30 Reasons You Should Be Considering Power BI – Part 1

A lot of people out there think that the story of Power BI is too good to be true.
Here is a list of the reasons that we think you should consider Power BI as a self-service and/or Enterprise Business Intelligence Solution.
It’s like the new Microsoft

Microsoft have not been the best at listening to traditional customer concerns, however they have consistently delivered world-class business software for many years. Under Satya Nadella’s leadership and James Phillips (head of business applications), Microsoft are changing the landscape of BI software and they look set to dominate this space for the next decade.

Power BI is built from the ground up on SAAS heritage

Built by the crack team who developed the SAAS for Power BI from scratch.

Power BI is built from the ground up on SSIS heritage

Another part of the puzzle that Microsoft have mastered on their first attempt and Microsoft have already proven that it is winning in this space.

Power BI can virtually ingest data from any source

Power BI can easily connect to any on-premise data or cloud data sources such as Google Analytics or Salesforce.com

Power BI is highly compressed

The data in Power BI is 600% more compressed meaning a 1GB database compress down to 85MB

Power BI has a brand-new visualisation engine

Microsoft have built a brand-new HTML 5 compliant visualisation engine – i.e. if it’s a global map and you want to see your country/region’s sales figures, just click on that country for the stats to be revealed. Gone are the days where specialist report writers are required.

Power BI has open-source visualisations

Developers can easily copy and reuse an existing visualisation. They’ve delivered some amazing quality visuals and they’re only getting started.

Power BI is built for Excel users – but it’s not excel

This is self-service BI at its best. The only company that can improve on the UI for the business user community is the same company who built and gave us excel.

Power BI is in the Cloud

The whole of the world is moving to the cloud. Power BI was originally built with the cloud in mind – and the prime fear of security for those not yet in the cloud can be laid to rest with the industrial levels of security in place.

on-premise only? No problem

Not every organisation out there is ready to move to the cloud so there is also a Power BI product that allows a company to keep their data on-premise.

Learn more about how to embrace the power of Power BI on one of our training courses, or look out for part 2 of this blog…

How to Run Successful Appraisals with Difficult Employees

How can we conduct appraisals when the employee is neither happy nor willing to be there?

Words like ‘appraisal’ can make some people want to run a mile! This may be due to pre-conceived ideas about the appraisal process, or unpleasant past experiences – perhaps a previous manager did not do a good job.

We can’t undo what has gone before, but we can acknowledge it and do whatever we can to change their perception of appraisals going forward.

Before the appraisal

What can we do to mitigate the level of challenge before the appraisal discussion begins? Firstly, let the employee know when and where the meeting is taking place and ask them to prepare for it. They need to evaluate their own performance, and bring along evidence of their work achievements to support their evaluation. Remind them why appraisals happen – to help everyone improve and be the best they can be. They’re not being victimised, everyone has an appraisal!

Setting the scene can help the staff member to understand the process, hopefully removing a lot of anxiety about it. It’s a proactive way of making the appraisal itself much more user friendly for both parties.

During the appraisal

What do you do if the employee disagrees with what you are saying? If you’ve prepared properly, then you will have specific examples of their behaviours and actions to support your feedback. If they persist, ask them to justify their comments. Perhaps you’ve missed something? Asking questions will help you to understand.

Also, if they have prepared, they should be able to support what they’re saying with their own examples. Keep challenging them politely to support what they are saying. If they cannot, then they should accept your views.

Alternatively, what do you do if the employee shuts up and remains silent? Remind them that it’s their appraisal, it’s confidential, and they need to contribute. Point out that your feedback about their performance will be recorded on their personnel file, so if they don’t agree with you they need to say so, otherwise you’ll have to assume that your feedback is accurate and they agree with it. They’re doing themselves no favours by staying silent! Later, when they finally say they didn’t agree with the feedback, it will be too late.

What do you do if the employee becomes emotional and starts crying? Offer them a tissue and take a short break. Leave the room, give them time to compose themselves, then rejoin them and check they’re ok to resume the appraisal. Remind them that the appraisal is going to happen, either sooner or later.

What if they become angry, or get up and walk out? Again, it’s time to call a short break as things have become heated. Assess your own contribution here – have you inadvertently caused the outburst? If so, apologise. Perhaps you didn’t explain yourself very well? If they do walk out, follow them at a safe distance, checking they’re not smashing up the office or doing anything else silly. Later, after some cooling off time, call them or approach them and explain that the appraisal still needs to happen – when is a good time?

Conclusion

It seems that not everyone likes appraisals! There’s a lot you can do before the appraisal meeting to help the employee feel more positive about it. If things go awry during the meeting, remember to remain polite, respectful and assertive.

Behaviour breeds behaviour – let yours breed theirs, not the other way around!