Blog | Data & Analytics

How to maximise the value in Microsoft Power BI

It was either French philosopher Voltaire or Uncle Ben in Spiderman who observed that ‘With great power comes great responsibility’. While the stakes are perhaps not quite as high or dire as all that, when it comes to the great power and flexibility of Microsoft Power BI, unlocking its full potential can be tricky. That’s because like Excel, from which it was ultimately derived, the sheer magnitude of its capability can hide the best features.

That’s according to Nick Hayward, consultant at Qrious, a New Zealand data and analytics company and Microsoft Gold partner. “Power BI is one of the best tools available in the market today for data visualisation. In the right hands, it allows for storytelling with data, helping to easily communicate even complex points through graphic representations, rather than relying purely on numbers.” 

A further advantage comes from its genesis in Excel tools including power pivot and power query. “That means there is plenty of familiarity and similarity in how you use it, while like most Microsoft tools these days, collaboration is particularly good with ease of sharing dashboards and reports with others,” he adds.  

But here’s the catch. “Without knowing the basics, you can quickly get hung up. With so much functionality, there are many ways to skin a cat and you could end up taking longer than you should to get the results you want. Power BI is a truly big product and its flexibility can be an Achilles heel - but not if you know how the professionals are getting the most from it,” Hayward explains.  

Through Qrious' experiences with its client base, which includes some of the country’s top banks, large government institutions and many other big, data-rich companies, Hayward says it has designed a Power BI course which provides rapid insights into getting the most from the tool. “We’re not ‘traditional’ trainers, because we work hands-on with Power BI in real client environments. We know what business users need to do with the tool and we know the challenges you face in creating data-driven narratives to advance a business case, demonstrate the value of a course of action, or keep executives informed using data.” 

Not only is Power BI demystified, but the course goes a step further, covering the best practices of telling a story using visualisations.  Attendees will leave the course knowing what visualisations work best with what types of data, they will be able to use visualisations to make the story their data tells jump right off the page. 

What’s more, this part of the course is tool independent. “While our focus is on Power BI, the ‘data use’ skills are transferable best practice techniques which can be used any time you are working with data to consistently get the most effective results,” Hayward adds. 

The NOW Consulting Power BI training course is custom built to help analysts maximise the value they get from Power BI.

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