Self-Service Power BI: How do businesses generate insights without any IT help?
Consider this scenario: Your boss asks you an important question about your team, department, or company’s financials, and you don’t have the answer despite having access to the data. Instead, you reach out to your IT team, have them analyze the data, and then arrive at the appropriate answer. No doubt, it’s a lengthy process.
Now consider another scenario where you use a Self-Service BI tool that pulls the reports and drills down the real-time data at the very moment when your boss asked you the question! It will save you and your company a lot of time and even help you to make the right decision, solving the challenge on the spot.
Self-Service BI tools help organizations to access valuable business insights to make decisions based on facts instead of assumptions or gut feelings. Moreover, users can filter, analyze, and visualize data even if they don’t have a background in statistical analysis or data mining.
One such prominent self-service BI tool is self-service Power BI by Microsoft, which is unsurprisingly on the rise. Self-service Power BI enables users (from executives to frontline workers) to access insightful answers to the most critical questions without relying on the IT team. This help businesses to be self-aware and adapt to unpredictable changes, making them stay ahead of the competition.
In this article, we talk about Self-Service in Power BI, understand the benefits of implementation, and how your organizations can apply it to gain a competitive edge. You can learn more about Power BI and how it helps to improve organizational productivity through our free e-book.
Understanding Self-Service in Power BI
Self-service in Power BI is an advanced data analytics approach that allows users to access and explore datasets without prior knowledge or experience in BI. It provides users with the data they need, at the time they need it, and in a form that makes sense to them.
What sets Self-Service Power BI apart from traditional self-service BI tools is that it gives users more control over how they access and consume data. Be it on-premises or cloud-based data sources, users can tap into data, run queries, and customize data visualization, dashboards, and reports to support real-time data-driven decision-making.
Benefits of using Power BI as a self-service BI tool
- Since Power BI integrates with Microsoft’s other BI products and Excel, users can rapidly set up new data connections and create analysis reports using built-in connections to external data sources.
- Once created the report, it generates future reports by scheduling daily data retrieval from data sources. Users can access these data sources because of the integrated support for tabular models, Power Query queries, and third-party data sources, including structured or semi-structured data from on-premises, cloud, or web data sources.
- Users can create their insights with minimal dependency on experts of BI teams. Users can personalize data by choosing relevant insights and analyzing them on their preferred devices.
- The reports and dashboards have a simple and consistent interface making it easy for users to understand without any experience in data analysis. Experienced users can even build sophisticated queries and data models with Power BI Designer or Excel’s Power Query and Power Pivot.
- Provides a competitive advantage as users can create their insights whenever they want, reducing the wait time and enabling quicker decision-making.
Why implement a Self-Service BI now?
Today, data is very prevalent. Many advanced BI tools have come into the market to fulfill business needs. Every user who creates and uses the data is aware of its existence and governance. Hence, it has become easy for organizations to make data-driven decisions in their respective business areas.
Modern self-service BI tools have removed much of the IT department’s burden. This creates a cost-effective and efficient BI space with more valuable insights than ever before. If implemented correctly, self-service BI can bring significant value to a company and thereby helping the company to function very efficiently. Now organizations can generate their insights using modern self-service BI tools.
Steps to deploy Self-Service Power BI?
Self-service Power BI can be deployed in three stages as follow:
- Development – In this stage, the organization can build, design, and share Power BI reports with content.
- Test – In the next stage, the updated report content is subjected to testing. The following steps can be used in the test environment:
- Share content with testers and reviewers
- Load and run tests with larger volumes of data
- Test your app to see how it will look for your end users.
- Production – After testing the report content, an organization can use the production stage to share the final report with Business users/End users across the organization.
How to deploy Self-Service Power BI along with traditional BI infrastructure?
Implementing the self-service BI strategy does not mean replacing your traditional BI infrastructure. It can be achieved by supplementing your existing BI platform with the addition of new semantic layers of data models and end-user data discovery tools. Power BI and Azure can provide these additional capabilities more quickly and cost-effectively.
Ready to get started?
Your data is an incredibly powerful asset to your organization. Visualizing data to its full potential empowers businesses to drive better decisions and remove inaccuracies and inefficiencies. Hence making sense of it is vital now more than ever.
iLink provides holistic data visualization with the help of self-service Power BI. So that organizations can adopt innovation efficiently and successfully position themselves in their industries. Check out our service portfolio to learn how you can start using your data in impactful ways.
Director – DATA
Helping Businesses make quick and informed decisions through Data.