What is Business Intelligence and why do you need it

Monitoring economic trends and market needs is crucial for any business, however, some situations cannot be predicted. The current global economic downturn provoked by the coronavirus pandemic is a prime example of that. In such unpredictable situation managers especially need to measure the company's performance in order to respond quickly to any changes. The usual reporting forms (Excel, presentations, printed reports) are losing their value as they lack the required flexibility and do not reflect the actual state of a business at a given point in time.

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Business Intelligence (BI) is a tool that enables you to solve these problems having the following benefits:

  • Simple and fast access to data in real time;
  • Ability to connect to any data sources at simultaneously;
  • Simple and reliable management of data access levels for different employees;
  • Quick processing of large amounts of data (over 1 million lines);
  • No errors or inaccuracies in report preparation;
  • Interactivity and convenient analysis of results at different levels of detail;
  • Visual representation of key performance indicators and automatic notifications in case of any changes;
  • Possibility of forecasting and modeling;
  • Cost reduction in report preparation and analysis in terms of time and money.

BI systems help to solve various problems of an organization at any level. Here are the examples of processes that may be implemented using BI tools for each of the company's departments:

  • The financial department will be able to plan expenses and income with any level of detail;
  • The sales department will be able to analyze the reasons for deviations from the targets and evaluate the effectiveness of sales for each segment;
  • The marketing department will have a tool for visualizing web analytics and the effectiveness of marketing campaigns, as well as for analyzing the prices of competitors;
  • The production department will be able to carry out scheduling, quality management and more flexible production management;
  • The IT department will get a possibility to integrate with infrastructure management and monitoring systems and tools for analyzing incidents and service requests;
  • The HR department will be able to monitor and analyze key performance indicators of personnel and demographic data of employees (gender, age by position and department, etc.);
  • The investment department will acquire a tool for analyzing risks and returns to select the efficient projects.

Microsoft Power BI is the leader among BI tools

The world's leading software providers, including Microsoft, SAP, Oracle, IBM, QlikTech, Salesforce, are actively developing and updating their BI products, which proves the importance and relevance of BI technologies. In its latest research, Gartner names Microsoft Power BI the leader among available BI tools. In our opinion, it is currently the most promising and functional product and we suggest taking a closer look at its features.

Power BI supports the ability to connect to multiple sources simultaneously, eliminating additional costs of setting up a separate infrastructure for data storage. Reports are built once and are updated automatically without additional effort. Power BI allows you to use both Microsoft cloud computing capacities for quick implementation and to deploy required infrastructure based on your own dedicated server. Apart from this, Power BI has all the benefits of the Microsoft ecosystem and enables quick and seamless integration with services such as Azure, Teams, and SharePoint.

A Power BI user can view reports and dashboards from devices across multiple platforms: in any desktop browser, or on an iOS or Android mobile device. In addition, Power BI can track critical KPIs in real time and send alerts to ensure that the user always has the latest data and can make the necessary decision in time.

Below you can find the examples of report visualizations developed in Power BI:

Experience of implementing Power BI – Karl Storz

For Karl Storz, the leading endoscope manufacturer, Mazars Digital consulting team implemented a Microsoft Power BI reporting package for employees of different grades. As a result, employees of various departments gained access to flexible and interactive tools for analyzing live data.

Inna Melnikova, Head of Business Optimization Department at Karl Storz, describes the benefits that Power BI users get:

Using Power BI allows our employees to be aware of the current financial situation of the whole company and each particular department.

The tool also significantly facilitates the “field” work when there is no access to other databases. Thus, each user has direct access to an extensive customer base and the ability to reach the clients directly through the application.

Very useful and functional.

Power BI allows you to create comprehensive and flexible business solutions with benefits of advanced data analysis based on artificial intelligence, quick customization of reporting according to your needs and an intuitive interface for efficient work with data at any level.

We offer you an opportunity to apply for free access to Power BI demo reports to get acquainted with BI functionality and to evaluate its potential of becoming a competitive advantage for your company.

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