, speaks, and teaches about business intelligence, data warehousing, and reporting solutions. Ray has advised companies around the world to realize their goals of modernizing their analytical processes. Critical to this is simplifying and streamlining integrations, building more effective data solutions to support organizational growth, and creating visualizations that allow for more rapid decision making.

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