Why you need to ditch excel and start using BI tools

Did you know that Excel was first released in 1985!  Haven’t we all seen enough Excel pie charts to last a lifetime?  That’s why you need to ditch Excel and start using BI tools.

Excel version 3.0 graph

It’s time to step your game up.  Embrace the digital era; stop presenting graphs, and start delivering real data insights!

An abundance of Business Intelligence tools

You’ve no doubt heard about Business Intelligence tools and may have even tried one or two.  There are so many to choose from now that it’s hard to know where to start.

Wind back the clock a few years, and there weren’t too many around.  Most of them were expensive, and each had some reasonably significant limitations.  But this landscape has changed dramatically in the past 24 months.

Many of the BI tools are now available for free or at minimal cost, and even those usually give you a free trial.  Most come as a desktop application, a cloud offering or both and they can all connect to virtually any data source you can think of.

The biggest change of all… they are so easy to use, they even make excel look complicated.

This is our selection of some of the most versatile and easy to use BI tools on the market:

  • Power BI
  • Tableau
  • QlikView
  • Klipfolio
  • Google Data Studio
  • Domo
  • Jedox

Business Intelligence for the non-technical

These applications are drag and drop and are very intuitive to use.  With a bit of data, you would be able to get started within minutes.

These tools are designed specifically for data analytics and Business Intelligence, so they come with all the extras that are essential when creating something engaging and meaningful.

Most of them have some great functions that let you perform some deep analytics.  Others have inbuilt statistical tools and data interrogation functions.

Perhaps the biggest win is you can create interactive dashboards and publish securely to the cloud for your whole team to collaborate on.  Month-end reports delivered in an interactive format has a huge impact on the business.  Long gone are the days of emailing countless PDFs and excel spreadsheets.  These interactive dashboards do all the work for you and can even notify each user when an update is available.

Ultimately, these tools produce some amazing graphs that help you tell your story in a way that will blow the mind of your audience.  This is why you need to ditch Excel and start using BI tools.

Finding the right tool for your organisation

Finding the right BI tool for your organisation depends on your needs and what you hope to achieve from it.  With over 50 BI tools to choose from, it’s important to know what to look for.

There could be more than one solution that suits your needs, so it’s worth trying out a few of them to see which one works best for you and your team.

Here are some important things to consider when making your selection:

  • What data sources do you need to connect to
  • How many people need to use it
  • How big is the audience
  • Do you need to publish to the cloud
  • Do you have to work within an existing security domain

Make sure you do your research, try a few out and then take your pick.

Read our Case Study on how one of our clients saved thousands of hours: Automation of End of Month Reporting saves thousands of hours

Make your message clear

Having the right tool is only one step towards great data analytics.  Making sure you get your message across in an effective and lasting way is crucial.  This is a common challenge for many, and going the extra mile is generally the hardest part.

Knowing which graph to use is very important.  Knowing not to use a pie chart is even more important!  Why you should stop using pie charts

Approaching the problem the right way will certainly set you on a trajectory for success.

Not sure how to get started?

We help a lot of clients realise their BI goals.  We have worked with most tools and are experts in these:

To request a meeting with a BI expert to walk through your needs, complete the form below or contact us directly.

Thanks to RetroMacComputing for the image:

 

Take a trip down memory lane with Dr Gough:

http://goughlui.com/2014/05/31/tech-flashback-microsoft-excel-for-windows-version-3-0/

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