Microsoft Power BI
Hello and welcome. My name is John Hoyt. I am the Solutions Consultant here at TMC. I’d like to thank you for joining us for our monthly webinar series. Today’s topic is going to be all about Microsoft Power BI. This webinar is intended to be an introduction to that tool. If you have any questions and you’d like to contact me my e-mail address is [email protected] Again, I’ll be happy to answer any questions about this or any other topics related to Microsoft Dynamics ERP as we go through this presentation.
Start by reviewing the agenda. What I’d like to cover today is a couple of things. I want to talk first of all just about Office 365 and Power BI. I’ll explain why I’m going to be referring to them as a pair. They are probably most effective when they are paired together.
Then second, I’d like to talk about the overall role, not only of Power BI, the tool from Microsoft and where it can fit into your company or to your organization, but also about the larger role of business intelligence and where does Power BI fit into that larger realm of the true business intelligence side.
There’s a couple different demos that I wanna go through. We’ll spend time in the Power BI desktop. This is a locally installed tool that would be used for the generation and publication of reports, dashboards, KPIs, metrics, anything that we’re gonna be sending out to our users to consume.
From there we’ll go into Power BI for Excel. There is a small extension of the Power BI tool into Microsoft Excel and I’ll show you what we can do there inside Excel, both in terms of looking at published information as well as working with the data sets that that published information represents, or even creating your own object in Excel and then publishing that object up to Power BI so that other workers or colleagues, et cetera, they’d have access to that information as well.
Then we’ll get to Power BI Mobile and this is where I think the real strength starts to show itself for the Power BI product is that ability to unchain yourself from the desktop or from your network and still have access to the Power BI tool from wherever you might be, on whatever device you choose to use.
Then finally, we’ll wrap up at the end with a little bit about what are your next steps with Power BI. Where can you go from here after you’ve gone through this introduction with us today?
So if you look at the Microsoft Power BI site and ask yourself the question, “What is Power BI?” Microsoft’s answer is Power BI is a suite of business analytic tools to analyze data and share insights. Monitor your business and get answers quickly with rich dashboard available on every device. So if you look at that paragraph Microsoft’s calling out a couple of real keywords here. Analytic tools, analyze data, share insights, monitor the business, rich dashboards on every device. But I think what’s equally telling here is what Microsoft is not using. What they’re not talking about here are reports, statements, budgeting, forecasting, planning. That reason for the omission, in my opinion, is deliberate and I think will become very obvious in just a moment because Microsoft’s Power BI is really focused on one specific area. It’s the consumption of information.
So within Power BI, what does Microsoft expect you to be able to do? Well, their view is to allow you to put your entire business and its current health, status, condition, et cetera, onto a single dashboard. Now obviously that’s gonna be a rather sophisticated dashboard. It may have multiple pages, et cetera. But we want one tool to allow you to get an instant snapshot of where I am right now. We also want it to be the tool that allows you to convert the data that your ERP system might be storing, and I’m gonna talk mostly about Dynamics GP today, but it also applies to Dynamics NAV, Dynamics SL, other tools you might be using internally. Power BI’s a means to communicate that information to a broader audience, whatever that might be, and we wanna do that in a very powerful and interactive visual way. We’re not sending out rows and columns of figures.
By having that ability to share information across the entire organization and have it refreshable on demand, or you can push the refresh out on a scheduled basis, it means that everybody across the organization is looking at the same current set of information. I don’t have to be concerned about a decision being made today that’s based on stale data from a day ago, a week ago, a month ago, whenever that report might have been generated. If everyone’s looking at the same real-time information then I don’t have to worry about someone making a decision based on old, bad information.
The last bullet point here, the tool is intended to allow you to generate your own apps. By apps, Microsoft really means a little software tool that represents a significant part of your business or a significant piece of information about your business. You can now create that and embed that inside your Power BI instance and anyone who has access to it now can get access to that.
There are a couple of real, major components inside Power BI and one kind of minor one that I’ve called out in parenthesis there. The Power BI Desktop, this is probably the starting point for the generation, the creation of reports. It’s where I’m gonna create my data connections to various data sources, et cetera. A critical and key component and we’ll spend a fair amount of time there inside the demo.
The second component, and in my opinion again, this is the tool that really allows me to leverage Power BI and get a lot of value out of it, is its ability to go mobile. Any user, any device, anywhere they want, as long as they have access to the internet and their Office 365 account. That’s a key piece, mobile does require an Office 365 account. But with those two tools in place, they’ve now got full access to the Power BI suite and they can work with it whenever, wherever, and however they choose.
Then the third component is the Power BI Gateway. This is the technical piece that allows me to essentially connect those portions of my system that might be on premise, so I might have Dynamics GP in an on-premise environment. I might have other systems in my on-premise environment that I wanna connect, a retail point of sale system for example or a subscription and membership tool that I’m using to track those details. With the Power BI Gateway, I can connect my on-premise information to any information that is coming to me or stored in the Cloud. Typically by that, of course, we mean Microsoft’s Azure Cloud but I can connect to other tools, other devices. It’s that Power BI Gateway that allows me to bridge, again, the on-premise and the online world in a safe and secure fashion.
When you do a typical Dynamics GP implementation I have a GP server with a SQL server and the database and I have locally installed Dynamics GP clients. The client and the database get connected through an ODBC connection. Inside the network, secure, a handoff of information between client and the database. The Gateway for Power BI functions in essentially the way fashion. This is the security tool that allows me to tunnel through firewalls and move data from on-premise to online or online to on-premise in a safe and secure way. I don’t have to worry about exposing my data to somebody that doesn’t need it. I’m gonna do it entirely through the Power BI Gateway.
So what can I connect to? Well, Dynamics ERP, of course, I already mentioned GP, NAC, SL. You can connect to Microsoft Dynamics CRM, either an online instance of CRM if that’s where you’re going or you can do it with an on-premise version. Microsoft Office 365, of course, allows me to have the mobile capability and use all of the Office 365 components including Excel to make sure I’m getting the full value out of my Power BI implementation. Then critically, and most importantly, is those other external data sources. Those can be custom data sources like I mentioned a moment ago, the point of sale system or the subscription management system. But they can also be to a service or a data source that’s been created and made available inside Microsoft’s Azure Cloud.
Some examples of those types of pieces of information might be something like Google Analytics. Your website may currently be using Google Analytics to track web traffic, the number of people that enter your website, how long they stay on a website, what pages they visit, et cetera. With Power BI, I can connect directly to Google Analytics and my account with them and my Power BI system and its connection to my ERP package and other systems in the on premise world and now I can start to use Google Analytics data when I create information on the Power BI tool. So maybe it’s a combination of Google Analytics for website traffic compared to sales volume. GP data for sales, Google Analytics for the web traffic. Connect to CRM if you’re using Dynamics CRM.
There are other tools and other packages that are available, Salesforce.com for example. With all those pieces there are more than 60 of those providers available right now and it’s a very easy connection. I’m simply gonna connect my subscription on Power BI to my relevant subscription on any of those different web services and now I can start to work with all of their data combined into that single Power BI interface.
Now, I wanted to bring up this paragraph again from the beginning. Again, I wanna emphasize the words that Microsoft is showing and ask you to fill in the blanks. What is Microsoft not talking about? That’s the reports, the statements, the budgeting, the forecasting, the planning. The reason for that is the role of Power BI within a larger business intelligence environment or implementation … one tool, in my opinion, will not be sufficient to cover all the different things that a BI system should be providing. If you look at the graphic on the right you can see that I’ve broken out business intelligence into essentially three components: consolidation, calculation, and communication. Then I’ve detailed what I think belong in each one of those different segments.
The consolidation, this is financial statements, tax filings, regulatory filing support, back up documents, et cetera. It might be formal documents that I’m putting together for a board of directors meeting or I’m going to the bank to take out a new loan or a credit line. Power BI doesn’t do formatted reports. To do your financial statements, to provide back up for taxes, you’re going to continue to use those ERP tools you’re probably using today. Maybe it’s Management Reporter. Maybe it’s Jet Reports. Maybe you’ve upgraded to something like Solver’s BI360 tool. You’re gonna continue to use those for the traditional formatted reports.
Now calculation, that’s the second kind of area inside business intelligence. This is all the forward-looking stuff. This is the planning, the budgeting, the forecasting, all those what if scenarios that could potentially happen at some point out in the future. That’s a critical part of business intelligence but it’s not part of Power BI. To do that we’d look at Excel-based budgeting. We’d look at Budget Maestro. There’s a number of other tools that can assist in that planning, budgeting, forecasting world.
Okay, fair enough. It doesn’t do consolidation. It doesn’t do calculation. What does Power BI do? It’s that third segment, and in my view, one of the most critical of the three. It’s the communication. How do I take all this information that’s been generated, whether I’m looking at historical information from ERP or looking into the future with budgeting and planning tools? How do I share that? How do I get feedback? And equally important, how do I provide people with information that is all about right now? Not the historical view of financial statements, not the future view of forecasts, what’s happening right now right this minute and who’s the audience for that? Well, my executives, directors, managers, controllers, they all need access to real-time, accurate information. And they need access to it from wherever and whenever. They might be traveling. Wherever they are. Those final pieces, that all comes in from Power BI.
Another way that you could think about this is in order for me to successfully drive a car I need three components. I need a windshield that allows me to look into the future. I need a rear-view mirror that allows me to see what’s happened in the past. And I need a dashboard full of current, real-time information that can warn me if something’s about to blow up. I’m running out of fuel, I’m overheating, whatever it might be. All of those pieces taken together allow me to successfully drive my car. I need all of those same three components inside business intelligence to make the whole package work properly. One of those pieces, Power BI, allows me to do all the communication bits and pieces.
What do you get in Power BI? Again, we get the Desktop, we get the Excel plugin, and we get the Mobile. We’re gonna start the demo and I wanna start initially inside the Power BI Desktop … Now when Power BI launches for me it’s going to also ask me to log in to my Office 365 account. That simply allows me to connect to my data. I’m here logged in as John Hoyt. When I first come in now to the Power BI Desktop, again, this is the tool that I’m going to use to generate and publish reports or dashboard or KPIs, or even just a data set that I want to be able to send out to someone. Then once I’ve worked on the tool here inside the Power BI Desktop and it’s published, people could then work with it inside either the Excel tool if they want to do it on premise, or with the mobile tool.
So some of those key components are going to be things like what data sources do I have available to me because Power BI needs to be connected to data before I can do anything with that. A lot of what we do, of course, may be on a local install server. I’m simply gonna go grab data directly from my GP system out of SQL server. We also have a tool that we now have introduced in GP 2016 called OData. OData is a feed of data outbound from a ERP system like Dynamics GP up to Power BI up in the Azure Cloud. That OData feed is the ability to move data in real-time and rather than moving the entire data table, I can essentially just take the bits and pieces out of that that I want to work with.
I mentioned in the slide deck that there were a number of online services that have been published. That list is here and available. So from my “get data” if I simply select the “others” now I can choose who I wanna work with. So do I need to get CRM online? Do I want to go grab information from Marketo? You’ll see that some of these are still in beta. Microsoft is working with our partners to update those data connections and we’re adding more and more data connections to those online services. Internally, I may have other databases that I want to connect to. Obviously we like SQL server but we’ll work with Access or MySQL or Oracle or IBM. We are agnostic in terms of the data sources. There’s no exclusions or restrictions. You simply tell us where the data lives and we’ll provide you the ability to go grab that.
In my case, I have some recent sources that I’ve worked with already. Those happen to include my local PC, where I have a GP install in place. When I ask to connect to a local data source I get a couple of different views when these first pop up in what we call the navigator. Inside the navigator I can choose what type of data I wanna see. I can select just selected items. I can select everything that’s been set up. There are different types of values that are in here as well. If you’re familiar with SQL server you probably know our SQL server data tables and they’re available. You can see them here by name. We can also make use of what are called SQL views. A SQL view might be created one time and allows me to join multiple tables together and restrict the data values that are present. I don’t need all of the data that Microsoft SQL Server is holding, I need a subset. That SQL view can be used to pull that information in.
Now I can sort through or search through this. If I put in lines for example, it will go through and show me every value that it finds that includes lines of some type. I can also do that for sales, I can do it for purchasing, whatever information I might need. If I then select one of those values and I grab the view for sales line items for example, I’m now ready to work with that data set. If I choose to load that data set it will bring the SQL view as it exists directly into the tool and I can start to use my values over here on the right, the visualization and the fields, to look for specific information. If I don’t wanna pull the full data set in I can choose “edit” first. Then I’m going to choose how I want to work with that. I’ll leave this as an import.
Then it’s gonna take me into a view that shows me all of the data as it currently exists inside that view in the same sequence that they’re displayed. Now you’ll notice a couple things immediately comparing and contrasting with something like Microsoft SQL server or other ways to access SQL data. We bring in plain English column headers. So rather than the actual field name or column header out of the SQL server database they’re gonna get translated into plain English descriptions. We’ll also tell you, through the column header, what type of data we’re looking at. Is it alphanumeric data? Is it numeric data only? Et cetera. You see those at the column headers. Now, I can choose which columns I wanna work with. This’ll give me a list of all the columns. I can choose to unselect some of those. Then I could go through and simply grab the pieces that make the most sense to me.
The other values may or may not be of any interest. Maybe part of the analysis I wanted to do is going to be based on things like where I’m selling. So in addition to the customer, the item, the quantities, I might also wanna know things like what city was it sold to … what state was it sold to, any of those kind of values. Once I choose the columns that I want and click okay then Power BI will redraw the view for me showing me just the values that I was interested it. Now I can start to work with those values over on the right hand side. With that query done I’ll then close and apply.
So I’m returned back to my Power BI Desktop and now it’s going to be loading in the query that I just created. So over on the right hand side now in my fields list I get only those fields or those values from the data set that I chose to work with. Then I can start to work my way through and simply add in. Well, let’s start with customer. That’s gonna be a great place to start perhaps, and I wanna see extended price, extended cost, and I wanna see what city they’re in. Now, when I first pulled these data elements over into my filters I have not chosen any filters to apply so it’s gonna show me absolutely everything. And the visualization, sorry, that I asked for, I’m set to show everything inside a table. Well that may not be the best way for me to view that. Maybe I wanna see a breakdown instead. Show me that information as some kind of a pie chart. So I could pull those details in.
I can choose how I wanna filter so I could say instead of all of the customers I only wanna look for the first couple. I’ll just grab this first seven or eight, pull them in, et cetera. As I’m working with these values you can see that it’s redoing the view for me. So now I’ve got my extended price and extended cost. I don’t want cost necessarily. I can make that go away. I can just see price, et cetera. If I click somewhere outside of that first object Power BI will allow me to work with the same data set and maybe now I pull in something different. Maybe now I wanna see the breakdown between invoices and extended cost. I could build another one that says I only wanna look at city and extended price. And because I started with a geographic element, Power BI has gone ahead and selected a geographic element for me to display that. So now I can break down my sales by city inside a map view.
Now I can continue to add. I can continue to add. I could grab a different data source, add those in, make whatever changes I might want. Once everything gets done with this and I have things looking the way I want them to then I would choose to publish this. When I choose to publish this out to Power BI I’ll save a copy locally … That would allow me to come back later and revisit this if I need to. Now these three elements are gonna be published up to Power BI and we’ve called that the Webinar Demo. So when we get to the Mobile portion of this I’ll come back and show you how that works. Let me pause here and ask, are there any questions at this point? … Don’t hear any questions. Okay.
We wanna provide some assistance for you to work with this data so there’s a modeling tab that would allow me to do things like add columns or add in new tables. I can also create new measures or new calculations. The GP data is notorious for not including margin calculations for example. That may be really relevant in a sales dashboard so I can very easily create my own custom measure, just a calculation built upon the data elements that I have present inside my data view. Modeling also allows me to choose the security that’s going to be around this. Who gets access under what roles and what can they do with those different roles?
The formatting tools allow me to simply change or alter the layout so it looks and feels the way I want it to. Then finally, I can set this up to allow for drill down so that when someone’s looking at a dashboard and they see a graphical representation of data, do I want to give them the ability to actually go back and see the data or even go back and see the individual records that make up that data? Those are choices that you will make as you design and then ultimately publish out the different elements you’re going to be building here in the Power BI Desktop.
I’m gonna minimize the Desktop for a moment because I also wanted to bring up GP and talk about the Microsoft Excel add-in. We’re all, I should not say “all,” putting words in people’s mouths. Most of us are familiar with Dynamics GP or one of the other Microsoft ERP packages. With that of course you have some familiarity with how do I work with my ERP data and link it in to something like Microsoft Excel. In the GP world, of course, the most common way to do that is gonna be start inside SmartList. I think for some of the people at least getting their feet wet inside the Power BI tool this may be a simpler way, although a less sophisticated way, to start to get some data moved out of your ERP package and up to the Power BI system. Because I can work, of course, with any of my folders inside my SmartList in any of those views. I can take something like all of my sales transactions and then grab all my open invoices.
Everything that you do inside SmartList could apply at this point. I can add columns. I can do filters and searching and restrictions. Once I get the data set prepared the way I want I can now drop this out to Excel. When Excel opens it’s going to take me directly into my GP data as the SmartList has done its export, of course, and I’d be ready to work within this document just like I normally would. I will point out, however, in my version of Excel I have an add-in for Power BI. Power BI is going to allow me to work with this information. So I could take the data the way it is, I could turn it into a Power pivot table or a Power pivot chart or graph of some kind. Once I get everything manipulated the way I want, I can then pin this detail to my Power BI. It’s gonna ask where do I want to put this information, where’s it going to go, how’s it going to look, et cetera.
I can either put it into an existing dashboard or we can build a brand new dashboard … call it “webinar” and say okay. Now that that’s been pinned up in the webinar dashboard for me I can either continue to work inside Excel, either with this tool or with other tools. I can work with Power BI directly. I can connect any of my data sources that are in Power BI and bring information backwards because I have that gateway in place that allows for bidirectional communication. Or more likely what I might end up doing is simply going up to my Power BI Mobile client, and again, I access that by logging in first to my Office 365 account …
So here I am logged in to Office 365. I have a variety of online apps that I currently have access to as part of my Office 365 subscription, including my Power BI. Now when I launch into Power BI the Mobile tool looks similar to what we have in the Desktop tool but this is not a tool for the creation or the generation of reports. This is the tool for the consumption. When I first come in it brings me into my CXO dashboard. I’ve simply defined that as the starting point that I wanna use inside Power BI. So every time I log in it brings me here to the dashboard. The dashboard contains a variety of different objects and metrics all coming out of my ERP data and these are drill backs. I can click on it. It will expand out to the detail for me. It will allow me to refresh this if I have a current data load. After I’m done at the focus or the detail level I can simply exit that focus mode. It takes me straight back to my dashboard.
A couple of other functions that are available directly at the dashboard. You’ll see there’s an ask a question about your data value here. You can do that either by typing in text questions or, if you’re familiar with Microsoft Windows phones, you may have heard of our assistant called Cortana. You can use Cortana to give voice instructions to Power BI. “Hey Cortana, show me sales last month,” and Cortana can dig through your data and find that sales information for you.
Couple of other ways you can get insight out of this. I’m going to expand out from the, just my CXO dashboard and take you into what we call the My Workspace view. This is all of the Power BI dashboards, reports, or data sets that I have access to through my security. We just built that webinar dashboard and my image didn’t come through very cleanly. I apologize for that. It should have … should have produced a view that’s more similar to what you see down here in my GP financials dashboard. So this is where I’ve pulled out, in this case, overdue information on my … think this is customers, yep, my customers, and grouped that together. So a little kind of aging report gets put together. I’ve got that same geographical information about my sales and I can drill in those details, see the individual pieces of it, et cetera.
Once the dashboard’s been published it’s available. Again, it can be refreshed on demand. We can use that for drill back. We can also create reports. The reports are … causing me problems today. That same customer import report we were just looking at as part of the dashboard, a separate report version. Again, these can be either expandable or if you have them set up as we showed in that drill function it would allow me to drill down to the different details. How people choose to consume information in Power BI then really becomes kind of a choice between what’s the most effective tool. Does it make more sense to build a dashboard? Does it make more sense to build a report? Depending on that choice I’m gonna have one of two different types of information available or I can do combinations where it’s graphical, it’s reports, it’s other subsets, et cetera.
What many people will choose to work with directly inside the Power BI tool, in addition to working with those pre-formatted dashboards or pre-formatted reports that have been created, we can provide people direct access to the data itself and allow them to start to work with that. I have a number of data sets published in this case, including that webinar that we just built. If I click on the data set I get to see the same values that I had in the Desktop tool. Now I can work with that data set and create my own representations of it. So customer number, extended cost, and I want it viewed as some kind of a pipeline report. Then I could go through and put in my filters. Anywhere the extended cost is greater than, and let’s say $1000, and then apply that filter. It can go through and redraw that information …
Okay. So any of the data sets I can do that with. I have webinar data. I have customer information … Same concept. All the data values available now, choose how I wanna present that, choose what I wanna do with it. This is very much self-directed. This is me anticipating or determining what values I need to find and then hopefully I’ve made good choice in the data and the results that are returned are meaningful in some way. I would imagine that for most everybody listening to this we could all come up pretty quickly with a list of five or even 10, perhaps, of those key metrics, those key performance indicators, those values that I need to run the business on a regular basis, and put those together pretty quickly using the tools that are available inside Power BI.
There may be other interesting relationships among the data that is being presented that I don’t have a good insight into and I don’t have an immediate way of finding what those relationships are. Power BI has built those engines, those calculations, into our tool. If I highlight any one of my data sets and right mouse click on it I can do a number of different pieces with it. I can go refresh the data right now or schedule a refresh to occur later, daily, weekly, whatever it might be. I can set security around who is going to get access and what they can do with this information. I can take the entire data set and simply dump it into Excel and do all of my analysis inside Excel if that’s my preference. I’m sure there are a lot of people listening that will choose Excel. It’s comfortable. It’s familiar. We know how to work with it. So initially, at least, to me it makes great sense. Sure. Work inside Excel.
The value that Power BI really brings to me is in the quick insights. Quick insights is a tool that allows Power BI to analyze my data, look for relationships, and then present the relationships that it can find in a whole series of graphical objects for me. The calculation’s been completed. I can now view the insights that Power BI has identified for me inside my data set. Now some of these may be relevant, some of them may be not. It’s looking at all different types of data.
An interesting relationship it found between my customer balances and their credit card expiration dates. I may never have thought to do that analysis. I look at that and go, “That’s interesting.” I can work with that. I’m going to now pin that visualization to one of my dashboards. I’ll go ahead and put that back on to our webinar dashboard. Continue to scroll my way through. Anything else that looks like it may types … okay. So I can keep adding those in and as I continue to add them in they show up in my dashboard. Now the dashboards are drag and drop. I can reposition these wherever I want them to be.
The idea being that we gonna give you access to the dashboards that have been created and published, to the reports that have been created and published, direct access to the data sets themselves where you can work with those, and even enlist tools like Cortana to answer questions about the information that’s been presented, or use the quick insights to learn more about the data including exposing relationships you may never have considered or even realized that they existed. All of those can have an impact on the business of course. And because we’re doing this real-time and refreshable, as soon as that relationship gets identified and the dashboard gets updated, it’s updated for everybody across the organization.
Let me go back to my PowerPoint real quick. We’ve talked about the Power BI Desktop. We’ve talked a little bit about the Power BI for Excel, the add-in, and how it can be used. Then we talked a little bit about Power BI Mobile and again, to use Power BI Mobile does require that I have an Office 365 subscription as well. To use the Desktop tool and to use Power BI within Excel, I do not require an Office 365 subscription but in that model I’m giving up mobility. What I’m gonna have access to is simply going to be those pieces inside the on premise environment.
So the next steps that I would encourage everyone to take in terms of Power BI. If you don’t currently have a Microsoft Office 365 at the company you’re working for I would strongly suggest you start to investigate that. Microsoft kind of makes some hidden assumptions as we roll out new features and new functionality within the ERP systems. We’re making more and more use, of course, of our interactions with Microsoft Word, with Microsoft Excel. Microsoft assumes that you’re gonna have a current version of Office installed and so we’ll take advantage of the latest and greatest offerings from Office. That’s not necessarily a real world scenario, of course. Many companies are choosing to stay a version or two behind on Office because they don’t see a great deal of value in doing the upgrade to the current product. That may be a very accurate statement for many people.
I think one of the advantages of moving to Microsoft Office 365, however, instead of having a licensed, on premise version of Office is I never have to worry about updates again. I never have to worry about being a version or two behind. As the ERP side of Microsoft continues to release new functions and new features that rely on current versions of Office, you’re automatically going to be included in all of that. Okay. No more sales pitch for Office 365. I’m done. I would encourage you, whether you have an O365 account or not, sign up for a free 60 day trial and that can be extended beyond that if you need at www.PowerBI.com. It is free. It does require that you will give up, give up, you will need to log in or sign up using your work e-mail address. They won’t allow you to sign up for the free trial using any of the free e-mail services. So no Gmail accounts, no Hotmail accounts, no Live.com accounts, things like that. It will need to be your business domain e-mail.
Once you’ve it signed up and you’re in, you’re on that 60 day free trial, dive in, get started. There are a number of good tutorials online that Microsoft provides. There are pre-configured sample data and sample reports you can simply download and install and start to work with. It’s very simple to connect it to your local GP. So if you wanna work with GP data inside it you certainly can.
A great tool, I think that’s going to be something we’ll see a lot more of and I think Microsoft will continue to take more and more use of it, one example of that that I can show you, back inside Dynamics GP from my homepage in GP 2016 when I choose to customize my homepage we’re now including the option to expose Power BI graphical elements on your homepage just like we’ve had the ability to do Business Analyzer Graphics in the past. Now you may ask why use Power BI instead of Business Analyzer. Well Business Analyzer only looks at GP data. Power BI looks at as many sources of data as you want to connect to. It may be very helpful to have some of that information available directly inside GP.
Okay. That’s everything that I had planned and prepared to show. Let me go back to the slide desk. I will say thank you very much for attending this webinar. Very grateful to have your time and attention. I will give a shout out to a couple of our partners. Solver USA, the reporting and financial statement component of BI I mentioned during this, they have a reporting webinar that’s up on our website now or will be very soon for their reporting and financial statements tool. They’re also going to be doing another webinar for us I believe next week. That webinar will be focused on budgeting, planning, forecasting inside the BI 360 tool. So let me say thank you again. I’ve enjoyed your time and attention. This is John Hoyt for TMC and our monthly webinar series Introduction to Power BI.
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