What do you need?
I could not avoid to write this post down in my diary of a growth hacker. This morning, the Sales Director came up with a problem. To be honest, a usual problem in the office. ¨How can I access to reports?¨ The Sales Director needs to get sales figures per customer, per month and per product. That information, required by one of our suppliers, is stored in Xero, the tool we use to invoice and control the stock. Xero is pretty good. This tool is very intuitive and easy to manage but, however, I think it does not fit the needs of a beverage warehouse. Many items, many customers with thousands of prices.
Anyway, the module of reports is very limited. The sales director called to the accounting manager to come down. They started to talk about what, how and when he needs to do this task. ¨I don´t want papers, I don´t want an Excel and I need this today¨ he said. So, in the middle of the conversation, I decided to join in. I told to them ¨don´t worry because I have the answer.¨ He didn´t want paper or Excels with thousands of rows without filters. He wanted a tool to analyze and compare data. He wanted a tool to visualize insights. He needs a data visualization tool of business intelligence. My suggest was PowerBI.
Get started with Power BI
Again, a growth hacker task to solve.
- Export data from Xero: I accessed the sales database within Xero. I have access to Xero because I have to manage the warehouse on Saturdays. Invoicing and stock control tasks. I filtered the invoices that have been paid. Therefore, I filtered by months and downloaded November and December. But Ruben, Why do not download both November and December and then filter by month in Power BI? Because Xero only allows me to export files lower than 500 variables.
- Import data to Power BI: once I had downloaded the CSV files on my computer, it was easy to access to Power BI and import it. Once I had imported the data I was playing with the tool to set up the KPIs and a Dashboards.
- KPIs and Dashboards: all done. I told to the Sales Director that I have the solution he was seeking. I logged in Power BI on his computer and I showed how it works. In just a few clicks he could create tables and charts.
Ready and running to compare data and visualize insights.
We need to improve our decision making
Power BI is an online tool, it is a SAAS. So, I could share my data and my reports with all my workmates. I know several business intelligence tools like Qlik View, Tableau, Google Data Studio (new) and Pentaho. But, for this kind of problem, Power BI was absolutely the best solution. My idea, after wrote these words, is to create a benchmarking between all of them. Compare features, prices and some examples.
In my opinion, we should work with business intelligence tools. We must do it. Well, he is the Sales Director. He needs to make decisions. At the moment, we only have a small dashboard in Xero with few insights. I think we need to try to connect Xero with Power BI (I am not sure because Power BI has limited storage) or buy a full module for Xero.
My passion for business intelligence and big data
The area of Business Intelligence is a topic that I am passionate about. I consider myself a complete ignorant in this area. However, If I see a MOOC about Big Data or BI in Miriadax, Coursera or Edx, I have tried to do it. I think it is an exciting world where the data is the key to decision making. One of my goals for the next year will be to learn about business intelligence.
One of my last tasks as a growth hacker the last week I found something cool. How to integrate Google Analytics in Power BI. Here you can find the video.