You have probably reached this blog because you feel the need to validate your hunch that you need a better way to analyse your data. Nobody would just wake up one day thinking that they need a business intelligence tool. It was brought about by several challenging and demanding events in your workplace, but you need substantiation of your assessment.

Big data will continue to be one of the biggest trends in 2018. Being able to analyse your data and use it to your advantage will be crucial for your business to succeed.

So what are the warning signs that tell you that you need a business intelligence (BI) solution and a self-service one at that? Here are five tell-tale signs that you must watch out for.

 

#1 Your execs demand analytics regularly

Does your management team demand mash up financial, sales and operations data on a regular basis? Does your data reside in multiple applications across the business?

Your execs are on the right track for demanding analytics for use in their business decisions. By utilising data, you can expect measurable benchmarks that can affect future decisions, in a smarter and better way. However, having to use different sources of data residing in different applications to create management reports could be a painful exercise. It shouldn’t be if you have an enterprise BI tool to do it for you. Applications such as CRM, ERP, HRIS or even your intranet are just some samples of the sources you can get your data from, with ease.

 

#2 You spend an enormous time creating reports manually

How fast can you collect information, check its accuracy and then form conclusions? Do you or your staff take hours if not days in crafting and analysing reports manually on a regular basis?

Every moment you spend on tasks that can otherwise be automated is money and time wasted. You’d find it disturbing to discover the real costs that you spend for having your employees create those reports manually. An effective BI should provide your people with a low-effort experience to generate reports. With a self-service BI tool, you can save them tons of time by allowing them to pull data in seconds.

 

#3 You need visual representation of your data

Are you able to create interactive dashboards or use advanced analytics to manipulate data whichever way you want? Do graphs or charts limit your data visualisation from your spreadsheets?

Data presented visually makes it easier for you to interpret it and tell your story. It will make more sense when it is presented visually not only through the usual graphs, charts but also scatter plots, or heat or geographic maps. Using a BI tool, creating a graphical representation of your data will be a breeze!

 

#4 You rely on IT to create the reports for you

Can you or your business users generate their self-service analytics at the time they need it? Do you burn a lot of valuable IT man-hours to customise data analysis for you?

You need to be able to process business-critical data at the time that it’s hot so you should be able to analyse it on your own. That also means empowering your non-techie users with the ability to connect their data and create queries in intuitive ways without having to request for support from your IT every step of the way.

 

Can you relate to any of these signs?

If you have made it this far on this blog, chances are we have just confirmed your suspicions. Don’t wait for all of the signs above to start showing before you consider using a BI tool.

Here are some quick tips to becoming a data-driven business with Office 365: 

  • If you are an existing Office 365 Enterprise subscriber, there is a self-service reporting tool included in your subscription called Power BI Desktop. It’s a free version that allows you to connect to any kind of data that you have and provides you with data modelling that can mash up from multiple sources, in a few clicks. If you’re familiar with Microsoft Excel, Power BI further leverages on it by providing you with advanced analytics using the powerful DAX formula language. You can already create interactive reports with stunning data visualisation using its theming, formatting and layout tools.
  • There is also a paid version called Power BI Pro that offers a more robust dashboarding functionality and keeps your data up-to-date automatically, even for your on-premises sources. It allows you to collaborate on shared data, anytime anywhere. You can check the pricing here for options that suit your budget and need.

 

Still need more guidance?

We have helped hundreds of customers achieve more by transforming the way they do business. Speak to our business productivity advisers today, or you can register for our Office 365 seminar to learn more how you can analyse and visualise your data with Power BI.

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