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Power BI Tips and Tricks: Optimizing Data Analysis and Reporting

The advent of ChatGPT and generative artificial intelligence has dramatically increased the rate at which business intelligence tools are advancing. Given the current state of technology, the world may be entering another exponential jump in technological advancement — similar to what happened with the internet in the 1990s and 2000s.

For rising business leaders, it’s critical to know how to leverage today’s most powerful business intelligence tools. Harnessing the power of generative AI will allow you to radically improve your productivity. Graduates of an advanced degree program, such as La Salle University’s online Master of Business Administration (MBA) – Business Systems and Analytics Specialization program, gain necessary skills in data analysis tools.

Leveraging Power BI by Microsoft

In addition to ChatGPT, professionals must be familiar with another one of today’s most powerful tools: Power BI. As one of the most popular business intelligence tools, Power BI is a comprehensive tool by Microsoft. Companies that invest in Power BI have experienced a significant return on investment due to enhanced productivity.

There are dozens of ways that this tool can assist modern professionals. To name just a few, Power BI can help:

  • Turn raw data into visual reports or presentations
  • Infuse insights from data into other popular apps, including Microsoft 365
  • Drill into data to gather insights
  • Ask questions about data using artificial intelligence

Power BI: Tips and Tricks

Like many of Microsoft’s business intelligence tools, PowerBI is complex and can be leveraged in many ways. To help make the most of this tool, CIO recommends the following five tips:

  1. Make the most of integrations: Power BI integrates with hundreds of data services, apps and services, including (but not limited to) Adobe Marketing Cloud, SAP HANA, Salesforce, MailChimp, Marketo, Google Analytics and more. You can ensure you’re getting the most out of your Power BI subscription by utilizing the tool across all your other workplace platforms.
  2. Utilize the “What If” function: Besides breaking down existing data, Power BI can help you understand the impact of unknown variables on your data set. To leverage this feature, utilize the What If function to visualize how shifts in different parameters will affect your results.
  3. Lean on AI to enhance your Power BI experience: Microsoft has deployed artificial intelligence across Power BI. You can tap into this power by using functions like Smart Narratives, Automated Inserts or asking AI to explain things within your data set.
  4. Perform real-time analytics: Most business intelligence tools pull data from a database at set intervals. However, you can use Azure Event Hubs and Azure Stream Analytics to equip your Power BI dashboard with real-time data. This is especially valuable for eCommerce sites, customer support or operational technology systems.
  5. Create multiple reports on the same data: If you report data insights to your manager, it makes sense to provide various details. If you’re delivering a report to executives with many responsibilities, then it might be better to condense reports to cover the most important takeaways. Fortunately, Power BI can help you create reports for both parties.

The benefits don’t stop there. ZoomCharts notes that PowerBI is also great for making reports accessible and inclusive and finding visual aids that work best for certain information.

However, for the modern business professional, it’s not enough to simply brush up on the latest strategies for workplace tools. This is because these tools will continue to update and change over time. Instead of learning the latest Power BI strategies, there’s a much more valuable skill that rising graduates can obtain: learning how to learn.

Keeping Pace With Technological Innovation

One of the best ways to keep pace with technological innovation is to teach yourself how to learn. Learning, in and of itself, is a skill. If you teach yourself to learn, then you will not have to worry about falling behind the pace of technological innovation. This is because you’ll be mentally prepared to adapt to whatever changes come your way. Perhaps one of the best ways to learn how to learn is to pursue an MBA.

Almost all MBA degrees will teach you the fundamental core concepts of business, like finance, accounting, marketing and management. However, they also go one step further by teaching you to think critically about business issues. Additionally, some programs specialize specifically in business systems and analytics — perfect for those passionate about data. In particular, La Salle University’s online MBA program offers specific courses that teach rising graduates how to enhance their data analysis skills, such as the following:

  • Business Systems Analysis and Database Design familiarizes students with concepts like the Entity Relationship Diagram, Data Structure Diagram, Data Flow Diagram, Data Dictionary and Process Specifications to develop Systems Specifications. These concepts create the foundation to develop and implement relational databases.
  • Data Visualization teaches students the best practices for communicating the practical implications of quantitative analyses to audience members.

Students can complete La Salle University’s Master of Business Administration program fully online in as few as 14-16 months. With foundational business skills and knowledge in business systems and analytics, graduates will be equipped to utilize modern data tools like PowerBI.

Learn more about La Salle University’s MBA – Business Systems and Analytics Specialization online program.

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