How Power BI Can Help You Create Reports Quickly and Easily

In: BlogDate: May 20, 2024By: Ben Rogers

We all want to get the most out of our data – to really dig deep into the numbers so we can make informed business decisions. How do you find new opportunities? How do you know where to divert your resources?

In Excel, this can be a minefield – having to copy and paste data from different sources, then tweak it so it displays correctly, and then running dozens of functions to get the right information. And that's not counting on the time needed to then create graphs and charts so that you can visualise it and spot trends!

What if there was an easier way? In this blog, Ben explains how Power BI can help you to create these reports quickly and easily.

Hi, we are Happy

We are leading a movement to create happy, empowered and productive workplaces.

How can we help you and your people to find joy in at least 80% of your work?

More about Happy

Excel is a fantastic tool, but by the time you've exported your earnings data from your finance system, converted the values you need, deleted useless columns and finally get it looking how you want so you can create insightful graphs, you've burned through your entire morning! Well, Power BI changes all of that.

But this is barely even scratching the surface of what Power BI can do.

For those unaware, the 'BI' stands for 'Business Intelligence'. That's Power BI's whole purpose, to provide you with the insight you need at a glance.

It does this with dashboards. You just configure what you want to see, group it together and you're away.

Dashboards can be shared with different colleagues and team members. For example, if you're in sales you might want one dashboard showing your income, your due invoices and invoices that need chasing. If you're in marketing, you might want to see how well your latest email campaigns have done alongside how much traction your social media posts are gaining. If you're a department head, you might want to see multiple of these.

In Power BI, this is can be done seamlessly. As long as you get the right permissions set up, you won't have to worry about constantly updating these either.

The best part is that Power BI isn't limited to just Excel and similar software for its data sources. Get your relevant system to regularly export its data to SharePoint and Power BI can work from that, meaning the data will update by itself. You can use a web source, such as Microsoft Teams, MailChimp, SurveyMonkey or even a social media site and the data will be live. The list of sources from which Power BI can pull data is almost endless and constantly growing.

As I've said above, if you tell Power BI how to adapt this data to your needs it will do this every time it pulls data from this source — saving you lots of time.

But it can also do much more than this. You can set up custom columns so that Power BI is running its own calculations and transformations on your data whenever it's coming in.

Finally, another useful feature of Power BI is its mobile application. The dashboards can be made viewable on mobile devices so that you can see the data you need on the move. This means it’s also very easy to show different reports (all updated live) on television screens, so you could have your sales targets and how close you are to hitting them on a screen in your office.

By now you’re hopefully thinking "this sounds great — but how do we achieve it?"

As I've said already, Power BI does require a bit of setup to get working perfectly. There's also lots more that Power BI can do and it is an invaluable tool to anyone trying to get real insight into their data.

This is where Happy can help! We've developed two courses, one beginner and one more advanced, that will ensure you're able to get the most out of Power BI and achieve everything you need.

Our amazing Power BI trainer has also written two blogs talking more in-depth about what's covered on the course and the more technical elements of Power BI's capabilities, which are linked below.

Related blogs

Why not sign up to our newsletter?

Sign up to our monthly newsletter, full of tips, tricks and news to help you to be happier and more productive at work.

Sign up here

Learn how to get valuable insights using Power BI with happy

Learn more about Power BI on our two-day workshop, Power BI Desktop Fundamentals.

On this fast-paced course you will learn how to connect Power BI Desktop to different data sources and create a relational model, and will create visual reports which include interactive charts and maps.

The next two-day course takes place on 10th July. It will be delivered through Live Online Learning, via Zoom.

Find out more and book your place

Why learn online with Happy?

  • Interactive and engaging - just like our classroom sessions
  • Bitesize or full-day sessions - fit around your schedule
  • Learn from home - all you need is a quiet place to call from and an internet connection
  • IT Helpline - 2 years of free support after your course
  • No quibble money-back guarantee

Ben Rogers

Ben Rogers is a Project Manager and IT expert, who was a permanent member of staff at for Happy for 5 years. He now works freelance as a project manager and writer. He is a big fan of Excel spreadsheets, especially Pivot Tables and XLOOKUP.

More by Ben