Get started with Power BI, the easy way
Are you considering how Power BI can elevate your financial reporting? If so, it’s for good reason, Power BI has taken financial reporting by storm.
We wrote an article ‘Soup up your Excel Spreadsheets’, in which we covered the core benefits Power BI brings to accountants. Not replacing your Excel spreadsheets, but giving them extra depth to help you gain a more complete and honest picture of your financial data.
If you’ve read our article, or any of the other articles showcasing the benefits of Power BI, there are plenty out there, then you may be ready to get started. You may also be wondering how to do this.
In this article, we share an easy, cost-effective and accessible way to delve into Power BI, with some extra benefits for Xero users.
Why do I need help getting set up in Microsoft Power BI?
Not everybody will need help getting set up in Power BI. A developer who is familiar with Power BI will be well-equipped for the task. But for people who don’t have the luxury of an in-house Power BI developer, we recommend you get some support because Power BI is not naturally a ‘plug-and-play product.
By this, we mean it’s not something that you can just log into and get going with, unless you’re getting support. It’s not like setting up an app for example, where you’re guided through the process on screen - click here, tap this, answer this…
Getting started in Power BI can be complicated. If you’re setting it up yourself, you have to import your data and set up your reports manually, and this is a technical process. As a benchmark, large organisations have people, or entire departments dedicated to this task and these people sit within the development function.
There is also plenty of room for error if this isn’t your area of expertise, even the smallest mistake could lead you to report on skewed data. In this respect alone, we can’t over-egg the importance of getting some support.
What support is available?
The support you require depends on your goals. There are some fantastic Power BI consultants who can work with you long-term to help you achieve complex Power BI goals. This is a consultative approach and requires a commitment to Power BI, similar to a commitment you’d offer a partner, supplier or agency.
But this article is really about getting started. About helping you get your data into Power BI and set up with some core reports, which you are confident offer accurate reporting. With this, Tugger can help.
Tugger is a tool that’s effectively a middleman between your data source(s) and Power BI. Tugger quickly pulls data out of your business systems into a data warehouse. Once your data is in the warehouse, you can choose what data you want pulling through into Power BI for your reports. You can look at an individual data source or business areas, or combine different data sources from across your business for a complete view. This is arguably the main way in which Power BI elevates your reporting above the humble Excel spreadsheet.
In the middle ground between your system(s) and Power BI, Tugger configures your data so it’s structured correctly and ends up in the right place within Power BI. This is otherwise a complicated process that requires experience in data modelling.
If you’re using Xero, Tugger can also set you up with core reporting. We’ve spent an enormous amount of time developing fantastically insightful reports in Power BI specifically for Xero users, so when we import your Xero data, these tried and tested reports are automatically available to you. This makes it staggeringly easy and speedy to get set up.
What exactly is the Tugger process?
It’s worth noting that the very first step in the Tugger process is often to take advantage of a free trial. We offer complimentary 30-day free trials, after which you’re free to walk away. We don’t ask for credit card details in advance, and you won’t be hounded by our sales team for months afterwards. It’s exactly what it says on the tin, try Tugger for free.
Once you are confident you’d like to use Tugger, the process is slightly different depending on whether you want to get your data into Power BI, or whether you’re a Xero user and you want to take advantage of Tugger's pre-built Xero reports.
In this article, we’re going to assume you’re a Xero user and give you a whistle-stop tour of that process.
Firstly, you set up your account using your email address, log in, and select the Xero connector. You then fill out a short form to provide some key information about the data you want to connect such as the timeframe you want to look at. You’ll then be prompted to sign in to Xero to connect the two systems and from a data connection perspective you’re done.
We appreciate that this might seem simple, too simple perhaps? We assure you there is a lot going on behind the scenes. If you’re a details person, which we’re going to assume you are because you’re reading articles on an accounting forum, you can delve into the more technical aspects of the Tugger integration
So that’s part of it done. Next, you’ll want to take advantage of Tugger’s Xero reports. To do this, you select the Power BI icon from the report set up page within Tugger. Then click on the report(s) you’d like to take advantage of and download the template. You’re then able to open this template up in Power BI and enter a ODATA url (we supply this, it’s then a cut and paste job) and Oh Ho Ho it’s magic…you’ll start to see your data in Power BI reports.
We hope this article has helped. We designed Tugger because we identified a need to simplify the Power BI integration process, and to make Power BI even more accessible. Once you’re using the system, it’s very simple, but we identified that there were often blockers to getting started.
You can contact us, or visit our website to request a demo or dive straight into a free trial, and our UK-based customer service team are on hand to support you through the process if required.
Whatever route you take towards getting set up in Power BI, we know you won’t look back once you’re enjoying reporting that gives you a deeper, more complete view of your business data. Good luck.
Get in touch with the team at Tugger to discover how we can help you get started with Power BI.
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