Data visualisation done well is a key essential in communicating complex information in an attractive way and Excel is a great tool for doing just that. When complex data is put into a graphical form, it allows us to see the true story – what’s working, what’s not working, what great opportunities are being missed out upon.
If you've been using Excel for a while, you are probably familiar with the different kinds of visuals you can produce through it. You may have created tables, graphs or charts to display your data, but these capabilities may not be enough for you. This is where Power BI comes into play.
Power BI is an application developed by Microsoft. It can be used in collaboration with Excel to provide interactive visualisations, display them as dashboards, create reports and help you to analyse your data in a more exciting and attractive way. The application itself is free and easy to start using straight away.
So when you have an Excel workbook that you want to use with Power BI there are a few ways to do this. You can publish it directly from Excel, or choose to import it in the Power BI application. Once this is done, you can simply drag and drop the data you want to turn into a visual, and it will be displayed right away. Power BI contains a wide range of visuals from bar charts to map views; something for every kind of data you wish to display.
Download and learn more about using Power BI here.
A few of the key benefits of using Power Bi as an extension of Excel are:
Using a cloud based data storage system – no memory or speed constraints. Also – the limitation of 1.4million rows – out of the window.
Secure report publishing – you can set-up automatic data refreshes and rapid publishing of reports – allowing all users access to the latest information
Adds an extra layer of personalised dashboards – depending on seniority and technical background – you can get dashboards created for the exact need of whoever is looking at it irrespective of which department they are in.
So as we know Excel reporting can range from simple to difficult. As much as we are Excel champions, we understand that Excel has limitations especially when you are dealing with large data set and cross-departmental needs. This was the reason for creating PowerBi – because for those that need the extra complexities and need have enterprise level companies – you may just break Excel. With Power BI – you can be rest assured of no such thing.