Learn 4 reasons our lead consultant says your business needs to begin utilizing Microsoft Power BI for your sales reporting and how Infuzion Solutions can get you started.
I have been a part of the Microsoft channel for close to 20 years. I have tried a dozen reporting tools released directly from Microsoft and those supported by Microsoft partners within that time. All had pros and cons, but all shared a great passion and excitement of getting data in a streamlined fashion but then most stopped being supported or lost the zeal of excitement in 3-5 years. So I was not excited to devote valuable employee resources to learning the latest Microsoft tool, but we started to dive in again over three years ago at the urging of one of our clients. The reluctance to try another sales reporting tool soon subsided due to the excitement of what Microsoft Power BI has to offer.
4 Reasons I Like Microsoft Power BI
1. Flexible Data Structure There are no limitations to the types of data, fields, or information you can pass into Microsoft Power BI. This flexibility allows you to create reports on any data components that you store within your ERP database or Excel. The pro to this is that it opens the gateway to creativity. The con is that you have to have someone knowledgeable to create the back end data structure to utilize best practices in passing data efficiently.
2. Easy to Use Report Design I often categorize reporting tools in end-user friendly, technical-user friendly, or programmer-user friendly. Once the data is passed to Microsoft Power BI, the creation of reports is somewhere between end-user friendly and technical-user friendly. If you can work pivot charts and tables in Excel, you will be a master at Power BI.
3. Data is Quick and Available Once the data is passed to Microsoft Power BI and a user has set up the reports either in charts showing numbers or graphics displaying KPIs, they can pin those favorites to a dashboard. The reports and dashboards in Power BI are available on your favorite mobile device, Android or iOS. You can also view them on a laptop or desktop, and it has the flexibility to change the format for both depending on what device you are using. Unlike many reporting tools, moving from chart to chart or filtering down happens in seconds, and reports and charts can be drilled in and linked to other charts and graphs for digging deeper into the data.
4. Handles Multiple Sources of Data Microsoft Power BI is exceptionally powerful when linked with Microsoft SQL Database; however, Power BI works with many different databases, ODBC connections, web platforms, and plain Excel. So if you have data outside your ERP, Power BI might still be an option for you. One of our Microsoft Power BI consultants is so crazy about Power BI that he links it to track his Fantasy Football.
There are no limitations to the types of data, fields, or information you can pass into Microsoft Power BI.
How our customers are using Microsoft Power BI
Infuzion offers templates of data to get a distributor started. We currently offer a sales template, a purchasing template, and a returns template. We are working on releasing an incentive template. These templates provide the back end structure to pass data to Power BI, a deck of formatted charts and graphs based on requests of other Wine and Spirits distributors, and hours are included to help you tailor the templates to your organization.
With any tool, it is most powerful when you combine good set-up with empowering internal users to know how to get the most out of the tool.
Who is a good fit for Microsoft Power BI?
Any distributor that would like to see Key Performance Indicators (KPI) quickly and easily wherever they are – especially on their mobile device. If you want to flexibly change your KPIs and not be locked into a set reporting structure.
Microsoft offers many training classes online and conferences throughout the US. This website offers a great overview of Power BI learning options: powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/learning If you are an Infuzion customer, we offer classes and tailored training options for your personnel. We also can help facilitate discussions within your organization to help you creatively design information that would empower users with information across multiple departments.
For more information on how Microsoft Power BI can help you, email Matthew@infuzion.com.
About Infuzion Solutions
From supply chain management to accounting and sales needs, Infuzion® brings together industry-specific software solutions with the power of Microsoft technology.
Infuzion's ERP software solutions and services are used by small and medium sized enterprises across a wide variety of industries, including wholesale, distribution, healthcare, higher education, and professional services. Their solutions help maximize software investments while improving staff productivity and company profitability.
Infuzion Solutions is a certified Microsoft Dynamics GP partner and a small business specialist. Infuzion not only assists small to middle sized enterprises in implementing new administration and accounting software but consults with those wishing to improve their business processes.