Build Your Data Culture with Power Bi

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What is Data-Driven Decision-Making?

Data-driven decision-making (DDDM) are behaviours whereby company leaders or analysts uses the information from the business data of their organization to make decisions that will impact and drive organizational goals. These data can be produced from different sources such as; sales volume, marketing ROI, staff performance which explains productivity and efficiency, financial documents, servicing data, patient diagnosis data etc.

A data-driven decision-making culture would involve the production and analysis of data for decision making on a regular basis. To a certain extent, there is a reliance on data. Without data, organisations may feel lost and unable to make business decision. It may also mean that decision making is made on a fully ‘scientific’ and logical basis, which minimizes human errors from interpretation. Although decision making by humans will always be subject to a degree of interpretations due to emotions, beliefs and other factors. Hence in DDDM, organizations and departments are allowing the data to do lead and ‘do most of the talking’.

That said, to develop a good DDDM culture, organizations must allow data to play out, and allow the waves of statistics. To inculcate a successful DDDM culture is an initiative that would involve all activities of the organization right down to each employee. All employees must be empowered to ‘contribute’ to these business data produced and have it up for analysis. In conclusion, to start a DDDM culture, the organization must be prepared to invest heavily in their employees, change or adaptation of new procedures, and the adoption of analytics tools.

Interface of Power Bi in Various Devices
Image Source: PowerBi

Components of Data-Driven Decision-Making Culture

Data: The main ingredient for a DDDM culture. The part about procedures that we mentioned are condiments. Whether a dish turns out great, it will depend largely on the condiments. So, remember that employee buy-in in DDDM is very important. These business data are hosted in-premises, in the cloud, or a hybrid. The equivalent applies for the data structure, that is data can be either be organized, unstructured or in any sort. Of course, a good analytic host will be able to quickly locate and organize the data you need. We will discuss more on this later. So, in data, we are talking about any sort of raw records, databases or images that may be pertinent to the business.

Analytic Tool: Analytics is making meaning out of data. An analytics tool connects all the data collected to present them in a viewable format for humans, helping them understand the meaning of certain data before they make decisions. A good analytics tool is like the cooking facilities. With good cooking facilities, you could control the temperature, set automation to ensure sufficient mixing, and perform a whole lot of required measures for your cooking. All these within the confines of employee safety! In this case, usability.

What is Power Bi? 

Power Bi is a data visualization tool by Microsoft. Power Bi generate data insights from integrated software applications to present them in an easy and readable format for user analysis. Users will need to setup these integrations to automatically collect these data or import them manually. Then they can create their reports on a dashboard. Power Bi will enable businesses to start a data-driven decision-making (DDDM) culture. That is, by giving businesses the analytic tools to quickly reveal essential data, and putting them on dashboards for any business decision making.

Usages of Power Bi in Retail Data Culture
Image Source: PowerBi

Why Power Bi for your Data Culture?

Self Service:

Power Bi is made for user ease of use. Data collected could be easily analyzed and run through to produce dashboard reports. Teams can share and collaborate on the data. The reports can be printed or exported for external study or presentation at meetings. By the way, no data scientist or developer are required throughout these steps.

Intelligent AI:

With datasets, Power Bi helps find answers to organization problems with machine learning capabilities. Users can build models and set up automations that will quickly find insights from data. Power Bi can be used to create all sorts of reports for any department as long as there are integrations with the respective software. Whether be it your CRM, HR management, Operations, Supply Chain etc. Most notably, organization can use Power Bi to understand their relationship with their customers and work on real-time improvement, directly contributing to key business results.

Integration:

As mentioned previously, Power Bi need integration. What more to integrate with some of the best-known productivity suite ever with Office 365. Whether it is Excel, Teams or PowerPoint, with Power Bi, any data keyed into these integrations could be setup for analysis. Who else does not start their work journey without Microsoft Office? Its familiar. So, no steep curve to learn.

Coming back to a good host, Power Bi can integrate with Azure, another Microsoft product. So, it’s a convenient one platform for everything. In laymen terms, Azure is super capable because it can analyse petabytes (1 petabyte = 1,000 TB = 1,000,000 GB) of data at totally no sweat. It is cloud technology. It can also be setup to automate the monitoring, management and deployment of analytics which reduces huge workloads on users. Users can pull any data required out from the cloud at quick speed to make all kinds of reports. If you are already in your DDDM journey, speak to the Power Bi expert about migrating to Azure or how Power Bi can be hosted in current platform. Whichever works best without huge investment in costs, time and manpower.

Community-Driven Innovation:

Concerns? Questions? Troubleshooting? Improvements? Suggestions? Get all of them in Power Bi’s community of Power Bi’s users. As a user yourself, you could contribute to the huge knowledge base or receive weekly and monthly updates to the many features and capabilities. Of course, you could contact a Power Bi customer representative, but it is built on the idea of ‘self-service’. So, Power Bi must be easy. Actually, super easy in order for it to work for the non-developer and it is that.

Usages of Power Bi in Hospitals' Data Culture
Image Source: PowerBi

Real-Time Capabilities Enabled:

Everything moves so fast now, so being updated in real-time is a must. Add-on notifications, you can perform your DDDM not only decisively, but also swiftly on the move. Power Bi streams analytics in real-time. You can even use the Mobile App version to check your analytics, then collaborate with your team on what needs to be done accordingly. That means working from home with Power Bi is no issue at all!

Free to Start:

Similar to many other Microsoft Software and applications, Power Bi is accessible and affordable for all. Anyone can start at no fee with Power Bi Desktop plan. With a free plan, you could actually connect to your data, start preparing them for analytics and generate reports. There aren’t actually limitations in these except that some features, mostly advanced ones, are only available in the paid plans. A minor inconvenience is also that a free plan does not allow publish and share with the team straight away. But try it first, and if required, go for the most basic plan, Power Bi Pro at US$9.99/month per user.

What is Power Bi? (Video Source: Microsoft Power Bi)

Final Thoughts

Data-driven decision-making is exceptionally important for any organization looking for the competitive edge in the current business world. Who wouldn’t trust statistics? With Power Bi’s insights, organization could now spare more time on pertinent issues. Power Bi’s analytics quickly and powerfully analyses, leading to reliable and prompt decision. Organisation looking for the DDDM transformation touch should seriously look at Power Bi.

Perhaps one of the things to check is their direction moving forward. If Microsoft have any plans to integrate with other software because Office 365 is not such a specialized tool, but more of a generic productivity tool. If Power Bi could integrate with for instance, invoicing software, CRM software, telematics etc., then this tool will have huge potential to be the top suite. However again, to start DDDM with Power Bi depends on current infrastructures of the company and how much resources a company is willing to invest.

Activities

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Read about Workato for your workflow and process automation which comes with analytics.

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