Microsoft Power Platform | Power BI (Video)


Ziad: Hello everybody, and welcome to our webinar series for Power Platform. Today is our first webinar for Power BI. There’s been a lot of love given by Microsoft on Power BI and what this new technology of the Power Platform, which kind of includes, of course, your business intelligence reporting dashboard like Power BI. You’ve got applications building and developing with power apps as well as automating some of those transactions and flows through power automate, and then a sub-component of that with virtual power as well, virtual power agents.

So just a little bit about what we’re going to talk about today in terms of how Power BI can be a user based, user-friendly type of dashboard that you can create, share, and manage internally as an organization and share externally with other users as well, depending on your requirements, understanding how Power BI is built, what best practices around that, seeing that in a demo. And then, of course, understanding how Power BI can essentially support your business in the long run.

When we come…you know, before kind of begin into that journey, if we look at the unprecedented change over the course of the years around the Fortune 500 companies, the lifespan has actually decreased. What that means is how long a company exists. So in the 1980s, 25% of all the companies that were there actually exist today. Whereas, if you keep going towards, let’s say 2010, only 15 years is the total lifespan of the companies that will basically have their lifetime. So after 15 years, because of innovation and different changes in the technology and companies unable to adapt to that and new systems, they kinda die.

And so today, in 2020 and forecasting forward, 75% of the companies will not be on that index today. What that means is if you’re not being able to kind of create something called the data culture as well as strategy towards how you’re going to use that data to bring efficiencies in your systems, in your operations, in your business processes, you could be one of those 25% of those companies.

So how does that work? So transforming your data with the opportunity that you have, one of the big fundamental points here is people often stress the idea that a lot of these systems or these new features are more expensive and costly. Of course, some of these are included in your Office 365 licenses as well. And we’ve had some webinars around the licensing options that are available in Office 365, but ideally, you would get an 8% operating income saving from investing in something like business central, or something like Power BI, or something with other systems like with the power platform.

There’s additional savings as well depending on how much you pay for the software, the staff that are on board and so on and so forth, where you’d need data scientists and architects to kind of mine some of that data and big data and bring that into presentations and information that maybe your team can view. Now that power has really come down to the user with, you know, the low-code, no-code type of platform where you don’t need much knowledge or backend support to be able to have these operations or these kinds of reports.

Some major kind of contributions are companies that have actually went through some transformations using Power BI is for example, Rolls-Royce, which went through optimizing their operations through the use of Power BI. They went through the idea of empowering their employees to be able to create those visualizations and use that data in meaningful ways. And then of course, Metro Bank as well did so to engage their customers. So very much of an internal process as well as an external benefit to having such reports.

We’ll kind of dive into what this idea of digital transformation can do for organizations. In recent studies, 70% of organizations believe that their data is not used to its fullest extent. What that means is that only 30% of the organizations kind of feel confident about the data that they have and how they’re utilizing it. Majority of the businesses out there have data that have no meaning to them and they’re not transacting to give them any benefit because of many different reasons but some of those include specialized workers.

They don’t have the people that can bring that data or the systems to kind of bring that forth as well as they don’t have a culture for that. So I talked about data culture, this idea that now users have data in their fingertips but the idea of using data culture in your strategies so that you can harness that knowledge or that data to be able to transact for you.

The amount of data that we have is obviously growing. Worldwide data creation by 2025 is estimated to be at 163 zettabytes. Now that number has 21 zeros after it, that’s a huge number. There is a lot of data that is being transacted, and whereas previously, and I’m gonna talk a little bit about AI and how artificial intelligence is playing a role in business intelligence. But previously there was just…there simply wasn’t enough data that you would need to be able to kind of have this kind of power. Whereas now you’ve got the data, the idea or the question is how do we use it?

So how does Power BI play a role in this then? Well, it’s got three primary kind of functionalities or I would say subcategories. One is the idea of having a unified self-service platform combined with enterprise-level business intelligence tools there for you. So this idea is to get insights faster to reduce the amount of time that you actually spend in getting that data.

So, for example, we had a business analyst and one of the biggest concerns that the business analyst team had was we spend way too much time looking at data and trying to collect that data into a single platform rather than actually analyzing that data for its trends and for the value that we wanted to provide to its business, so this kind of eliminates that prep work on a daily basis.

And of course, anyone can access this sort of data, which makes it that much easier for you to create restrictions and grant access depending on what kind of user would require the openness or the level of access that they would require.

So again, I mentioned data culture a little bit as well. So I’ve talked about how we can put that towards our strategy and how that plays a huge role in business intelligence and the Power BI. So I’m going to skim through some of these slides here because I think a lot of this will kind of be reiterated. But the unified self-service platform really actually reduces costs and complexity as well as the challenges that you receive from that data. You’re able to grow and evolve with a scalable platform that has, you know, security features embedded in it, that has insights embedded in them, that has some compliance tools embedded in them. It’s kind of got a very powerful tool that utilizes data across multiple different folds, and we’ll talk about what that looks like for you to be able to get those insights.

For instance, we talk about AI and the idea that there is actually natural language that’s embedded in there. So you could actually ask questions and the AI functionality will actually take you to the answer within that system. So you’ve got like a mini Google inside of Power BI. You can make unstructured data and put logic into it and actually have visualizations that actually make sense. Some people are probably smirking at that because data rarely often makes a lot of sense and so it’s a really good platform for you to be able to understand how you can gain those insights and at the end influence and kind of checkmark your KPIs throughout the entire process.

And of course, anyone can access it. I’ve kind of talked about how it can, within the same data if it’s shared between multiple departments or users, they can actually use that data in many different ways to be able to give you different information. So you can run those reports in real-time, be able to have different types of applications embedded within that Power BI. And again, I mentioned compliance, and so for example, it’s HIPAA compliance, there’s got IRAP and so on and so forth. Microsoft products, including Power BI is reaching the worldwide type of market. So it’s not just, you know, hey, I’ve got a client within Canada or within North America, how do I utilize this report? You could have these reports being shared on an international level.

So we talk about insights. How does Power BI transform your data into insights? And these are the five kind of primary ways before we dive into a demo and show you how it looks. So number one, of course, you need to be able to get some data and connect data into Power BI. So you want to be able to whether it’s through Excel, which is probably one of the more common areas. But there’s other sources of data as well, whether it’s on-premise or on the cloud, you can do it from your SQL server, Salesforce, SAP. Some people use Access, social media accounts, so on and so forth to be able to translate that data.

So the more data you can collect, you can transform that data if it’s clean and it’s connected to now Power BI to be able to do power queries kind of requests as well as data that comes out of Azure data lakes or anything like that. So there’s a whole bunch of…this is probably just a few list of those data sources that you can kind of use to be able to connect that data to Power BI.

The next step is obviously to analyze the model so that you can actually create that dashboard. So you can actually create those models automatically and so you don’t really have to create any of those connections or those type of relationships. Power BI actually uses its technologies to be able to do that for you. So, of course, there is the ability for you to do it manually as required but you don’t really have to do much after you’ve uploaded that data to be able to make it transact and provide those visualizations. And I’ll show you how easy that is to do.

The next of course is to create those visualizations. I’ve got some samples in the pictures here as well of the different types of visualizations that you could potentially have and really the options are plenty compared to other types of business intelligence, dashboarding, reporting type of tools. And you can actually link that data together. So what that means is if I’m looking at one particular visualization, that visualization is live. And so any data that I manipulate in the Excel files that I have, where the data is sourced from, will actually change the data on the dashboard as well.

Similarly between visualization. So if I, for example, I’m looking at a geographic location, let’s say I want to look at all the sales in U.S. and I have a particular product I want to look at and then I have maybe a sales rep that’s like…I can actually see each one of those metrics change as I click on any of that data. And I’ll show you that again, that live features in Power BI in our demo.

And of course you can basically…the idea is to kind of create some sort of a story and have different tabs to be able to share that story with different people in different ways. So here’s a couple of the visualizations that you can see. So there’s actually geographic-based ones where you can see areas in different countries if you’re international or within the same regions or even different branches so on and so forth, as well as other ones where you can create, you know, whether it’s bar graphs or gauges or pie charts, so on and so forth to be able to create interactive visualizations.

The next step of course is to publish those reports so that other people can gain, have access to your insights as well. And you basically do that whether it’s on the cloud or on-premise, and your data is always kind of up to date. You don’t really need to do much to keep editing that. I’ve seen people use templated versions of Power BI dashboards as well where there’s create a template as a corporate strategy and share it around within their departments and people kind of add and fill different things in as needed and they have certain capabilities and other restrictions to be able to have those reports. Other people can publish it and share it externally as well perhaps to projects or people that are also part of those reports that would like to see it, maybe your shareholders or stakeholders and so on and so forth.

And the idea there is to collaborate and you can view these reports in multiple different platforms such as, you know, your phones, tablets, laptops and so on and so forth, whether it’s Mac or windows kind of is applicable to all sorts of technology that’s out there.

So real great insights around how you can connect data, how you can publish that data, share that data out and then be able to collaborate from it as well and have access to the amount of data that people are creating in your organization. So again, a few other examples of what that data looks like.

Here’s a mobile version. As you can see, it’s very, very similar in terms of the user interface for it. You could do different things here. Again, you could also link those to the Power Platform and have many different ways of using those insights as well. I won’t talk too much about that as well, but point is, within the Office family or within the Office 365 license, a lot of the data is there for you to be able to play with, and share, and so on and so forth along with the security features as well.

Just based on where Microsoft kind of ranks and with their products, they’re kind of leading the market according to Gartner as well for analytics and BI platforms. So that’s their Power BI and modern analytics which is inclusive of the Power BI and the power apps as well and so on. So these reports are actually from just same time last year so 2019.

As well as Forrester as well. If you look at where Microsoft is positioned, it’s also positioned as a leader in the innovative types of change for their platforms. So, you know, you no longer need to be shy about using Power BI because it’s a really great platform. It’s a killer platform according to Forrester. It’s also great, great reviews, not only from customers but as well as different partner solutions and things like that.

So here’s just some graphics for you to be able to see and understand the momentum that Power BI has kind of taken in multiple different industries. So if you look at the retail industry to consumer goods, you’ve got major accounts. They’re utilizing Power BI as their primary source for data visualization. Look at government and education industries, healthcare, financial sectors, technology systems and services, professional services and the list kind of goes on. There’s a few of these here that are pretty prominent.

So, again, it’s not something that just is suitable for enterprise-level businesses, small and medium-sized businesses are utilizing this all the time as well. So again, a more modern analytics. Here’s just a few summary of what we’ve kind of chatted about and it’s kind of fairly easy to get started at least even on trials and things like that with if you just go to or provision some licenses through us. And if you’re looking towards doing that, just give me a shout and I’ll share my email near the end of this presentation as well.

Let’s go over to our demo screen here as well. And I’ve already preloaded Power BI, but basically there’s a couple different ways that you can access this. So if you go into, just for example, your Office 365 portal where you kind of log in from, you’ll see all your applications out there. Power BI, if it’s included in your license, will show up. And if it doesn’t, you can probably go to all apps and have a list of it including Power BI or other kind of dashboards or other kind of applications and services that are there.

So I’ve already opened Power BI and played around with some of this. Of course, this is just the demo environment so where there’s going to be limited here, but I’ll show you some of the completed dashboards as well that I have that you can actually see and be inspired more to be able to see what you can do for your organization.

So the idea here is you’ve got obviously the homepage which welcomes you depending on your time zone, tells you all the different projects that you’ve been working on, maybe favorite teams that you’ve been a part of, other projects that you’ve kind of started or dashboards that you’ve created. Different workspace. So these are basically linked to your teams, which are connected to your SharePoint and teams that you create. You can also see that here within my workspace but this gives you a nice, you know, front-end kind of look towards all the things that you can do.

There’s other apps that they recommend that you can actually get and access data from. So if you’ve got ERP systems like Dynamics in place, you can actually use the data that’s in there and have it work for you in Power BI as well. And then there’s some training content available as well for users to kind of stay up to speed as needed. So different apps that you can create or have as well. I don’t have any apps in here at this time, but if you were to, you can use data and create power apps from there as well. You can have different data to be able to share. Again, I haven’t really done much here.

The idea is to basically start by going to get data and essentially connecting some of the data sources here. So whether it’s from your organization internally or from other apps or services that are online that you could use as well or if you want to create new content, you can actually bring in reports or workbooks from the files that you have, whether it’s on desktop or other maybe previous licenses that you’ve had and then bring in, of course, or through databases whether it’s SQL databases or other sources of Azure or anything like that.

In this particular case, you can literally go into, you know, if it’s my own personal organization or files that I have and I want to create new content, for example, I can connect different types of tools that are already there. So for example, a local file that I maybe have an Excel spreadsheet on, I can do that and bring it in. And when you do that, and I’ll show you this as well, you can actually see the different cells and modify those cells within here. Very, very similar to how you would do it in Excel, almost seamless between the two. And that would update your everything in real-time as well. You’ve got OneDrive, right, so on and so forth, whether it’s your business or personal one, and etc.

And of course, you can discover other content from other places as well. These are just a couple samples that I’ve got available as well. So for example, if you want to connect to the profitability sample, there is a template that you can kind of use as well to get more content around that.

I’m not gonna connect through this, but basically there is different apps that you can bring in here as well through the app store, so Microsoft app store. And again, there are hundreds and hundreds of these around here that you can utilize. That’s generally the interface at least of how Power BI is positioned. You can of course download or share and change different settings for the content that you create on Power BI as well.

So I’ve got access to admin portal here where I can actually see the different metrics that are on the system. So for example, if I’ve got people that are using different dashboards or reports, they can actually gain information from that. So I just clicked on this a little while ago, but basically most consumed dashboard by users is going to be this much and how many users are there right now, you’d have to go through, depending on how many licenses you have in the admin center having connected that I would be the only user at this time here amongst other ones here as well.

Let’s dive into some of the reports that I’ve previously created. So I can give you some examples of, so for example a sales report that I’ve got here. For Power BI, again, just uses the free version. There’s different licensing option for it as well. Power BI desktop is the free version that you can use obviously some restricted capabilities in terms of what you can do and we can chat more about that as well. Then there is Power BI pro which is included in, for example, here, and then tries, E5, Office 365 license or a standalone, I believe currently it’s priced at $9.99 cents per user per month.

And then there is a premium version for larger types of data sets or enterprise needs that happen as well. So I’m just going to turn it on. The [inaudible 00:24:15] pops up and you’ll notice this is just the Power BI dashboard view. All my visualizations are kind of just loading. These are all the fields that I have actually imported from Excel.

Same thing with these being tabs from Excel as well where there’s just my general pipeline report or sales performance or maybe you have got quotas or trends or other things like that. So if I just look at my pipeline report here, which is just a basic report that I’ve got, all of these different filters or visualizations can be created and I’ve created some of them here as well.

So as I was mentioning, for example, you can create buttons to be able to track real-time on how maybe your particular region or within a country or within a product is performing based on a sales perspective as this is a sales report. So let’s say if I say, okay, I want to look at all of my, you know, North, Central America kind of sales, all the data changes according to that.

So you don’t have to, you know, refresh each visualization. I can then see, okay, within my U.S., how’s U.S. doing compared to Canada and change that. And then if I want to dive in even further, and you can keep going, depends on how your data is set up. Maybe a particular type of category. Let’s say my lighting, in this case, and you could see all the different, you know, for example, in your actual versus target revenues and so on and so forth, to be able to analyze and have that data in front of you.

I could also, if let’s say this is not the best kind of visualization I maybe want to see, I don’t know if I ever like pie charts or not, but here’s a pie chart for you. You could take a look and it changes the way for you to be able to see that data in multiple different ways, so that, you know, you can understand it better. It’s there for you clearly and you could play with it until you kind of get what you like.

All of these of course are customizable as well, whether it’s all the ribbons or reports colors, so on, so forth. There is a little now visualization for power apps as well, which are embedded in Power BI. I obviously don’t have an app, but if you were to, you could create visualizations from all of that as well. And of course, change the formats of the report and so on.

Here are my Excel fields. So like I was mentioning, you know, I’ve got maybe a data set within Excel that I can see whether it’s for accounts or things like that. I can actually create those filters in here and filter out that data similar to how you would do in Excel. And based on the filters that I set here, you can create a visualization which gives you this. I would say the hardest part is probably doing it the first time. After that, it’s fairly simple to kind of play around with and tweak.

So here’s the Excel file. For example, I could change data within here as well. I can edit all of my queries and my data here. And I could also have functions here. So I mean, if I was to enter more data or edit my queries, I can actually create more data within here, which I’d have the same functionality as Excel would and then publish that again to be able to see on a report.

There’s an ask question feature like I was mentioning. You can ask queries based on what kind of information you have. So this uses a natural language query for you to be able to say. So if I say, hey, where is this particular type of data or cell or anything like that, or how can I make this visualization, etc., etc., different ways of accessing your data. So if you were to get more data versus, you know, other sources of where I can get data.

As well as, like I was mentioning to you in the slides here as well, you can actually model a lot of these properties based on, you know, what kind of relationship you’d like to have with the data, and some maybe you don’t have any relationships with or you can create manual relationships with as well.

So this I didn’t have to do, this was done for me automatically by Power BI. Last kind of thing I want to show you here before we kind of do it obviously is this ribbon’s got a lot and even the newer updates and things like that, it gets updated all the time. So if you want to create anything you could, you could do through here, you could create new buttons and arrows and, like you’ve mentioned, I can create any of these data…I should have made this on a new page where you can’t really see it, but you can, you know, kind of get started on any of the prebuilt kind of templates as well for buttons and things like that.

You can share this out too now. So if I was to, let’s say publish that and I say, okay, do you want to save the changes, okay, sure, let’s save the changes for now and you can share it and publish it internally as well as externally, so long as they have Power BI desktop even to be able to view.

I’m not going to go through all of this steps because it may take a few minutes for it to load, but the idea is you’d sign in again to see this report and share out with any of the users that you’d like as long as they have, again, like I mentioned, Power BI desktop, which is free to be able to view those reports. Now you can restrict that access as well. Similar to how you do with let’s say OneDrive or any of the other webinars that we’ve done, you can see that as well.

You can share out a link or you could just share out a view only, read only type of format as well. Or you can share out the entire editable if they’ve got Power BI as well, they can edit the dashboard as well and maybe collaborate on it together. So just a few features, of course, having that being said, there’s a lot more in terms of what Power BI can do for your business and how it’s going to operate, have better efficiencies and things like that for your organization.

Reach out to us for any kind of support on that. We have our great encorecare program as well that’s available for our clients and we really do kind of appreciate the feedback that we get from that. So thank you for joining us on our first webinar on the power platform series. We have other Power Platform events coming up as well around power apps and power automate. So make sure you register for those as well. If there are any questions at this time, I would love to take them. Otherwise you can reach out to me on the contact information that I have here with my direct number as well as email address or LinkedIn. Thank you so much and I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day.

Melissa: Thanks Ziad. There was one question that came in just asking about getting a recording of the session and that, yes, we are recording it and we’ll send that out to all the registrants.

Ziad: Perfect.

Melissa: And that was the last of the questions.

Ziad: Awesome. Have a great day everyone. And if there are, again, any other questions that come up afterwards or if there is any more detail that you would like on any of this content today, as well as if you want to get started with Power BI, just shoot me an email and we can go from there.

Melissa: Great. Thank you.

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