Year summary - how did Power BI and other analytical tools support the business during the pandemic?
The coronavirus pandemic and related restrictions moved a significant part of our activities to the Internet. This resulted in an enormous increase in the number of data generated by customers. Their precise analysis can be a source of invaluable conclusions for companies on the improvement of sales processes. Is their potential was exploited?
Digital activity and data analysis
According to analyses, 54% of users increased their online activity during the pandemic, of which approximately 30% by more than two or even four hours. Each of them leaves a vast number of digital traces, based on which it is possible to carry out an in-depth study and interpretation of preferences and behaviours - translating into specific purchasing decisions.
However, to exploit this potential, specialist tools for analysing business data must be implemented. This is still mostly the domain of large enterprises. However, solution providers are aware of the increase in demand in medium-sized and small enterprises as well. Hence, among other things, the emphasis on the development of self-service solutions, the most popular of which is currently Microsoft Power BI. It combines broad analytical capabilities with service simplified in comparison with classic systems.
The results of the August survey of the weekly Computerworld show that despite the crisis associated with the pandemic, as many as 58% of the companies surveyed are planning to maintain or increase their IT spending, and only 26% are planning to reduce it. Over 80% of companies declare that they are in the process of, have already implemented or will start the digital transformation in the coming year. Only 9% do not have such actions.
Use of analytical tools such as Power BI during a pandemic
The Covid-19 pandemic, resulting in the widespread adoption of "social distancing" principles, forced company managers to accelerate the implementation of effective teleworking methods and tools made available from the cloud in the Software as a Service (SaaS) model. As never before, analytical platforms have gained in importance, supporting decision making based on hard data and real events rather than intuition or unclear assumptions. This is particularly important in times of uncertainty when most customers will see every penny twice before it is spent. It is no longer possible to act 'as before' and expect satisfactory results - generating reports in excel once a month or less often gives a very illusory sense of control over the situation.
Business Intelligence class tools implemented by many companies, such as Power BI, have improved comprehensive analysis of information in real-time and enabled clear and legible reporting. All this by collecting data from different sources and formats in one place, their automated "processing" and easy sharing of results - both with colleagues and business partners - in the form of clear tables, charts and indicators at different levels of detail.
An excellent summary of the importance of business analytics in "pestilence" times (and not only) there can be a quote from the several thousand years old works "The Art of War" by the Chinese general Sun Tzu:
"The general who wins a battle makes many calculations in his temple ere the battle is fought. The general who loses a battle makes but few calculations beforehand. Thus do many calculations lead to victory, and few calculations to defeat: how much more no calculation at all! It is by attention to this point that I can foresee who is likely to win or lose".