Spreadsheets like Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets are great for many things, but they have several key issues, which Power BI can help accommodate:
- Finding the most important numbers takes too long
- Spreadsheets lack interactivity
- Updating spreadsheets is a slow, manual process
Issue 1: Finding the most important numbers takes too long
In spreadsheets, numbers are often presented in plain tables. Some users might like seeing the raw numbers, but most will have a hard time making the analysis they need. Power BI allows you to easily explore different possibilities for visualisation.
Try it yourself with the following steps:
- Identify your plain spreadsheet file, and load it into Power BI
- From the Fields Pane, check the box of a value that you want visualised, as well as a dimension you want the value split by.
- Power BI will automatically pick a visualisation type for you, but try switching between the different options in the Visualisations Pane.
- To achieve the type of visualisation seen here: Select the Clustered Bar Chart visualisation type, and use the sorting options (click on the visualisation and access the menu from the top right corner) to order the values.
Issue 2: Spreadsheets lack Interactivity
In spreadsheets, users can apply filters and sort the data in their tables, but more advanced interactivity requires heavy manual manipulation. In Power BI, Interactivity is default, with easy visual highlighting and filtering across visualisations and options for drill-downs.
- Duplicate your Bar Chart, and try adding another Field to the Axis.
- Use the drill down buttons in the top right corner, to explore your data.
- Try clicking on data points in the visualisations, to see the visual highlights in action.
Issue 3: Updating spreadsheets is a slow, manual process
Depending on the complexity of your spreadsheets, keeping them up to date with the most recent data can be very time consuming and repetitive. A core benefit of Power BI, is the ability to automatically load in new data, with a simple click on a ‘Refresh’ button, or even through scheduled data refreshes running whenever you need it.
Spreadsheets have been a core tool for years, but today we have better tools for communicating our data in an effective way that is easier to automate, like Power BI. If you have questions or comments, feel free to contact us