Transformation and Analysis with Power BI


 This article is an overview of Transformation and Analysis with Power BI by Chris Webb which is the topic he will be covering at Future Decoded on the 12th of November. It's a free event which will see keynotes from Brian Cox, Sir Nigel Shadbolt, Or Arbel and Michael Taylor, followed by eight individual speaker tracks that discuss different topics. Be sure to register before the day is sold out, and we hope to see you there! 

Businesses have been investing in business intelligence software for a long time now. First it was the large companies, spending millions of dollars on big data warehouses, and now even small and medium-sized businesses have realised that understanding their data is the key to gaining a competitive advantage. The problem is that a lot of these business intelligence projects have been expensive failures.

Why is this? One of the main reasons has been the software used. That’s not to say that the software is buggy or not fit for purpose. It’s that it’s too complicated for the people who need to use it. If you’re an IT guy then you’re probably happy to learn whatever new software comes your way, but if you’re a business analyst, an accountant, an actuary or someone else whose job involves understanding data then you probably don’t have time to do this. You know Excel (and you know it really well) and that’s what you want to use.

This is why Microsoft’s new approach to business intelligence, with Power BI, is such a game-changer. Instead of having to learn how to use new software, you can do everything you need to do right inside Excel. Power Pivot, which has been around for a few years now, has now been joined by Power Query, Power View and Power Map, allowing you to connect to a variety of different data sources, clean it, filter it, load it into the new in-memory database native to Excel 2013 (called the Excel Data Model, and which can handle millions and millions of rows of data), and then build reports and dashboards containing amazing data visualisations. If you have an Office 365 subscription you can share these reports to SharePoint Online, and if you buy a Power BI for Office 365 subscription you can share these reports to mobile devices and even query your data using normal written English!

To find out more about Power BI and learn how it can change the way your company does Business Intelligence, come to Chris Webb’s session at Future Decoded.

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