“Knowledge is Power.”  This saying was first published by Sir Francis Bacon in 1597 in his classic work, “Meditations Sacrae and Human Philosophy”, and since then there have been thousands of variations published.  One version from Jay Shetty, an English author, life coach, and former Hindu monk, says “Knowledge is power, and it can help you overcome any fear of the unexpected. When you learn, you gain more awareness through the process, and you know what pitfalls to look for as you get ready to transition to the next level.”

From a business perspective, gaining insight into the internal workings of your operational processes with a business intelligence tool like Microsoft’s Power BI gives you the power to make informed decisions about what’s effective, what’s not, where, and how to improve process.  Many organizations continue to run on gut-feel and guesswork, while structured and unstructured data, accumulated and sitting in various repositories, goes unused.  According to a 2020 study by Accenture, 60-73% of enterprise data is never analyzed, and this lack of data literacy costs the US economy more than $100 Billion a year.

Process and Performance

As a Microsoft Gold Partner specializing in delivering Business Applications in the Microsoft space, we are seeing an increased interest in our customer base in gaining value from their data. As we deliver Power Apps, Power Automate, and other process automation solutions, we are also working with our clients to envision and build out the reporting component of the solution with Power BI. Most business process automation owners want to know how their process is performing, where the bottlenecks are, and take the opportunity to continuously improve their processes.  It has been especially important to streamline operations these past few years and is likely to continue post-pandemic as organizations adjust to remote, hybrid, and flexible workplace scenarios.

Enterprise Intelligence with Power BI

There is also a rising demand for an enterprise approach to business intelligence using Power BI as the visualization tool.  Most organizations have a wide variety of data sources and Power BI integrates seamlessly with many of them, including all the Microsoft products – Power Platform, Dynamics 365, Excel, Azure, SQL databases, and many more. There are also data connectors for widely used third-party solutions such as Salesforce, Google Analytics, and many others.  Power BI’s ease in which it connects to multiple data sources to build dashboards and visualizations and its relative affordability compared with other business intelligence tools are two of the reasons that Power BI is the leading BI software with more than 36% of the marketplace in 2020 (according to TrustRadius).  Depending on the quality and quantity of your sources and data, you may need to embark on a data warehouse project, if you have a specific use case identified, a data lake project if you prefer a more flexible, less structured approach and/or a data cleansing project – all of which require an investment of time, money and expertise.

What Business Intelligence Brings to the Table

While resource-intensive, taking the necessary steps to gain insight into data is a key initiative for many business leaders. The reasons to invest in business intelligence are many including the ability to:

  • Leverage Insight to improve operational efficiency
  • Make quicker, better-informed decisions
  • Eliminate guesswork and minimize risk
  • Better forecasting
  • Identify and enhance your unique recipe for success

If you are new to business intelligence, exploring Power BI is easy and accessible. On Microsoft’s Getting Started with Power Bi site, you can try Power BI for free and learn more about Power BI Pro, Power BI Premium and Power BI Mobile.  There are also documentation resources, guided learning, online workshops and more.

Get Expert Help with Power BI

If you are seeking expertise to help you begin your business intelligence journey, expand your internal capabilities or accelerate the pace at which you deliver insights and value to your organization, Compass365 can help. Reach out to me at cashbaugh@compass365.com to arrange for a complimentary consultation.

Compass365, a Microsoft Gold Partner, delivers SharePoint, Microsoft Teams and Power Platform solutions that help IT and Business leaders improve the way their organizations operate and how their employees work.