Garnering data is mandatory for business companies of all sizes and scales, but if it becomes illegible, then the entire venture of gathering it would be meaningless. If you’re thinking about implementing a platform that will help you differentiate useful, actionable insight from the data that you amassed, then you need Microsoft Power BI. Here you’ll find out how to use this platform to generate interactive business reports.
Very few business owners all over the world would say that they aren’t aware of the term “business intelligence” or its importance. Every day, newer and more interactive business intelligence tools keep appearing in the market, and they appeal to hundreds of organizations. After all, every company is searching for solutions to their crisis. In such a situation, professionals who can handle Microsoft’s flagship BI software program called Power BI are in high demand. This particular BI solution helps people analyze and visualize the data that they accumulate meticulously. Even business owners with a non-technical background can use this tool to create interactive reports. Here you’ll learn how to use Microsoft Power BI.
About the program
According to the providers of customized IT services and solutions, Microsoft Power BI is a business intelligence platform that provides non-technical business people with specific tools. With these tools, they can aggregate, analyze, visualize, and share business data. The user interface of Power BI is quite an intuitive one. Any individual with an understanding of MS-Excel shouldn’t have too much of a problem using this program. You can integrate Power BI with almost every other software product released by Microsoft. This particular feature makes this solution versatile. You won’t have to put a lot of effort into using it and it requires little upfront training.
About the reports
Specialists of customized IT services and solutions say that a Power BI report can give you a multi-perspective view into a dataset combined with visualizations that represent various insights and findings from that dataset. One report can have a single visualization or several pages full of visualizations. These visualizations are very much like a dashboard, but they serve an entirely different purpose. Unlike other visualizations, the ones offered by Power BI aren’t static. They are incredibly interactive and perfectly customizable. Whenever you introduce any changes to the underlying data, the visualizations keep adapting to it. Furthermore, you can add and remove data, change the types of visualizations, and apply filters to the model to discover more insights and search for answers.
About the report server
The next thing that you need to understand is the Power BI Report Server. It’s an on-premises report server with a web portal through which you can showcase and manage reports as well as KPIs. Apart from these things, you get the tools that you need to create Power BI reports, mobile reports, paginated reports, and KPIs. It bears a significant resemblance to SQL Server Reporting Services and the Power BI online service but in various ways. For instance, the Power BI Report Server hosts MS-Excel files and Power BI reports. Just like the Reporting Services, Power BI Report Server is on-premises and hosts paginated reports. Users would be able to access those reports in several ways to view them on web browsers, mobile devices, or as an email in their inbox. It’s safe to say that the Power BI Report Server is a superset of Reporting Services. You can use Power BI Report Server to do everything that you did while using Reporting Services, and more, with the addition of support for Power BI Reports.
Tips to use Power BI to create interactive reports
Sometimes, you require a bit of extra help if you want to get the most out of your data, as understood by the specialists of a renowned software development company. Here are a few tips on creating interactive and powerful reports using Microsoft Power BI.
- Not for the sake of variety: There’s no need to work with different types of visualizations just to make use of every option that Microsoft Power BI has to offer. The ultimate purpose of those visualizations is to paint a picture that’s easy enough to go through and interpret. Simply graphical representations are more than enough for specific pieces of data.
- Use the right charts: When it comes to charts, make sure that you choose the ones that don’t distort reality. For instance, 3D charts are often difficult to handle. Reports created using 3D charts would be challenging to understand and decipher if you don’t use it properly. Researchers believe that it’s trickier for the human brain to interpret circular shapes.
- Encoding quantitative data: Make sure that you encode quantitative data appropriately. Avoid going higher than three or four numerals when displaying numbers. So, instead of writing “4,500,000”, you should write “4.5 million.”
- Levels of precision and time: People who use Power BI often end up mixing the levels of precision and time. You mustn’t make this mistake. It’s vital to understand all the time frames. Also, avoid keeping a chart created last month next to charts that you filtered from a specific month of the year. Don’t mix big and small measurements on the same scale, either.
- Chart sorting: Pay attention to the chart sorting process. If you want a user to look at the highest or lowest number, then you must sort the chart by the measurements. Conversely, if you want a user to locate a particular category among several of the same, you have to sort it by the axis.
One last tip
Another special tip that comes from the experts of a software development company is about pie charts. You should consider using a pie chart as long as it has less than eight categories. Pie charts make things complicated because you can’t compare the values side by side as you would be able to do if you resort to bar or column charts.