There is a lot of talk these days about business analytics and using data to drive business decision making. While this is clearly a good approach historically there hasn't been the tools avaliable to do this effectively. Finally there is a solution that businesses of any size can tap into.
What is it?
Xero: Most of you probably know about Xero. It is the leading cloud accounting solution for modern business, making managing finances a breeze. If you're looking for reasons why you should be using Xero then check out our blog.
Power BI: The easiest way to describe Power BI is as a spreadsheet on steroids. It is a business analytics tool, used to analyse data and share insights. Power BI enables you to monitor business performance and get answers quickly, with rich analytics available on every device. It allows a business to connect to multiple data sources, transform & cleanse it and create complex relationships.
The most amazing part is that Power BI has a free option which is packed full of functionality (including everything in this article). Therefore there is no excuse not to give it a try.
How Do You Connect to It?
The simpliest way to get started with Power BI is to content to data sources via a Content Pack. A content pack is essentially a pre-built integration to an external application, along with a number of Dashboards & Reporting feed from this data.
Steps To Connect Xero to Power BI
1. First step is to go to the Power BI website and select the 'Sign Up' option. If you have a Microsoft account input these details, otherwise follow the prompts to create an account.
2. When you first log in you will be brought to a screen that looks something like this. Down the bottom left hand side of the page there is an option for 'Get Data'. Click on this.
3. You will be taken to a screen where you will be asked what type of data source you want to connect to. There are a number of different ways to tap into your business data but for now we are going to focus on the 'Services' method.
4. This will take you to a screen that lists all the data sources that Power BI has pre-built data feeds for. Scroll through the options to see whether any of these other sources are relevant to your business. Work through it to the bottom or use the search function to get to the Xero option and click on 'Get it Now'. You will be asked to enter your Xero login details and select the entity you want to connect to.
5. Next step..... you're done! It might take a couple of minutes while Power BI automatically pulls in your Xero data and populates the pre-built Dashboard and Reports. It will automatically get updated information from Xero overnight so these report will always stay up to date.
Want To Take It A Step Further?
For a free offering, the content pack is pretty amazing and you can hopefully see how powerful having this data at your fingertips could be. You're able to edit the pre-populated dashboard & reports to represent the information in a format that makes most sense to you.
If you want to take things even further, Power BI has the ability to connect to pretty much any data source imaginable. These custom integrations require a little more technical know how so feel free to get in touch with us to discuss what is involved on (08) 7129 4450 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We love helping to build data driven businesses!