What is PowerBI?
If you've been following developments in business cloud technology over the past 12 months, you'll have likely heard of Microsoft PowerBI. We were lucky to be there at the launch of PowerBI at Dreamforce in 2015, and it's come a long way since it's original launch. So, what is PowerBI?
Put simply, it's the first serious business intelligence or analytics platform for the masses. It allows you to take your data from your various business systems - your CRM, accounting, help desk, ERP or even Microsoft Excel, and create visualisations of that data to make it meaningful and support decision making within your business. We say it's for the masses because, unlike other platforms, it offers:
- An incredibly affordable FREE entry point. This comes with all kinds of limitations of course, primarily around the volume of data that you can analyse (limited to 10,000 rows) and the rate of updates of that data (limited to once per day).
- It's user friendly - it still helps to know what you're doing when it comes to data analytics, but a strong backing in database or even Excel will put you in good stead.
- It's highly interactive. Do you need to click on a section of a pie chart and see the list of opportunities that make up that data? It's easy with PowerBI.
Now, there are plenty of leading cloud BI platforms out there that offer similar functionality, and arguably superior functionality (Tableau is known as a leader in this space, for example). However, at US$500 per user per year, it's gets expensive quickly for large organisations.
What does PowerBI for SugarCRM do?
The connector allows you to: easily extract information from your SugarCRM system into PowerBI and create reports and dashboards from that data. It has the following key features:
- It allows PowerBI to connect and authenticate against SugarCRM using BASIC authentication. At this point, PowerBI doesn't support OAuth authentication, which SugarCRM supports natively, and so this basic authentication allows PowerBI to connect to SugarCRM as a data source.
- It provides full support for both the free and professional (US$10/user/month) version of PowerBI. We've been very careful to ensure that the connector is compatible with the free version of PowerBI.
- It allows you to use SugarCRM reports as data sources, or simply bring in complete sets of module data as your data source. By using SugarCRM reports as a data source, for example, we're able to include related data in our data sets and don't need to manually map these relationships within PowerBI (account name and email address in the contacts module, for example).
The end result is that you're able to extract key data from SugarCRM, and get a much more complete view of your sales process that combines data across multiple modules - see data flow from targets to leads, to opportunities, to customers in a single, interactive view within PowerBI.
How do I get PowerBI for SugarCRM?
The first step is to get in touch. The package is distributed as a SugarCRM module can be purchased by getting in touch with our sales team. Once you've installed the connector, we have a full howto guide here, or we can provide services around helping you build the BI dashboards you need for your business.