…and pretty understandable.

Admit it: your business concurrently uses multiple legacy systems in multiple business areas — whilst looking forward to the bright new shiny system you have commissioned — and knitting all these data sources into a coherent ensemble presents a considerable reporting challenge.

Power BI is a great way to render data meaningful and offer otherwise obscure insights, across your entire business. In fact, Power BI has a number of connectors that allow you to pull data from multiple sources: Excel, Dynamics 365, SQL Server, O Data … All these Microsoft connectors are to be expected, but Power BI can also talk to a diverse range of non-Microsoft end points: Google Analytics, Mailchimp, PDFs, Salesforce (incidentally, a direct competitor of D365), Zendesk (another competitor) — even file folders — to name a very, very few. Indeed, bespoke connectors can be created if your legacy system isn’t already in the burgeoning list.

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It is essential that your reporting strategy reflects the business itself rather than the digital representation of it found in your databases. One of Power BI’s fundamental strengths lies in the fact it is neither a data management nor data entry system. This, together with its ability to connect to multiple data sources, mean that the underlying data model need not mirror your database data model. Because the relationships and entities aren’t exact replicas of your database or warehouse systems, reams of dry data can be more easily transformed into meaningful information, immediately understandable to all the stakeholders — the tricky bit is getting the data model right!

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