Posted on: March 21, 2017

Microsoft Power BI is pretty amazing. Analysts who make use of Power BI will find themselves empowered to create useful dashboards and reports that provide improved analytics and more powerful insights. The free set of tools makes it extremely easy for users to obtain 360-degree insight on organizational trends, goals, and day-to-day operations, as well as to make wiser, data-driven decisions. 

Of course, in order to take full advantage of all that Power BI has to offer, you’re going to have to take some steps to get ready. Hey – you can’t bake a cake without preparing the ingredients first, right? In the same way, you need to prepare all of your data to be analyzed and interpreted with Power BI if you hope to achieve useful results. So how, exactly, should you go about the process of preparing your data for Power BI? Read on to learn more.

Data Preparation: An Intensive Process

Every business has data – and lots of it. In fact, your organization probably generates and receives so much information on a daily basis that you don’t know what to do with it. That is precisely the problem. When organized and presented in a way that makes sense, it’s easy to interpret data and make smart, well-informed decisions and predictions about your business. In order for the data to make sense, though, it needs to be prepared the right way, and that can be very time-consuming. In fact, it could take you weeks or months to set up your dataset in the precise way. And if you make any mistakes during data prep, the entire analytics process will be slowed down and will potentially come up incomplete, full of errors, or with a lack of context. In other words, you had better set aside ample time and be prepared to pay close attention to every detail when preparing your data… or else find a better way.

Power BI Prep Made Easy

Because Microsoft wants its users to be able to employ the Power BI tool set with confidence and ease, they have partnered up with Alteryx in order to offer the Altered Starter Kit for Microsoft. This integrated solution is designed for the purpose of helping analysts quickly (and accurately) prepare data, and then start taking advantage of rich visualizations with Power BI.

For starters, Alteryx makes it a whole lot easier for businesses (specifically, analytics experts) to gather and prep multiple data sources – all from one, single workflow. No programming is required to achieve this, which makes data prep simpler than ever before. You can choose to work with data within existing systems, and that data can then be blended with data from Excel, Microsoft Access, SQL Server, cloud apps, social media apps… the list goes on and on. Ultimately, this means that it’s possible for users to develop your own unique, ideal dataset for your specific needs without having to rely on others. Even better – the data prep process within Alteryx can be automated. No more lost hours on preparation! Instead, you and your team can focus on developing richer visualizations within Power BI.

In addition to making a faster, smoother data preparation process, Alteryx allows you to quickly get to know the analytics tools offered through Power BI so that you can start making educated business decisions and obtaining valuable insights right away, instead of several months down the line when you finally start to understand what’s what. It’s the best way for businesses to foray into the world of Power BI.

Want to learn more about how Microsoft Power BI could improve your business or how to prepare your organization for Power BI? Contact us today and we’ll help you every step of the way.