Businesses across many industries are turning to Microsoft Power BI (Power BI) to help inform their business decisions because of its flexibility, ease of use and low cost.
Here we answer some of the questions mid-market financial services companies are asking before embarking on their Power BI journey.
What is Microsoft Power BI?
Power BI is Microsoft’s cloud-based intelligence product that provides businesses with a single, consolidated view of their most critical data.
Is Power BI included in my license agreement?
It depends on the type of license agreement you have and which version of Power BI you feel is right for your business. The Desktop version enables businesses to get started for free, the Pro version enables data and reports to be published and shared via the Microsoft Cloud. Premium capacity offers enterprise-level licensing based on an entire organization rather than an individual user.
Where does Power BI share my data?
The location in which Power BI shares data and reports depends on the version of Power BI you are licensing. With Power BI Desktop, data is kept locally on the machine or network. To take advantage of the full sharing capability of Power BI and publish reports to the Microsoft Cloud, you will require a Pro license.
Will Power BI replace Excel?
Excel may be the right tool for your business and Power BI does not attempt to replace it. If there is business demand for the features and functionality Power BI offers, it can co-exist alongside and supplement Excel.
How do you connect to the data sources from Power BI?
There are various ways of connecting to data sources but Rest API offers the most efficient and effective way of pulling data into a report.
What’s usually the biggest challenge when moving to Power BI reporting?
The biggest challenge is usually securing a reliable and efficient data loading process where there are multiple data sources. From time to time there can be failures in APIs or data feeds when relying on 3rd party sources.
How much effort is it to maintain Power BI?
This depends largely on the complexity and size of the reports, as well as the data sources. Typically Power BI reports are set up with automated refreshes to remove the manual efforts and maintenance required from the end-user. What’s more, if you choose to store everything in the cloud, there is no need to maintain servers. If business requirements and data sources are constantly changing then some level of support will be required.
Initial set-up and ongoing maintenance can be challenging and that’s why many mid-market financial services firms are leaning on specialist Managed Service Providers for support.
If you have any additional questions on Power BI and the value it can bring to your business, please contact us.