Pulling together multiple sources of data is extremely beneficial, but what is that data telling you?
In order to have a proactive approach to business the data needs to be quickly analyzed to show trends, forecasting and potential issues that need to be addressed. Power BI has several analytical tools that can be leveraged within your report to help your data give an accurate picture of the business’s health.
Power BI can perform basic and complex calculations at an individual row level with custom columns or in a larger grouping using measures.
Calculations can be used for a number of things, such as calculating weighted revenue, providing an order fulfillment percent, and comparing actual to budget to determine cost overruns. It’s easiest to think of calculations as a time when you would use an excel formula to compare or take action on an individual cell.
Measures are very similar to calculations except they work on a set of data versus an individual row. A perfect example of when to use a measure would be with averages. If you were to calculate an average at each individual row and then try to place an overall average on your report you would be viewing an average of an average. Whenever I want to group a calculation, similar to a SUMIF(S) or COUNTIF(S) within excel, I will use a measure.
When visualizing your data it can be helpful to see trend lines. These are available to add with column, bar, line and area charts and include a constant line, min and max line, average line, median and percentile line. I most often see the constant line used for target performance and an average line to see overall performance compared to a target.
Power BI Key Influencers use AI to review the data and determine what factors influence a particular metric. Key Influencers is a visual that can be placed on your report and can help explain what causes your metric to increase or decrease. Key influencers have proven to be very beneficial when reviewing employee turnover, project profitability and sales amounts.
Power BI allows you to ask questions about your data and it will return a table or visual answer for you. While most report designers already have the visuals they want in mind when creating reports the Q&A feature is helpful for end users that may want to see more information or have other questions about the data they are reviewing.
Power BI has so many features that will help break down and visualize your data exactly as you and others need to see it. What a CEO needs to see is vastly different from a project or sales manager and Power BI can use the same datasets to create different reports and different analytics can be applied so end users see what they need to make their daily business decisions.
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-Jerica Coleman, CRM and Power BI Consultant