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Financial Solutions
27 Aug 2018

Data Visualization: The value of Microsoft Power BI in Finance

Innovations announced during the Microsoft Business Applications Summit will make Power BI an even more powerful tool for data visualization in finance

How I use Microsoft Power BI

As a project manager who focuses on data analytics and predictive forecasting, I use Power BI on a regular basis. One of the main reasons for this is because it is so easy for our stakeholders to use and understand the data which gets presented out. In my daily work efforts, I focus on ensuring our backend databases are built appropriately in order to be integrated directly with Power BI. Additionally, I work with our stakeholders to ensure the reports align with the business needs and work with them to find ways to make reports more efficient by understanding how they are used in the daily work of the user. This makes Power BI a tremendously powerful tool for our customers to use. Now our customers make proactive decisions by getting near to real time updates of the same data that they may have been previously using manually in Excel.

The benefit to one of my clients

One of our major clients, for example, was lacking insights into product trends and payment performances of their customers to compare between different dimensions. Using Power BI, I developed dashboards offering an interactive and intuitive visualization. Various executive levels ranging from VPs to credit managers are now able to make data-driven decisions based on insights into trends by products, regions and hundreds of thousands of customer perspectives.

Innovations announced during the Microsoft Business Applications Summit

Having attended the Microsoft Business Applications Summit, it is clear the updates made to Power BI are real game changers for anyone who is in data analytics. The efforts Microsoft continues to make towards enhancing Power BI will continue to make our clients’ future interactions much more user friendly. The changes to Power BI now allow for the design of a report to be built towards a client’s function and in such a way that it can connect the data together to enable quicker load times, more data to be processed, and greater insights to be provided.

In addition to greater usability, Microsoft has also begun to make the enterprise governance of data much easier by integrating Power BI with the Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) toolkit. This will make management of GDPR-related items much easier and will assist with development efforts to manage and maintain version control of the reporting. From a development standpoint, this is huge as prior versions did not have this type of capability. With the way financial processes continue to evolve, this is a phenomenal way to manage everything.

My take away

There are many more updates that came out of this user conference, but the biggest take away was the dedication that Microsoft has to improving their products for data analysts and data science. Easier to use reporting and visualization with a better overall user experience is built in from the ground up to meet the needs of both the business and development. The future is very bright for those who have begun to adopt Power BI for their work efforts, and our clients will continue to see the reports we develop as a more viable solution for financial business decisions.

A recommendation

Do you also want to create user-friendly dashboards in Power BI that allow you to identify impactful insights into your financial processes and to communicate them accordingly?

Then join our webinar here and learn:

  • Dos and don’ts for data visualization in finance
  • How to apply these principles using Microsoft Power BI
  • How visualization enables business insights

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