Everybody should be using Power BI – 10 Reasons Why

What is Power bi?

Perhaps you have heard it said that everybody should be using Power BI. But what is it, exactly? Power BI is a collection of software services, apps, and connectors. These work together to turn unrelated data sources into coherent, visually immersive, and interactive insights.

The application consists of several elements that all work together, starting with these three basics:

  • A Windows desktop application
  • An online SaaS (Software as a Service) service
  • Mobile apps for Windows, iOS, and Android devices

Built on Excel technology, the application will feel familiar to more advanced Excel users. You create visualisations in much the same way as you do with Pivot Tables. Power BI will make you much more productive  in your data analysis and reporting. This increased efficiency will lead to greater profitability.

everybody should be using power bi

Power BI is easy to use and it’s cheap to train users

It’s intuitive and easy to learn for most users. The training costs are low and learner adoption is rapid.

 it has free mobile apps

Microsoft have released mobile applications that are free for Windows, Apple, and Android.

You can subscribe via email

Most of us would like a static report to appear in our inbox every morning when we power up. All you need to do is to go to your report tab, click ‘subscribe via email’.  You will then receive a nicely formatted PDF document, ready for printing. However, these reports are so much better when you have full interactivity.

it can be embedded into your own custom apps

When working from the ground up, you’ll always have the option of designing your own architecture around it. So, if you want to build your own website and set user access via your own login credentials, this will be no problem for Microsoft.

it is extremely competitively priced

It’s free to try for as long as you want. However, if you want to take advantage of all the enterprise features such as automatic refreshes, controlled sharing of data, then all you have to pay is a mere $9.99 per month.

Power bi has a modelling engine that power users can learn

Microsoft is conveniently enabling a culture of self-service which is breeding a new generation of ‘developers’. Power BI uses a language called DAX (Data Analysis Expressions); this is a functional language that can easily be learned by Excel professionals.

The application has data loading tools that power users can learn

Power Query, which is also built into Excel, is so easy to use, it’s almost embarrassing to the skilled developers out there.

Power BI provides self-service Business Intelligence

The app is self-service Business Intelligence personified. Any competent Excel user can learn to use the tools, allowing them to become semi self-sufficient in their analytics and reporting.

it is an Enterprise-strength tool

Power BI has the foundation to be an enterprise-strength tool. No matter the size or complexity of your enterprise, the application is able to process your data.

consolidation dashboards

Among other things, Power BI is  a data source aggregator. It doesn’t matter where the data originates from, all you have to do is to click on a visualisation to view the information.

It is time for you to invest in Power BI, both the software and the training!

 

Upgrading to Office 365 – Managing the Changeover

changing to Office 365

Office 365 has more applications, as well as faster and more collaborative ways to work and communicate than ever before.  There are both online and desktop versions available for most of the apps. Office 365 also offers amazing new tools and features. Are you upgrading to Office 365 but finding that managing the changeover is tricky? 

Change brings challenges

The end user is often the last stakeholder to be considered when a business makes the change to Office 365. How do end users normally feel about the decision made by the business to make the software upgrade?

Upgrading to Office 365

When any business undergoes periods of change, there will be a sense of uncertainty and hesitancy amongst the staff. The leaders of the business need to address these issues before they become concerns.

The solution is the pairing of training and support from Management. This will see any project through from the initial announcement through to its delivery and execution.

The business needs to address the following  key areas to ensure that the emotional and practical needs of the workforce are met. Implementing these steps, the business will deliver on employees’ expectations.

COMMUNICATING THE CHANGE

End users will be moving to the Cloud with Office 365. For a lot of people, this could be a major change to how they work, depending on what they do. The management team needs to communicate the plan clearly and manage the change effectively. This will ensure a smooth transition.

Management also needs to communicate the reasons for the change.  Keep the staff informed of the milestones of the journey and the dates when the key changes will be taking place.

WHAT does EFFECTIVE END USER TRAINING LOOK LIKE?

People often ask, ‘What exactly is Microsoft Office 365?’ The simple answer is secure access to cloud based email, calendars, websites and Office applications, anytime, anywhere.

A common misconception is that Office 365 is complex, technical and hard to learn. To address this, the business needs to provide a comprehensive training programme to ensure that all staff become confident and efficient end users.

The best approach is to use a blend of practical instructor led workshops where delegates will be shown how to access and use a variety of apps and functionalities in order to maximise the adoption of Office 365.

The training should take place a considered, inclusive, and safe environment.  The delegates’ learning needs to be supported with plenty of time allotted for questions, demonstrations and practice.

POST TRAINING SUPPORT

Many businesses and training providers fall into the trap of not providing enough floorwalking support in the post training phase of Office 365 deployments. Having this extra degree of support once users are in a ‘live’ environment can make a real difference in meeting the needs of end users. It will guarantee a smooth transition as users embrace and fully adopt the new technology.

By always keeping in mind the emotional and practical needs of staff during a period of major change, with the right layers of support, end users will eventually start using the technology to its full potential, allowing the business to prosper.

Upgrading to Office 365 and managing the changeover can be tricky but effective management and training will ensure a successful roll-out.

More STL Blogs on Office 365:

 

15 Reasons Your Business Should be Using Office 365