June 30, 2020
Microsoft Excel has been the go to application for most business that need instant reports but around 2015, Microsoft released Power BI -a more superior data modelling and visualization tool- that can be accessed under Office 365 applications.
Power BI is a business intelligence service that offers robust analytics and reporting features. It’s an intuitive tool with great visuals making it an easy to use application especially for beginners. It makes complex data easy to interpret by applying statistical functions and calculations. It also gives insights from crafted dashboards, which guide decision-making.
Using Power BI, users can analyze data from multiple sources in one central place. It is therefore easy to compare, analyze and visualize data in simple forms like charts. Company heads and managers can view data related to different departments in one place using Workspace on Power BI. Further, Workspace helps to bring together collections of dashboards and reports making collaboration between staff easier.
It’s a great task for most devices to process a Microsoft Excel file that is say 200GB. In addition, how big a file is, affects the speed of manipulation in a spreadsheet when using Excel. This is not the case when using Power BI. Power BI has one of the best compression abilities making it easy to analyze and store large sets of data in small files as soon as data is imported. Instead of creating a 200GB file, Power BI can analyze and store an equally large amount of data in say a 50MB file.
Power BI has business intelligence capabilities that make it super easy for users to analyze complicated and large sets of data quickly. Using Quick Insights tool, Power BI can pull correlation between data sets, trends and outliers within minutes. This makes it easy for users to draw conclusions that guide decision-making for their organization.
Power BI integrates with other useful cloud based services making it easy to import and export data to Microsoft Excel, SharePoint documents and SQL databases. It also integrates with Mailchimp, Google Analytics, Sales force, some Social Media Platforms among many other services.
A major advantage of Power BI is that it is easy to make aesthetically pleasing reports. It gives users the option of making elegant presentations by giving various in-built visualizations as well as a free market place with additional options. It also has familiar functions like copy and paste, drag and drop, creation of graphs and charts that come easily for Microsoft users.
With the Power BI mobile app, users can access documents anywhere and anytime. This is unlike Microsoft Excel that is not as user friendly on mobile. Users can access dashboards, KPI tracking and reports all on the app, which can be downloaded on Android, iOS and Windows smartphones.
Using the Row Level Security (RLS) features available for Power BI, administrators can grant, withdraw or limit access for team member. RLS has the ability to limit access to particular rows on a report adding an extra layer of security that is not found in Microsoft Excel. It also saves on time as for example, a single report can be created for various team members and access can be limited to a single relevant page for each team member.
In addition, Microsoft upgrades the Power BI features tool every week making it easy to deal with bugs in prior versions.
Power BI has a search button that helps users retrieve data easily and quickly. The ability to type what particular information you want and retrieve it easily increases efficiency in the work process.
Power BI can be used to generate forecast data by predicting what is likely to happen. Once data is fed into Power BI, projections can be generated automatically using in-built algorithms. The use of artificial intelligence reduces chances of mistakes when handling data making the working process more efficient and interesting.
Microsoft Excel remains one of the most useful and ubiquitous data management apps and users can get skills training on it here, to enjoy its full benefits. However, Power BI has become a more powerful and versatile reporting tool compared to Microsoft Excel.
Our team of data scientists can help you harness the power of this great tool by creating custom dashboards for your human resource, accounting, sales departments among others all remotely. Contact us here.