The array of tools and software that can be used to report on data and to analyse the results can appear bewildering. It helps to start by first being clear on a number of key points;
- Where is your data going to be stored?
- Who will be allowed access?
- How do you want to share the results?
- Do you want to report a set of results at fixed intervals, or do you want to look through the data for trends and insights?
- And the bottom line, how much is it likely to cost and what will be the return on investment?
Data can come from anywhere. There might already be an ‘on premise’ data warehouse, with a suitable reporting structure and carefully thought out data loads. It might just be a departmental set of Excel workbooks. Maybe the data exists in the cloud, or as a web service.
Once you have something, be it an insight or a dashboard, what is the best way of sharing it? The options available include Internet and Intranet portals, emails and shared documents.
So how does Microsoft’s Power BI fit in?