Business owners cannot rely on their own market assessments and strategic assumptions to make informed tactical decisions. Rapid technology development and tough competition mean that thorough data analysis is vital for success. In this article, we explain how business analysts, IT teams, and company managers can benefit from Microsoft Power BI integration with the help of BI connectors.
Why is Business Intelligence Integration Necessary for Professional Software?
The Business Intelligence (BI) market was worth $20.516 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow to $40.5 billion by 2026. According to 2019 Grand View Research, 45% of small businesses deem business intelligence tools and virtual networking features as core aspects of their business strategy. CEOs who make data-driven business decisions are 77% more likely to achieve their company's goals.
The technology and digitalization we currently have to hand give us powerful methods to make sense of detailed data that decades ago we struggled to structure and make use of. Tech allows us to convert data into relevant insights and KPIs that we can directly apply to business strategy. Business owners and CEOs with access to quality analytics can better identify and understand patterns and trends related to their market, customers, sales, talent acquisition and more. This helps them make smarter strategic business decisions and boost growth and revenue.
The most popular BI software is Power BI from Microsoft. Here are five ways that Power BI could benefit your business when used alongside other professional platforms:
1. Connect all data sources in one to aggregate data, build comprehensive data models, generate real-time dashboards, generate reports and predict trends. Applicable data sources include other BI software, corporate tools, and external systems like documents, journals, books, email, video, social media, images, health records, and more.
2. Export data from professional software (such as CRM, ERP, ITSM, and Jira) and input it into advanced reports.
3. Collect data from project management and customer management platforms to collect data that reflects the true state of the business and identifies weaknesses and opportunities for development.
4. Visualize complex data in improved ways to better understand it and apply it to decision-making processes.
5. Use the Power BI dashboard sharing functionality to make reports and visualizations easily accessible to team members, investors, customers, and other parties.
Key Power BI Report Features to Benefit Your Business
Corporate software products such as SAP, Salesforce, ServiceNow, Zendesk and Jira usually have built-in reporting functionality. What makes BI tools like Power BI more valuable to businesses?
1. Built-in reporting features are often simple and platform-oriented, offering little flexibility for data aggregation and report configuration. BI tools simplify data processing to save time and provide more freedom and flexibility.
2. Built-in reporting features often struggle to incorporate add-ons to primary software, meaning powerful data sources can go ignored. Power BI makes it easy to export basic, custom and plugin-generated fields.
3. Power BI offers the creation of advanced dashboards to cover all business needs. This is compared to the creation of multiple charts for several different software products which must then be consolidated.
Here are specific examples of Power BI dashboards and features that could benefit your business:
Company Performance Dashboard
Fetch data from multiple sources, such as CRM, ERP, ITSM, financial management software and Jira, to trace company performance in specific areas or across all areas. Create at-a-glance, customized data visualization with status and performance indicators within a single dashboard.
Executive Insights Dashboard
Monitor key areas such as top products, average order quantity, profit margin, total profit, and geographical distribution of revenue to monitor the overall health of the company. A variety of filters and visuals - including donut charts and line charts – allow analysts to conduct deep and highly specific analyses.
Multiple Projects Dashboard
Combine reports and dashboards for multiple projects or project phases. This is particularly useful when different types of software are used across several projects. A wide range of charts can help make the visualization of plans and data more effective.
Share dashboards and completed reports with teammates, investors, clients, and other parties while limiting their ability to make changes or edits. You can also set up scheduled data refreshes to make it easy to share updated data, and use security settings to grant or limit access to datasets.
How Custom BI Connectors Simplify Power BI Integration
It's clear that Power BI has the power to centralize, structure, visualize and make good use of data assets from multiple different professional software products. But how can you fetch data from multiple platforms into Power BI?
Benefits of Custom Power BI Connectors
Here are three key advantages of BI connectors:
1. No specialist coding or technical skills are needed. Connection to the platform is made only once and takes minutes, with minimal need to maintain or improve custom integration. You can start creating dashboards and reports immediately after installation.
2. Data preparation is faster with no data errors or data loss. Data analysts and processors spend 80% of their time prepping data sets. Cleaning, converting, and importing data in Power BI from multiple sources is extremely time-consuming and increases the risk of errors or data loss. BI connectors allow for automated data exports with customizable prerequisites in order to simplify data processing and save time and resources.
3. Data security is enhanced. When data is handled by multiple different people it can be difficult to safeguard it against misuse and unauthorized access. BI connectors do not have direct access to data. Plus, they protect it during transfer to give you greater peace of mind about the security of sensitive personal or corporate information.
In a world that is led by technology, we're hard-pressed to find businesses that don't use professional software to manage their projects, customers, workflows, and resources. Every piece of business software offers a wealth of valuable data that can be used to gain insight into the company’s health and performance and analyzed to inform business decisions. When enterprises make the most of their data, they can boost sales and revenue, improve their operations and get a better understanding of their competition and market demands.
Since most businesses use several software products and plugins across their entire operations, it makes sense to compile data from multiple sources to get the most insights out of it. Business intelligence software like Power BI is giving owners, CEOs and analysts more comprehensive access to this data than ever before. With the help of BI connectors to simplify the connection of pro software to Power BI, it's possible to maximize data processing and access to powerful data insights while minimizing the drain on time and resources.