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…

Improve Time Management using easy Microsoft Outlook Tricks

Emails, emails and more emails – we’re bombarded by them almost constantly! We waste so much effort in Outlook taking time to read, time to organise, time to process and time to action.

Follow the quick steps below to embrace some of the fantastic features of Microsoft Outlook and learn to manage your email time effectively!

Steps for outlook

Delete or Ignore It

If you don’t need it, delete it straight away. If you don’t want to receive emails that are part of the same thread, then Ignore It. This moves future emails of the exact same thread to Deleted Items.

Do It and then File/Delete

If you can action in a couple of minutes then do it.  Set a Quick Step to then move the email to a specified folder via a one click. Alternatively set a Quick Step to Reply & Delete, again via a one click.

Delegate It

If it’s not your area, forward to a colleague. Set a Quick Step that forwards the email to a colleague and then deletes it.

Defer It

If you can’t deal with it quickly, set a Follow Up flag for Today, Tomorrow, This Week etc and then find these quickly via a Search Folder.

Drag the email to the Tasks component on the navigation pane to create a task out of the email and set start and due dates. Alternatively, Quick Steps to create tasks from emails.

Create your own Categories and apply to messages which can be found quickly using Search Folders.

Get Organised and Clean Up

Reduce emails by Cleaning Up conversations – this keeps the latest email with the email thread but moves the individual replies to Deleted Items.

Create Search Folders by keywords, project names, for follow up, categories, colleague names and more which enables you to find emails in super quick time in your mail box.

Add folders or search folders to the Favourites area to access quickly.

Use Rules to automate actions when emails are received. For example, set a rule for Automatic Replies so that responses to meeting requests (that don’t have content) are moved to Deleted Items.

Manage Actions with Tasks

Use Tasks for things you need to do for single or recurring tasks and set reminders. In many cases emails are actions, so turn these into tasks and reduce down your email inbox.

Try not to enter tasks on your calendar as this becomes overrun with actions.

Using Microsoft OneNote? Flag notes in OneNote and they will be displayed in your Outlook task list.

Don’t forget the Calendar

Enter appointments and meetings only on the calendar. Attach files into your meetings so you have everything together ready.

Use natural language for entering meeting dates quickly. For example, in the Start Time box simply type ‘tomorrow’ or ‘first Monday next month’, or ‘last Thursday in January’ and Outlook does the rest!

You can also enter a number of days and Outlook will work out the date.

Use shortcuts to display your calendar days. For example, select day view and press ALT+2 for the next 2 days, ALT+3 for the next 3 days and so on to ALT+0 which displays the next 10 days.

Summary

Taking the time to learn some simple techniques in Microsoft Outlook can save you a huge amount of time in organising and processing your emails!

If reading this has made you feel totally out of your depth, you may be interested in attending one of our Outlook training courses. Alternatively, check out our Microsoft Applications training or Productivity Programs for more areas to improve your efficiency at work!