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    July 15, 2022

    How Microsoft Power BI Empowers Data-Driven Success

    Analytics are the lifeblood of any organization; they help you see what is happening across every area of your business and enable teams to make intelligent, data-driven decisions.  

    Power BI is Microsoft’s leading business intelligence tool. It gathers data from various sources to provide businesses with in-depth demand forecasts and operational insights. By integrating your Power BI with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, you can gain a holistic view of your organization by viewing big-picture reports or specific breakdowns within a central, user-friendly portal.  

    With this tool, you can develop a data-driven culture, so you have the resources needed to be more productive and efficient and protect yourself from unexpected setbacks and supply chain fluctuations.  

    What is Microsoft Power BI? 

    Microsoft Power BI is a reporting tool, but it does more than generate reports – it helps businesses break down and visualize their data. With it, teams can review key performance indicators (KPIs) and analyze the data points that matter most.  

    For instance, with Power BI, your sales team can keep track of sales results in various regions, your marketing teams can analyze campaign successes and your financial teams can keep track of invoicing metrics and days sales outstanding. Power BI’s reports are fully customizable, so each part of your organization can monitor the analytics relevant to them 

    Flexible Integrations 

    Because Power BI is so flexible, you don’t have to worry about migrating to new tracking systems to use it. Although integrating Power BI with Dynamics 365 Business Central can unlock unique functions and insights, Business Central isn’t necessary to use Power BI. Instead, you can use Power BI to analyze information from Salesforce, Google Analytics, proprietary databases, and any other platform you use to generate insights.  

    Automatic Reporting 

    With legacy systems like Microsoft Dynamics GP, teams have to pull analytics from various sources, compile the data into spreadsheets and send out the final reports. Often, teams are expected to do this daily or weekly, which requires significant time and resources. With Power BI, you can eliminate these kinds of manual processes. Instead of physically compiling several separate reports, Power BI automatically pulls data from whatever analytics platform it is connected to and consolidates information into an easy-to-read dashboard. Power BI provides a hands-free way to merge data and generate powerful visualizations.  

    Fully-Customizable Reports 

    Some companies worry that automated reports will be difficult to read and won’t look how they want them to. But, because the dashboards within Power BI are so customizable, you can use drag-and-drop functionality to design each report so they look just right. Also, after you develop a report once, it will consistently look the same until you change it again, so every breakdown and analysis will be laid out exactly how you want it.  

    Greater Coworking Options 

    Power BI displays information in real-time and is accessible by anyone with a license. So, instead of creating, designing, and sending five different reports to your manager or CEO each week, you can hop directly into Power BI (or Business Central) and see specially-designed analytics in real-time. The best part is that your manager or CEO can do the same thing, so everyone has access to the most up-to-date information.  

    Power BI is great for any company and offers dynamic reporting options to everyone, whether you want to analyze KPIs, back-up business goals with accurate, real-time data, or review information from an operational view versus a transactional perspective.  

    How Can Companies Get Started with Power BI? 

    There are two basic options for Power BI: Power BI Desktop and the online Power BI service. Power BI Desktop is free; you can download it and connect it to any data source to create reports without paying for licensing. You can use this option to develop basic reports and send insights to other users via an excel or document file.  

    If you need all users to have access to the most current analytics, Power BI Desktop may not be the best option. For instance, they can download and view the excel file you sent but will only have access to the information you had when you created the report. 

    The online, professional version of Power BI, on the other hand, is a subscription-based option that enables anyone with a license to access reports in real-time through a central Power BI portal. This allows teams to access current information and frees up the time and resources necessary to create and send reports via the desktop version.   

    To get started, companies should find a trusted Microsoft partner, to help them determine which applications best suit their unique business needs. Power BI and Business Central are both applications that operate within Microsoft’s Azure infrastructure. Because of this, businesses operating on legacy systems like Microsoft GP can easily transfer their data into an Azure data lake (a digital storage option) and access historical insights through Power BI or Business Central to generate reports. With help from the right team, you won’t lose any of your valuable data and can create reports that closely resemble the ones you are used to. 

    Enavate’s team can help you migrate your systems, transfer data to Azure, set up customized Power BI reports and connect your platforms to create an omnichannel environment for your reporting and analytics.  

    How to Utilize Power BI 

    Once you’ve set up Power BI, you can start generating reports to make smarter, data-driven decisions.  

    For instance, let’s say you want to reduce your days sales outstanding and encourage customers to pay their invoices more quickly. Maybe you’ve determined that one way to improve this metric is by sending out invoices more quickly, so you tell your team that beginning next month, they must send out invoices within 30 days instead of 45.  

    With Power BI, you can track days sales outstanding after implementing this new policy and compare it to past analytics to determine whether or not it was effective. If you don’t see a significant change, you may need to go back to the drawing board and find another strategy to encourage customers to pay more quickly. 

    Power-up Your Analytic Reporting 

    Power BI helps businesses become more productive, effective, and data-driven. With Power BI, teams can see powerful, real-time insights and make choices based on accurate information instead of hunches and obsolete data.  

    To learn more about Power BI and how this solution can help your company become a data-driven organization, take a look at our in-depth webinar or contact our team of Enavate experts.   

    Melissa Grover

    Melissa Grover is a Senior Solutions consultant for Enavate Managed Services, a DXC Services Partner. She has over 20 years supporting ERP solutions for small to medium range companies with a primary focus on Microsoft Dynamics software. She has strong organizational, technical and troubleshooting skills. She enjoys running, hiking and spending time with family and friends.

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