Power BI is So Easy and So Good
September 30, 2019
Power BI is So Easy and So Good
Score 10 out of 10
Overall Satisfaction with Microsoft Power BI
We started using Power BI a few years ago to spin up some simple reports from various sources. The great thing about the reporting is the automation. As long as I know where the data is coming from, and the source is something I can use for Power BI, I can create excellent, professional reporting that helps us make daily business decisions. It's also very reliable. Most often if there's a problem with our reports, it's due to the data source, not Power BI or its connectors.
- Reporting, reporting, reporting. Power BI is great for reporting. I can create a number of different charts, views, and dashboards for a number of different audiences. It's very helpful for executives to see the big picture, but dynamic enough to take the same data sources and create detailed reports on very specific elements.
- Power BI is easy to use. We went from manual data entry and report creation in Excel to Power BI. There was a learning curve, but I was able to find enough training online to get started.
- Automating the report creation is wonderful. It takes all the manual work out of my old daily processes. My supervisors and bosses have been impressed too. They think it's magic, which makes me look good.
- I can't automate a data source if the source requires a login and password to get into the resource. In the past we got around this issue by having vendors email us an exported .csv file, but for some sources that doesn't work. Maybe there's a better solution for this, but I don't know what it is.
- There are still some more advanced features that I'm trying to figure out, like machine-learning type of reports. It's not quite up to that level of reporting, but I also think if I had more skills or creativity i may be able to figure it out. Just need some more time with it.
We're a Microsoft shop, so Power BI made a lot of sense for us based on our current company strategy and architecture. We used Tableau prior to Power BI as a trial, and it was good too, but it just didn't fit into what we're trying to do strategically. However, I don't feel like I'd be missing a beat if I went with Tableau, but I need more time with that platform to make a good decision.
If I know where the data is, and I always know what format it's going to be in, then bringing in data to Power BI is very easy, especially if it's coming from an Excel or .csv format. However, if it's from a PDF, it's a little tougher. I haven't quite mastered that piece yet. But the data is as real-time as possible. As soon as it's updated, it is reflected in Power BI.
I love how easy it is to share data and distribute it across my organization. Everyone knows how to log into Power BI to see their reports, and depending on their role, they see what they need to see. It's very easy from that standpoint. Everyone loves how easy it is to log into and view reports. Right now we don't have SSO setup, so that's annoying. That's about the only troubleshooting I have to do, or fixing the connection if a file gets moved or changed.
Power BI is great for reporting of any type. The dashboards I create for my executive team are crisp and easy to understand. I often get complements on it, and suggestions on what other reports or data could benefit from Power BI. Power BI is still dependent on data sources, so if my data source connections break, then the report is no good. This isn't something that you can create and forget. It needs eyes on it to ensure the data is correct.