BI tools such as SAP Crystal Reports and IBM Cognos appeared in the early years to speed up decision-making processes. To transform functional data into useful data, both tools require large investments in IT infrastructure – involvement in the development of several well-experienced professionals. Although there are reasonable arguments for companies using traditional Business Intelligence methods. For example, greater reporting functionality, but the overall costs of these solutions are too high. Below you find a brief explanation on the benefits of Power BI for data analysis.
New self-service Business Intelligence Era
In the recent time, Business Intelligence tools operating in real time began to appear. These tools collect data and provide live access to them. Data collected using various systems, transaction databases, flat files and web logs – are integrated, updated and stored in a data warehouse on an ongoing basis. Costs of real time BI are falling due to the use of the power of the data warehouse located on the cloud.
There are more and more companies on the market specializing in Business Intelligence real time solutions (in real time). Many of them offer customized pricing models. Will this, among others, cause the end of traditional BI tools? The answer is not simple. When the company decides that data centralization can be unprofitable, then a tool that is simpler and cheaper to implement will win.
If you’re ready to try the technologies of the future – it’s good to start with Power BI and Microsoft Azure.
Power BI for data analysis
Power BI is one of the leading tools on the market for data analysis. Thanks to easy operation and powerful data modeling capabilities, we are able to quickly implement the business data model. Additionaly we can analyze data in a multidimensional structure. Power BI uses the extensive capabilities of Direct Query, which allow the analysis of data from transactional databases in live mode. Power BI also offers a unique transition to real-time analysis.
Microsoft Azure enables users to leverage the capabilities of Azure Stream Analytics and use this data in Power BI. That improves the applications publication time.
Stream Analytics and Power BI is an elegant combination for real-time data analysis. With these tools, organization information is streamed directly from Azure Stream Analytics for analysis in Power BI. The tools described above offer the possibility not only of fast data processing but also the wide possibilities of publishing applications. One of the most forward-looking ways to build analytical solutions is embedded analytics. Nesting Power BI is also not a challenge. To use this service and share embedded dashboards and reports, you must consider the offer of Power BI Embedded or Power BI Premium services. This is an addition to the Power BI Pro account.
Power BI integration with Microsoft Azure
Integration of data through the Azure platform with the Power BI service and nesting it in the mainframe organizational system corresponds to the majority of companies that want to visually analyze data. Azure offers cloud-based data storage that increases the speed at which a company can process its internal and external data and prepare it for visualization. The combination of Azure and Power BI capabilities to render interactive dashboards using REST API and SDK interfaces reduces the time to design an analytical application. Azure SQL has built-in security and advanced clusters that go far beyond the current structure of many companies. Now, thanks to this service, the company can secure its data in the cloud and expand the storage of data to the petabytes. Thus reducing the total costs of maintaining the BI infrastructure.
Data warehouses in enterprises can be complex, and different sets of data can reside on multiple servers located in different places. Thanks to the combination of SLA 98.91% Azure HDInsight and Power BI, the company can be sure that it has a BI solution that meets all system requirements and will be scalable.
Key features and benefits of Microsoft Power BI for data analysis include:
Very close integration with SQL Server and Azure. Using SQL Server analysis services on-premises or Azure analysis services in the cloud, users can build robust, reusable data models. Reporting could be odne using live connection to multidimensional database with automatic refresh enabled.
Fast Power BI implementation and lower total cost of the ownership (TCO). First report creation just takes around 1 month from zero point to production implementation. Additionaly Power BI has much lower costs compared to it’s compettitors. It gives an opportunity to smaller companies implement it and use for daily reporting and data analysis.
Power BI services are available in different geography locations. Each data center offers the same level of security, privacy, compliance, and transparency as the global version of Power BI. Additionaly apart cloud availability Power BI has introduced version which could be installed on-premises. Power BI Reporting Server is the solution which gives you possibility to connect to on-premises data sources and publish your reports and dashboards across your organization.
Vide range of different data connectors and still expanding. Power BI has ability to connect to nearly any application or data source (literally hundreds of options). There is no matter whether those resources are located on the cloud or on-premises. A few examples include Excel spreadsheets, GitHub, Mail Chimp, SharePoint, and Google Analytics.
Version upgrading every month. The Power BI products are updated nearly every month with new features and functions. You will access to the microsoft recources where new features are presented and could be used after new version download.
Other Microsoft Power BI benefits
- Power BI gives you posibility to ask questions with it’s QA feature. You are able to ask questions using natural language and Power BI will prepare the answer using charts and tables. Sometimes it could be fastest way to perform ad-hoc analysis and have fast anwsers regarding your data. QA feature on of the most innovative sfeatures introduced into Business Intelligence world.
- You don’t need to know programming language to start using Power BI. Most part of functionalities and analyses could be achieved using drag and drop techniques as well as using only mouse and available buttons. If your organization already uses Microsoft systems (such as Office 365), using Power BI will feel natural as it integrates easily with Office 365 Groups and Microsoft Teams. Sometimes Power BI pro has some free licenses included in your Office 365 package.
- Power BI is very simple to use. Almost every business user who is used day by day excel will find out how to use Power BI for data analysis.
- It has easy API which could be connected to different applications. Power BI could be easily embedded into differenet application – into your internal business apps such as Share Point or SaaS application. It allows you to share insight around the world.
- Dashboards, reports, and datasets are at the heart of Power BI. Users can create personalized dashboards, which combine on-premises and cloud-born data in a single view, allowing them to monitor their most important data enterprise wide and from all their business apps.
To Sum Up
Above points definetly shows all benefits of Power BI for data analysis. However, advanced implementation of Power BI and Azure still requires an experienced data analyst and a small team of BI specialists. This team will integrate, clean up, load and analyze all necessary data. Also, it is not an important step to optimize processing efficiency to speed up the operation of procedures. At the end, BI specialists will present drawn business applications using interactive dashboards.
See how we implement Power BI for one of the global Startups.