Microsoft PowerBI

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Power BI Projects - Step 1

Step 1 of any project is to understand where the data is coming from. We have a number of tools, tips and tricks for getting all the data assembled. Our job is to understand what data you have and work out how we will access the data to start working with it. Typically this is what we often hear:

  • Our CRM system holds all of our sales data - customer counts, pipeline, average deal values, forecasts etc.
  • Our finance system is the truth for invoice values, revenue, costs and P&L
  • We have keys costs or data points in systems like Azure or AWS
  • We would like to access Google Analytics for web site information
  • We want our sales from our online store
  • Our manufacturing system has key information on stock

Data can be accessed in a number of ways. Our expertise will be in understanding the easiest ways to access the data. Methods include:

  • Power Bi app connections - example Google Analytics
  • CSV consumption - daily CSV extracts can be consumed very easily
  • Web APIs - access a web api and extract the data you require
  • Transactional data setup with Zapier - each time something happens, we get Zapier to write the data somewhere useful
  • Database access - read directly from a database and import into Power Bi
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Transform Data - Step 2

Once we have the data arriving in our project and more importantly syncing and updating on a schedule we can set to work on transforming the data. This is where the magic happens. We can standardise format of dates and numbers but more importantly extract hidden values and create any required calculations. These transformations are applied every time the project data is updated and this makes the next part of the project much easier.

  • Standardise number formats & dates
  • Calculate any required values
  • Remove any unnecessary data
  • Extract values hidden in data
  • Apply any static currency conversions

Measures & Calculations - Step 3

The next part of any project is to understand what calculations we will need and what are we comparing your data to. For example data in isolation is often meaningless. Take sales leads. Let's say your dashboard is showing 64 MQLs so far this month. So what? Unless we compare with last month or the last 3 - 6 months this figure is potentially meaningless. How about if we compare with this time last year? Do we want to know the % growth as well? These are all measure than can often be easily calculated. Once we have our measures in place we can start to move onto the next step.

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Create the visuals - Step 4

This is the fun bit. With all of our data prepared, and measures created, we can quickly start creating visuals of your data choosing between KPI numbers graphs, pie charts and anything else you can think of. The secret here is to keep it simple. An example of a recent project was to create a Word Cloud against the support ticket subjects over the preceeding two days so management had a real-time view of issues and sentiment. Power Bi provides a range of visuals we can use as well as allowing us to customise the colour pallet to match your branding.

Deploy the Project - Step 5

Once the project is complete and we are happy with results we can deploy the project into your Power Bi Professional account. At this point, your colleagues, with the right permissions and licenses (£10 per use per month) can access the project visuals. We can create an Application that is an all in one place to view the data with multiple tabs. We can also create a dashboard with all of the key information available in one place.

Changes to the data going forward are usually very easy and we can support you or work on a retainer / support basis with support plan to ensure, like a website, that your data evolves.

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