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The Relevance of Modelling in Power BI

Articles

Dec. 15, 2020, 1:47 p.m.

The world over, the business environment has become more sophisticated than ever and so requires smart and intelligent ways of managing data. Power BI is one of such tools adopted by businesses. Power BI (Business Intelligence) is a product of Microsoft which was originally out doored in July 2011 but first released to the general public in July 2015.

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This software is a business analytics service aimed at providing interactive business intelligence capabilities and visualizations with an interface simple enough to allow end-users to generate their reports and dashboards. See visualization above.

Power BI comes in two (2) forms. It has the Desktop-based interface which is known as Power BI Desktop and the Cloud-based BI services which are known as the Power BI Services, image below. It has data warehouse functionality which includes data preparation, data discovery and interactive dashboards.

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Data modelling is an integral part of Power BI. Data Modeling is one of the features deployed to link multiple data sources in the BI tool using a relationship. A relationship in this context defines how data sources are connected and you can produce interesting data visualizations on numerous data sources.

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The modelling feature is very relevant to Power BI. With the modelling feature, you can build custom calculations on the existing tables and these columns can be directly presented into Power BI visualizations. This allows businesses to define a new system of measurement and to perform custom calculations for those systems of measurement.

Data is a function of Power BI. In the use of Power BI, visualizations are made from the data available. According to Nicola Wright of Nigel Frank International, Data is the lifeblood of modern businesses, and we’re generating more of it than ever.

Power BI is relevant in any business environment. Although business intelligence products traditionally tend to be mainly the responsibility of business analysts and data scientists, thanks to its user-friendly nature, Power BI can be used by a range of people within a business setup.

Power BI is a powerful analytics tool that helps companies of all sizes analyze data and share findings with key stakeholders. With this technology, enterprises can monitor their business more closely and get instant answers with rich dashboards available for every device. The tool is regularly used as a self-service tool by various units in businesses to track progress and turn up insight into their team’s performance.

Power BI is advanced in terms of business intelligence and gives businesses who want additional reporting power and analytical muscle than what MS Excel will offer. Businesses with this business intelligence too can assemble, scrutinize, and visualize data from across an organisation, offering more insight into their operations and performance, and allowing them to make decisions based on real data.

The use of Power BI comes with a lot of benefits.

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Key among them are:

  • Findings can be visualized through the use of powerful templates to allow businesses to better make sense of their data
  • Users can input huge sizes of data into the tool that many other platforms would struggle to process
  • Data security is a basic requirement for any serious business, Power BI guarantees that data is safe and offers granular controls on accessibility both internally and externally
  • There is room to set up notifications on KPIs to allow users to get a real-time update on important metrics and measurements.
  • Power BI is far more user-friendly and easier to navigate than other complex spreadsheets due to the intuitive interface of Power BI

The tool puts data together and processes it, transforming it into intelligible insights, often using visually compelling and easy-to-process charts and graphs. This allows users to generate and share clear and useful snapshots of what’s happening in their business.

Power BI connects to a range of data sources, from basic Excel spreadsheets to databases, and both cloud-based and on-premise apps.

The use of Power BI is largely dependent on a person’s role within an organisation; the tool can generate custom dashboards depending on what data is appropriate, and what information you need access to.

It is worth noting that the above discussion spells out clearly how modelling is relevant to Power BI. It is commonly used by finance, marketing, sales, human resources, IT, project managers, monitoring and evaluation practitioners and operations professionals.

REFERENCES

  1. www.nigelfrank.com/blog/everything-you-ever-wanted-to-know-about-microsoft-power-bi/ Retrieved 11 June 2020.
  2. Microsoft.com. Microsoft. “Bring your data to life with Microsoft Power BI". Retrieved 11 June 2020.
  3. Alberto Ferrari and Marco Russo (2016), Introducing Microsoft Power BI
  4. 10 Advantages of Microsoft Power BI, July 16, 2017, | By Prakash Parikh

About the Writer:

He is Public Policy and Evaluation practitioner with specialty in the areas of Public Policy, Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Impact project management and research.

He is a Co-Secretariate of the Task Force II of the EvalYouth Global Network; a Researcher at Ghana Tech Lab; Founder of Development Research and Solutions; and provides Pro Bono research services; business and career counselling to interested persons.

Email: zmohammedsuhuyini@gmail.com

This article is written by Mohammed Suhuyini Zakaria

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