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  • Doug Bird

So, What's All the Fuss About Power BI?

It’s simple - the ability to unlock your data! Power BI is an analytics tool developed by Microsoft®. It has been rapidly gaining ground in traditional analytics markets as it adds new easy-to-use features.


Screenshot of Power BI dashboard showing sales data
Power BI dashboard snapshot

So what does this really mean?


Out-of-the-box SYSPRO reports and custom Crystal Reports are usually approached with a single purpose. Sales by product, product class, geo area, or sales by customer. Usually these are all separate reports. With Power BI, you can do it all with a single report! Slicers for product, product class, geo area, and customer can all be on a single report. Power BI is designed to be interactive, allowing you to slice the data as you see fit.


There are of course some limitations. If you are expecting to format and print a 20 page report, you are not going to achieve good results. Power BI is an analysis tool, not a report writer. Formatting multi-page reports is really outside of its abilities. But, interacting with the data live, slicing-and-dicing in real time, is what it does. Sure, you can print or PDF the screen but beyond that, be prepared to interact with the data rather than just print it.


Is it hard to develop Power BI reports?


Building the base SQL queries can be hard and is essential to designing usable reports. In fact, you need to think a little beyond a regular report and keep in mind how the data may be used in different ways. With the data in place, actually designing reports is straightforward.


With our SYSPRO expertise, we can definitely help you get started and get through the initial steps with the SQL queries. We have developed a basic sales report that you are free to use, as well as some more advanced ones where we have done the heavy lifting and have them available in our store. Let us know how we can help get you started on your analytics journey!

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