Power BI Is a Game-changer for Small Businesses. But Are Your Systems Ready for It?

Aug 28, 2020 | Cloud Accounting, Power BI, Project Management

When it comes to innovative software, businesses these days are spoilt for choice.

Almost every business can get access to a full stack of powerful apps for every area they need: from accounting and inventory to sales and marketing.

But despite these incredible tools, there are still plenty of businesses that aren’t pushing them to their full potential. And that’s usually due to one simple fact that doesn’t get the attention it deserves:

Data is everything.

Modern businesses are more data-driven than ever before. They’re learning just how crucial it is to have accurate, up-to-date knowledge about the inner workings of their business. It’s how they grow and improve, and how they refine and adapt their practices to get the results they want.

And if you’re a smaller business, you’re in luck.

It used to be that only the largest businesses could get access to the highest levels of deep reporting and data insights. You needed big budgets for expensive software, and you’d often need a specialised, tailor-made solution to fit your systems.

But today, Microsoft Power BI is making enterprise-level reporting and analytics accessible to businesses of all sizes. And if you’re not getting ready for it, you’re ready to miss out.

What is Power BI?

Power BI is a suite of cloud-based tools developed by Microsoft that connects to your software to gives you access to live data from every part of your business.

(The ‘BI’ stands for ‘Business Intelligence’. And that’s exactly what it gives you!)

In simple terms, it’s a bit like an online version of Excel. But in practice, it’s so much more. With your systems linked to Power BI, you can generate complex live reports, build data sets, and view all of your data and progress with a clean, visual-based interface.

Why should I care about Power BI?

We get it – you probably hear about a new ‘amazing’ piece of software every week.

But with an analysis and reporting tool like Power BI, you’re getting something that can enhance and improve the result you get the results you get from the software you already have.

(As well as giving you the confidence to make better decisions in every area of your company.)

With Power BI, you can:

  • Get fast, easy-to-understand visualisations of your data – with a huge range of different presentations and formats (like graphs and live geographical maps)
  • Link it to all of your systems and software – apps like Xero, Shopify, Google Analytics, and your cloud inventory app
  • Get live, up-to-date data in real-time – so at any point in the week, you’ll know exactly what kind of position your business is in.
  • Kit out your entire team with enterprise-level software – Power BI Desktop is free to use, and the more advanced Power BI Pro comes with a small monthly cost per user.

 

In other words, Power BI is a one-stop shop for every piece of useful data your business will ever need.

But while the software is accessible and easy to use, it’s not always so easy to get your systems ready for it.

What do I need to get ready for Power BI

Power BI is an advanced piece of kit that connects directly to your existing systems – and that means it has deep roots that stretch across every area of your business software.

So if you want it to become the data-crunching powerhouse it was designed to be, you need to make sure your systems are set up in the right way.

In practice, that usually means things like:

  • Choosing the right stack of software and apps that can feed into Power BI
  • Filling out complete and correct data fields for your products, customers, and suppliers
  • Creating the right integrations to link your different bits of software.

Some lucky businesses will already be sitting comfortably with a well-prepared and well-connected stack of software and apps – which means they’re all set and ready to get started with Power BI.

But if you’re still planning your move over to cloud accounting, this is the time to start thinking carefully about the end results – and how to get there.

Set up your software with the end goal in mind

The first step in any successful project is to have a clear goal on the horizon. And it’s no different when it comes to choosing and implementing the right tools for your business.

We’ve helped countless businesses get stuck into the modern world of data and reporting here at BlueHub, and we know exactly how to help you choose and fine-tune the best possible stack of software.

So if you’re a smaller business looking to join the ranks of your data-driven peers, the best place to start is with a Free Discovery Session.

It’s a simple, no-obligation chat where we’ll get to know your business and how it works – and ask the right questions to help you get a better picture of what kind of reports you need.

And if you’ve already got a cloud system in place? Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered.

Our System Health Check service can give you a complete assessment of your current setup, with a simple and straightforward Action Plan to show you the steps you need to take to get your software ready for Power BI.

Book Your Free Discovery Session Today

Not sure if you’re prepared? Take our simple quiz!

If you’re not quite ready for a Discovery Session or a Health Check, you can get a basic understanding of your data readiness by taking our free DIY quiz.

(And it’s also a great primer to help you prepare for a Discovery Session!)

It’s a few easy questions to get you thinking about what’s important – complete with your own readiness score to give you an exact measurement of how close you are to your goals.

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