Microsoft has just introduced dataflows to Power BI service which they see as the next step in the self-service revolution Microsoft began with Excel. Dataflows incorporate the necessary ETL steps and allows other people to access and work with the dataflow. Think of dataflows as power query on steroids with the capability of multiple users to take advantage of a centralized ETL operation on data.
What is Common Data Service?
Common Data Service is a cloud-based data storage and management system that standardizes your data across business applications like Dynamics 365, Office 365, mobile apps, and Power BI.
Your data is stored in standard (or customized) entities, similar to how a table stores data in database. If you use Common Data Service, your suite of business applications feed data predictably to these entities, allowing simple data sharing, data mining, and business intelligence.
This dashboard probably looks very familiar to you. You might have five or six dashboards you’re watching for ebbs and flows, spikes and surges. Maybe you have a very advanced process that involves downloading data into Excel and mashing different channels together. But that doesn’t sound very advanced, does it? Manual data entry? Staring at four online dashboards, commenting on "this one is up, or this is down"? There’s nothing advanced here. It doesn’t tell you how people responded, how their interactions lead to anything. Do you let your marketing data impact future creative decisions? If it's not producing marketing intelligence, your marketing data is completely useless.
"Last night, we had a happy hour to celebrate burning Joe's Excel spreadsheet."
Those were the exact words out of the mouth of the Director of Marketing at a global med-tech company based in Minneapolis. Just a few months earlier, Beyond Impact helped deploy a Marketing Intelligence Solution leveraging Power BI to migrate an Excel spreadsheet that essentially ran the entire Retail Marketing division. This Excel spreadsheet was held together with duct-tape and elbow grease, leading the client to say, "there has to be a better way to work with our marketing reports."
Growing up in a small town near Lake Mille Lacs, a good 90-minutes north of the Twin Cities, much of my learning as a little boy happened in a sandbox. Not the giant plastic turtle you see in Walmart today. Rather, an oversized wood structure filled with sand and a collection of old metal Tonka Trucks. I would spend the summer days building roads, bridges, castles, and rivers. I engineered high-security prisons for frogs I caught. I threw sand at my older brother and occasionally we tangled with a garden hose, much to my mother's displeasure. Every night I'd come in for dinner covered head to toe in dirt. Little did I realize, I spent those long summer days learning physics and engineering in the sandbox. I've always learned by just digging in. My childhood story really has nothing to do with Power BI - it simply points out the fact we can learn so much more when we get our hands dirty.
We have all heard that sage advice since as far back as we can remember, "all that glitters is not gold." This rings true in data visualizations in Power BI. As part of our ongoing Power BI blogs, we are here to help you transform your business data into an engine that drives insights. Check out our full Resource Library for more.
The purpose of data visualization is to simplify, messy, and overwhelming data to solve a business problem. Enable decision makers to make insightful, data-driven decisions. To understand what great data visualization is, a good place to start is find out what it is not.
My wife rolls her eyes every time I pull out Microsoft’s Power BI to analyze our personal bank statement data. Perhaps she doesn’t want me to know how much she spends each month on Starbucks Grande Chai Lattes… no whip. The reality is, I utilize Power BI whenever possible. In fact, these days I find it hard to engage in a business intelligence strategy discussion without Power BI being part of the conversation.
There is a Confucius saying with regard to gaining wisdom.
"There are three methods to gaining wisdom. The first is reflection, which is the highest. The second is limitation, which is the easiest. The third is experience, which is the bitterest."
Nowhere is this more true than when it comes to data analytics for your business. In our last post, Its All About The Experience, we talked about Experiential Visualization. To avoid a negative experience, you should consider investing time reflecting on your business results, drivers, and indicators. Today''s blog is about the highest method for acquiring wisdom about your particular endeavor: Reflective Visualization.
Reflective visualization are useful when you're being slammed hard by truckloads of data constantly.
We have all heard that sage advice since as far back as we can remember, "all that glitters is not gold." And when it comes to data visualization, truer words were never spoken.
The purpose of data visualization is to simplify messy overwhelming data and solve a business problem; enabling decision makers to make insightful data driven decisions.
To understand what great data visualization is, we must consider both what it is and what it is not.
There wasn't as much of it to be had then. And your competition had slightly more or slightly less of it than you did. Those days are gone (and for your sake, I'm hoping that you're not just now realizing that).
We live in the age of massive amounts of data being created on a daily basis, the types of which we have never known before, and being generated at a blistering pace that doesn't appear to be subsiding. Consequently, the business game has become a lot more competitive in the last five years.
That end of the month report doesn't cut it any longer. For a number of reasons. One of which is the subject of this post. It's the form of those reports to which this blog takes exception. If you're still consuming tabular reports, even ones upgraded with static graphics, you're soon to be fossilized. Mounted in the Smithsonian next to that green and white computer print out stock paper.