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December 27, 2022

Microsoft Power BI - Getting Started


Nearly 50% of businesses fail within the first five years in the United States. However, there are measures you can implement to help avoid this. Using the right software goes a long way when it comes to ensuring that your company remains successful.

Microsoft Power BI is one of the most powerful applications you can take advantage of. However, not everyone understands how Microsoft Power BI desktop can help influence their business decisions.

Let's take a closer look at the key information you need.

Install the Application

As you might guess, the first step to getting started with Microsoft Power BI is to install the Power BI Desktop application. This is the tool that is required to actually start developing reports and dashboards (think data visualizations and data connectors) for your team.

This can be done through the official website, or you can purchase a license from a third-party vendor if you prefer. Once installed, you will have access to all of the features and capabilities that come with this powerful tool.

Be sure that you keep this in mind so you can take full advantage of it.

Connect Data Sources

To get the most out of Microsoft Power BI, you will also need to connect your data sources. This includes both external and internal applications like SQL Server, Oracle, Salesforce, Dynamics AX, Google Analytics, and more. We are often connecting to Microsoft Project Online and Dynamics 365 in order to create reports for customers.

With the connection established, all of this information can be accessed from one central dashboard. It's also worth noting you can add multiple business users as Microsoft Power BI users here.

Create Reports and Dashboards

The next step is to create reports and dashboards to help you better visualize the data you have connected. The great thing about Microsoft Power BI is that it offers a wide range of visualization options, so you can customize your reports and dashboards according to your needs.

Now is when you can use the powerful visualization tools of Power BI to create some truly dynamics Power BI reports and dashboards. You can also download additional visualizations from other sources to be used in your creations

Plus, with interactive controls like drill-downs, filters, and sorting capabilities, you can easily access more detailed information about the data. This will help you effectively establish a data warehouse.

Your users will love the ability to dynamically filter and group your report by clicking in a visualization in real time. The Power BI Data will be updated as often as the data model is refreshed.

Share Your Results

Once you have created your reports and dashboards, Microsoft Power BI allows you to share them with others in a secure environment via the Power BI Service.

This is great cloud based tool for collaboration purposes as well as keeping everyone on the same page when it comes to data analysis and reporting. You can also use the service to distribute insights to stakeholders, allowing them to understand the results in context.

This will go a long way when it comes to optimizing your business decisions.

What Are the Other Benefits of Microsoft BI?

As previously mentioned, Microsoft Power BI can help your company make better decisions based on its real-time, collected data. Something we hear from organizations time and again is how they often find it very difficult, if not impossible, to get timely and accurate data.

However, that’s not all. The service also provides enhanced security features, ensuring your data remains safe and secure at all times.

Additionally, the application has highly optimized algorithms that allow you to quickly analyze large datasets without any slowdown in performance. Plus, the service is extremely cost-effective and can easily scale with your business.

What Are Common Mistakes That People Make?

One of the most common mistakes people make when using Microsoft Power BI is not taking the time to establish a proper data model. Without doing this, you won’t be able to get the most out of your reports and dashboards.

The data model is the foundation for all your reports and dashboard. It is in the data model where you will add tables and create joins (mostly automatically done). Once this is accomplished it is very common to use DAX to create additional fields via calculated columns, new measure, or even a new table.

You also won't have a strong understanding of your performance metrics.

Additionally, some users forget to connect all of their necessary data sources before creating reports. This can lead to inaccurate results, so it’s important to double-check that all of your sources are connected.

Finally, many people forget to share the insights they gain with their stakeholders. Not taking advantage of this powerful feature can lead to a lack of collaboration and decision-making within the organization.

What if I'm Having Trouble Getting Started with Microsoft Power BI?

If you’re having trouble getting started with Microsoft Power BI, there are plenty of resources available to help. Start by exploring the official website and taking advantage of their tutorials and case studies.

Also, be sure to read up on best practices and advice from experts in the field. There is also a large user community where you can ask questions and get answers from experienced users.

Finally, there are many professionals who can provide Power BI consulting services to help you get the most out of the tool.

What Should I Look For in a Professional?

Not every company will be able to meet your requirements.

Researching your available options is something you cannot overlook. To get started, perform a quick Google search to look into their past reputation.

The only way to know what you can expect this by seeing what others have had to say. The more you research, the more likely you are to make the best decision.

Working with someone that has notable experience in the industry is also crucial. This will help ensure that they are able to meet all of your needs.

Taking a look at their past work can help provide the answers you need. Make sure you avoid companies that have not previously worked with people like you.

Without this consideration, you run the risk of encountering issues in the future. Never make a decision before looking at their billing structure. You can then be sure to avoid unexpected costs later on.

How easy is it for you to communicate with them? The right professional for you will be easy to talk to and easy to get in touch with. This will help you get the most out of your business intelligence.

Microsoft Power BI Doesn't Have to Be Difficult

Although it might seem complicated at first, using Microsoft Power BI is much easier than it seems. As long as you keep the above information in mind, you'll be sure to meet your needs.

Looking for more information about what we can do? Get in touch with us today to see how we can help.

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