Power BI, SSRS and DAX

Microsoft BI

Microsoft BI is the leading suite of business analytics tools which analyse data and share business insights.  Microsoft's Power BI dashboards, a powerful component of the suite, provide a 360-degree view for business users with the most important metrics in one place, updated in real time and available on all devices.  With one click, users can explore the data behind their dashboard using intuitive tools that make finding answers easy.  Creating a dashboard is simple thanks to over 50 connections to popular business applications, complete with prebuilt dashboards crafted by experts that help you get up and running quickly.  And you can access your data and reports from anywhere with Power BI Mobile apps, which update automatically with any changes to your data.  

Bridgeall develops and deploys Microsoft Power BI's visualisation and exploration solutions for a number of our customers due to Microsoft's vision and commitment of the platform, and their focus on helping businesses drive productivity and make real time informed decisions.

Power BI leads the way

Now positioned as an outright leader in the BI and Analytics space by Gartner, Power BI's strengths have been assessed by Gartner:

  • TCO - Microsoft's cloud-based delivery model and low per-user pricing offers a low TCO.
  • Ease of use for business users.
  • Availability of skilled resources.
  • Achievement of business benefits, with high scores in its use for monetizing data, improving customer service and increasing revenue.  
  • User enablement (only Tableau ranked slightly higher), with high scores for online tutorials, community support, conferences and documentation.
  • Microsoft has continued to expand the number and variety of data sources it supports natively and has also improved its partner network to build out connectors and content that includes prebuilt reports and dashboards e.g. Facebook, Salesforce, Dynamics CRM, Google Analytics, Zendesk and Marketo etc.
  • SQL Server 2016 Reporting Services (SSRS) provides three authoring interfaces for creating production style reports, all housed under a new, easy to use web application. 
    • Report Designer in SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT) for IT authors who prefer a Visual Studio-integrated design environment and might want to embed content in other applications.
    • Report Builder, which is more of a drag-and-drop authoring interface for either IT or power users.
    • SQL Server Mobile Report Publisher (based on the Datazen acquisition) is for designing mobile reports.  SQL Server Analysis Services provides multidimensional cubes that can be accessed with a number of front-end tools.  It can be deployed on-premises for reporting or in the Azure cloud for OLAP.

       

Source: Gartner (February 2016)

 

Extend the Power with DAX

Bridgeall recognises that Microsoft has made Power BI and SSRS very easy to use, so as well as focusing our BI services on helping to deploy and use these products, we have also invested in delivering a complementary service to help customers extend their Power BI solutions using Data Analysis Expressions (DAX), which is the native formula and query language for Microsoft PowerPivot, Power BI Desktop and SQL Server Analysis Services Tabular models.  DAX offers additional functions that are designed to perform dynamic aggregation, and can often be required to manipulate data and measures when the out-of-the-box Power BI functions and components are not able to fully realise the customer's needs.

If you need help to extend your Power BI solutions with DAX, contact us to find out how our DAX Extension Service and experienced DAX consultants can deliver rapid and powerful results.  

 

Call our Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen Power BI and DAX Experts on 0141 212 6400 or our London team on 020 3817 8160.