15.06.2023 r. Krzysztof Surowiecki

Microsoft Power BI. The key to effective data analysis

One of the key factors determining a company’s competitive advantage is the ability and capacity to analyze data quickly, especially the ability to identify key trends and opportunities, and threats inherent in the company’s micro-environment.

This naming of opportunities and threats allows for agile action related to shifting advertising budgets, changes in inventory, or launching activities that take advantage of observed market trends and will enable them to be used to build additional revenue.

This article provides an overview of the key features of Microsoft Power BI, focusing on how they can build business value.

What is Power BI?

Power BI is an all-encompassing analytical solution crafted by Microsoft to facilitate the streamlined processing, analysis, and presentation of business data. This robust tool empowers organizations to make informed decisions and optimize their operational workflows. 

It is crucial to emphasize that these decisions are rooted in real insights derived from the data, rather than relying on subjective intuition. Therefore, integrating Power BI into an organization’s framework can be instrumental in fostering a data-driven culture.

Power BI is a component of Microsoft’s latest product, Microsoft Fabric.

Integrate different data sources

Power BI possesses remarkable capabilities in harmonizing data from diverse sources, encompassing ERP systems, financial and accounting solutions, Excel spreadsheets, email marketing platforms, social media networks, and real-time streaming data, as well as services hosted on reputable cloud providers such as Microsoft Azure, AWS, and Google Cloud.

One of its key strengths lies in its ability to consolidate and unify these disparate data streams, leveraging common denominators, such as time, to construct comprehensive analyses. It enables businesses to gain insights from their sales systems, including online store databases, while concurrently incorporating data on advertising expenditures from platforms like Facebook Ads and Google Ads, alongside production and warehousing costs. The resulting consolidated reports provide a comprehensive overview, facilitating informed decision-making and strategic planning for organizations.

Variety of data formats

Power BI offers support for diverse data sources and caters to various data types in a technical context. It means that we can seamlessly connect to data stored in SQL, no-SQL, and various file formats and leverage available services through APIs.

Moreover, Power BI provides the flexibility to utilize scripting connectors built on the R language or Python, empowering users to establish customized connections to their preferred data sources. This functionality opens up endless possibilities for integrating and analyzing data, further enhancing the adaptability and versatility of the Power BI platform.

Clear and intuitive report panel

Establishing a robust data connection unlocks the potential of leveraging Power BI’s comprehensive and user-friendly reporting interface.

Within this interface, we can construct interactive reports that offer dynamic filtering across various dimensions, such as time and product-related characteristics. It includes factors like the product category, customer type, series, issue number, traffic source, or advertising campaign ID.

Regarding data presentation, we are not limited to traditional bar or line charts. Power BI provides a rich selection of visualization options, including waterfall charts that display positive and negative changes in our budget’s final value, funnel charts that illustrate the progression of the purchase process on our website, treemaps that accurately depict the sales proportions across different product categories and map-based visualizations that showcase sales volumes per store within a specific geographical area.

A key advantage is displaying sales results from multiple markets or product categories in a single view, utilizing diverse visualization types. It facilitates swift comparative analysis and enables the identification of potential areas of concern, thus empowering businesses to address issues proactively.

The knowledge available in real time

Through adept data source construction and report design, Power BI enables access to real-time data, presenting exceptional opportunities for timely decision-making based on insights derived from data just minutes old rather than relying on outdated information from the previous day.

Consider scenarios like an intensive advertising campaign, a Black Friday sale, or a prime-time TV commercial. These events create an immediate impact, eliciting specific purchasing behaviors within our target audience. By promptly observing and analyzing these behaviors, we can optimize revenue generation through swift adjustments to our offerings or by implementing additional purchase incentives. For instance, we can leverage time-sensitive promotions limited to the next two hours or effectively utilize relevant social proof by highlighting the increasing number of users who have already purchased the product.

By capitalizing on real-time data availability, businesses can capitalize on fleeting opportunities and make data-driven decisions that maximize their revenue potential.

Advanced data analysis features

Power BI also offers many advanced analytical features, such as the built-in DAX programming language, which allows the creation of complex calculations and data analysis, such as sales prediction, RFM analysis, or segment and cohort analysis.

In addition, within Power BI, we can use Data Science libraries available in Python and present the result obtained from them in the Power BI interface by using the built-in “Python Visual” control.

Confidentiality and data security

Power BI allows you to apply confidentiality labels using Microsoft Information Protection, which helps you better protect your organization’s data. Power BI’s security is further strengthened by integrating Azure services, such as Azure Private Link and Azure Virtual Network, to secure data in the cloud.

Integration with Excel

Any Microsoft 365 platform user can easily link Excel queries, data models, and reports to Power BI dashboards to accelerate the collection, analysis, publishing, and sharing of Excel business data within an organization.


Power BI is a formidable analytical tool that empowers users to conduct efficient data analysis, generate insightful reports, and present results in a clear and accessible manner. This capability equips organizations to make informed and improved business decisions, optimize operational processes, and effectively monitor prevailing market trends. By harnessing the capabilities of Power BI, businesses gain a competitive edge in their ability to leverage data-driven insights for enhanced performance and strategic advantage.