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Benefits of Power BI for Small Businesses

Microsoft Power BI logo shown by apple pencil on the iPad Pro tablet screen. Man using application on the tablet. December 2020, San Francisco, USA.
Microsoft Power BI logo shown by apple pencil on the iPad Pro tablet screen.

There is no way one can deny the importance of data in the business scene. Companies of all types and sizes are using mammoth amounts of data on a daily basis. They need to collect data from various sources and then compile and analyze it using specialized applications. This is why BI and data visualization tools have become so popular. There are many advantages of using such software solutions, and the notable thing is even small-sized entities are resorting to these tools nowadays. Power BI is among the widely used BI and data visualization tools used by businesses globally.

Why should small businesses use Power BI?

A small-sized business owner cannot afford to overlook the competition, given the market situation. In any sector, new players join the race every now and then. Even in a city, small businesses or service providers pop up at every nook and corner. So, small businesses catering to a region also need to get an edge over their competitors. This is where Power BI can do wonders.

These companies can utilize this robust and versatile BI solution to fathom a lot of nuances of business operations and make strategic decisions. Such moves can be pivotal for business and revenue growth in the long run. Using Power BI can be good for small business operations in the following ways:

  • They can use the tool to analyze data and figure out which markets are fetching maximum sales and areas where sales are sluggish. They can also track sales growth in all or a single market, quarter-wise, if necessary.
  • They can keep a tab on the sales growth of rivals in one or more markets, time-wise.
  • They can use the tool to find out areas where expenditure is going up. For small businesses, curtailing operational costs is a matter of prime importance. 
  • Small businesses can use Power BI to figure out which products are selling well and which ones are not getting a good response from the target buyers. They can make changes in the product line thereafter. 

What kind of small ventures gain from using Power BI? 

There is a perception that BI and data visualization applications are mostly used by MNCs and technology giants. However, the reality is Power BI is also being utilized by several small companies with ambitious growth and expansion plans. The platform is versatile, and it can also be used by start-ups and home-based venture owners to their advantage. It does not matter which sector your small venture belongs to. Power BI can be useful for entities belonging to literally any sector, including IT, retail, financial services, healthcare, hospitality, and so on. 

Major advantages of using Power BI for small-sized ventures

Listed below are the advantages of using Power BI for small businesses:

  • Flexible pricing- For small businesses, budget is often a restraining factor. They have to spend after marketing, website development, utility services, and more with caution. The same can be said about spending after software applications for operational needs. The nice thing is Power BI can be used for free. The free desktop version is packed with features that most start-ups will find useful, and the Pro version can be tried for free for two months. Of course, the advantages of seeking the services of a veteran power bi developer and analyst can’t be denied.
  • Ease of usage- For small businesses, using software applications that are easy to learn and use makes complete sense. Power BI has a simple learning curve compared to several other BI solutions. Of course, to utilize the advanced and hidden features, the expertise of seasoned Power bi consultants can be availed. However, for basic data analysis and report creation needs, small businesses can do with the inbuilt features of the platform. 
  • Data visualization scope- Power BI scores quite well in this department. You get over 30 visuals, and more can be downloaded from the Microsoft AppSource. There are plenty of inbuilt charts and graphs that can be used. It is true the tool has a 3,500 data point limit, but that should not be a hindrance for small-sized businesses. 
  • Great data source support- Power BI can be linked with several Microsoft and third-party software applications for importing data. This can be a boon for small businesses that already use such applications. For example, MS Excel is already used by millions of businesses. Power BI has solid integration with Excel, and data import from the tool is a breeze. 
  • Support and resources- Not all small businesses can afford to hire the top Power BI analysts or power bi consulting services, beyond doubt. However, that does not mean they are without options when it comes to support and resources. The online Power BI community is strong and helpful. So, small businesses can rely on resources and support offered by these online forums when they need assistance. Microsoft’s knowledge base itself is good enough.
  • Regular updates- Microsoft keeps improving power BI, and new features get added to the tool with regularity. So, businesses using the tool can make use of these new features and gain accordingly. 
  • Data security- Even small businesses cannot afford to be careless about user data. They can be assured about data safety when using Power BI as the tool comes with adequate embedded safety features. 

Shall you hire a Power BI analyst or consultant for your small business?

Typically, small businesses that use the free desktop version of Power BI can do without hiring a BI analyst or agency. However, there is no hard and fast rule. Based on your budget, business growth plan, and situation, seeking the services of a Power bi development professional may be useful. However, you should be careful about hiring such analysts and agencies for your small venture. Compare the available contenders well before signing up for anyone.