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  • Writer's pictureJason Kaufman

Microsoft Power BI: Top 5 Things Companies Should Be Doing

As a business intelligence tool, Microsoft Power BI pulls data from various sources and creates interactive and visually appealing charts and graphs. Many businesses use Power BI to share analytics and show how their company is doing. But what else can this powerful cloud-based software do? Here are the top five things companies still need to do to take their business analytics reporting to the next level.

1 - Add Customization

There is no doubt that Microsoft Power BI creates stunning, colorful graphs and charts, but you can also customize the software to display information in the best way for your business.

Use Custom Branding: Administrators in Power BI can add company logos, change theme colors, and add a cover picture to the landing page. These changes display throughout your organization and to external users who view your reports through B2B. This will help distinguish your company from all the others and promote brand recognition.

Customize Tooltips: The default tooltip includes the data point value and the category. Customizing the tooltip enables you to add more details to your graphs.

Personalize Dashboard: Use the extensive customization library to change your dashboard so you can see the most critical data. Personalize the interface to create visually appealing reports. View and pull in data from other sources, creating reports and putting it into a customized dashboard.

Create Custom Visualizations: Microsoft Power BI has a wide range of visualizations, including word clouds and box and whisker plots, but you can also create your own. Link a Visio diagram or turn an Excel analytics model into a custom Power BI visualization.

Not only can you customize Power BI for yourself, but you can also allow others to customize the reports you share when viewing them. Your original information does not change, and it gives the end user a more enjoyable experience. When you use the "Personalize visuals" feature in a report, your audience can add or remove the legend, change the visual, and bookmark the changes.

2 - Use Natural Language

Gain insights into your reports with the use of natural language. Use your own words to ask questions. Receive your answer with a visualization. You can specify how you want to present the report or allow Power BI to choose a layout. Use the Q&A box to ask questions about your data. If you own the dataset, you can create featured questions to add to the Q&A box or let Power BI suggest questions.

Natural language processing and machine learning are also used by several interactive visualizations in Power BI to gain insights. Contributing factors are identified and ranked. Root cause analysis is performed by the decomposition tree to help you know where to drill further into the data. Power BI has anomaly detection that investigates line charts and other time series data to find outliers and offer explanations. Smart Narratives identify key takeaways and generate text to create stories.

3 - Tell a Story

When presented properly, you can use data to tell a story of your business's performance. Create a timeline to show your company's progress and what you have done over time. Present the information in Power BI in an engaging way by using the Timeline Storyteller feature. Added scenes, annotations, and captions combined with animated transitions create a visually compelling experience.

Another exciting way to display data is to create an infographic. The Power BI infographic designer custom visual enables you to present information in a way that helps you tell your business's story. A customs visual gallery is available where you can customize shapes, colors, layouts, and tailor charts and graphs.

Create reports and discover the biggest takeaways. Take that data and express it to show the bottom line. Use that information to go from just a set of numbers to real-life scenarios. Then, create a story that people will be drawn to, with everything supported by data.

4 - Integrate With Other Apps

One of the best features of Microsoft Power BI is its ability to integrate with other applications, such as Excel and Teams. Power BI has a whole suite of products in its portfolio, such as Power BI Gateway and Power BI Mobile Applications. In addition, you can embed Power Apps into reports. Integrating with Azure provides an opportunity to share massive amounts of data. Connect Excel and Power BI so Excel users can take advantage of the capabilities of Power BI without having to learn how to use another software package. Integrating with Teams enables you to share reports during meetings, and pinning the Power BI app in Teams will encourage usage and adoption.

Power BI also integrates with Bing. This integration enables you to create maps using the default map coordinates that Bing provides. To create maps more easily, provide hints to Bing. For instance, name columns with geographic descriptions, such as city or state. You can also provide actual latitude and longitude, but make sure it matches up correctly.

5 - Collaborate With Colleagues

Use Power BI app workspaces or Teams to collaborate remotely with others, whether in the next room or working from their home office. Obtaining real-time feedback is essential to creating effective reports. Workspaces allow co-ownership of content and are a great way to make updates and share the work. In Teams, everyone can share their thoughts about the report in the conversation tab, which helps keep all comments in one place.

You can also share or distribute reports, scorecards, and dashboards. With Power BI mobile apps, you can annotate and share directly from the app. In PowerPoint, you can present report pages; with Windows devices, display dashboards and reports using presentation mode.

One final way to collaborate with others is to share your datasets. People can then use this data to create different reports in another workspace.

Do More For Your Organization With Microsoft Power BI

These five things will help you make the most of your Power BI investment. Contact Vest Technical Solutions to schedule a consultation for other IT needs and support. We can create a customized solution for your organization's needs.

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