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Leveling Up Your Business Dashboards with Microsoft Power BI & SharePoint

Microsoft Power BI is a fantastic solution for analytics that helps businesses to extract data and exchange insights within their organizations. It mainly improves productivity by showing immediate results. Using SharePoint without Power BI integration can make business analytics challenging. Doing so is not time-efficient, and it makes it difficult to fetch accurate data. It also lacks reporting visuals that make it easier to see progress. At HingePoint, we make sure you get all the advantages of Microsoft Power BI with a far more tailored approach. This tool can be integrated with Microsoft Office 365 applications, which is convenient for all employees since it is commonly the software companies use for data collection, sales reports, presentation, and more. Using immersive data visualizations, organizations can finally track their progress with this platform.

Why do we need Power BI reports and dashboards?

  1. Data Source (Fetching data in Power BI)
To fetch data from various data source can be the first and foremost challenge that can be faced in Power BI. Our approach: For fetching data of some of the services that don’t support Power BI integration, we have already used API’s of many services to get data in Power BI. (Only applicable for Services that provide API)
  1. Data Validation/ Data Structure
Another difficulty that can be faced in Power BI that is faced is Data validation. We need to have proper data structure so that Power BI can use that data appropriately. If the data structure is not as per the requirements there can be issues faced for fetching proper data as per requirements. For example, fetching data from excel that is not as per the appropriate data structure etc. Our approach: We create data structure that can be directly used in Power BI for making charts.
  1. Attractive designing (Look and Feel of reports)
This is the Key part for any Microsoft Power BI project. Attractive charts and reports as per the expectations are the foremost need of any clients. Our approach: We have already created many Power BI charts that uses color combination as per company logos, company specific needs. Bar charts, pie charts, maps, donut charts, and many more are used to make chart look more attractive.
  1.  Easy search and Filter (ease of data viewing)
Filter the data with ease is another specific requirement. Our approach: We try to maximize use of more filters so user can get ease of accessing more data easily.   5. Auto Refresh (Automatically refreshing charts) Refreshing the data automatically is one of the challenges that is faced in Power BI. Our approach: We configure Power BI desktop to provide 8-time refresh per day. Whereas in Power BI Premium has an option of hourly data refresh.

Enhancing Performance with SharePoint + Power BI

The advantages listed above play a significant role in business analytics. They can all be provided with SharePoint and Power BI integration, but with our services, you can get more to optimize Power Bi’s benefits. With HingePoint, you’ll get accurate data extraction and a more personalized platform complete with company attributes, including a high refresh rate for real-time reporting. If you have more inquiries or want to get started on enhancing your company’s performance, send us a message. We’re always here to assist you with your business needs. [caption id="attachment_15346" align="alignnone" width="822"] Example Project for Customers and Suppliers purchase and sales.[/caption] [post_title] => Leveling Up Your Business Dashboards with Microsoft Power BI & SharePoint [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => leveling-up-your-business-dashboards-with-microsoft-power-bi-and-sharepoint [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2021-03-24 13:37:32 [post_modified_gmt] => 2021-03-24 18:37:32 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.hingepoint.com/?p=15344 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [1] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 14496 [post_author] => 3 [post_date] => 2018-08-24 15:03:10 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-08-24 20:03:10 [post_content] => In this Office 365 article you will learn how to enhance how you play the Great Game of Business and get beyond traditional desktop tools like Excel for financial forecasting and scoreboards. Open Book Management is a powerful tool to grow profitable businesses that benefit all employees and stakeholders. At the core is financial literacy, which includes weekly financial forecasts that are reported in weekly huddles and presented on white boards, so everyone can follow the action and keep score to know if they are winning or losing the game of business. We will teach you how to use financial data from accounting and merge it efficiently with weekly forecasts from the departments and teams in the game. Learn new tips and tools to automate the busy work using technology that is cost effective and you probably already own such as Office 365 (O365), SharePoint, Power BI, and others to make amazing and insightful financial dashboards.

What You Will Learn

  • Why automation might enhance the game
  • Common workflows used in weekly scoreboard and huddle activities
  • Who benefits from automation
  • Tip 1 – Office 365 for Excel
  • Tip 2 – Office 365 SharePoint
  • Tip 3 – Power BI Scoreboards
  • Tip 4 – Systems Integration

Why Automate

We know sharing financial data is a big deal. Financial literacy can change your company. Ask yourself these questions:
  1. Is our financial forecasting efficient?
  2. Is our financial reporting secure?

Business benefits of automation may include:

  • Reduce the necessary level of effort = productivity, efficiency, speed
  • Reduce errors = credibility, trust, quality
  • Widely distributed information = adoption, empowerment
  • Visualization = insight, meaning, trends
  • Better results = profit and bigger bonuses
  • Cultural fit – mobile, tech-savvy users may prefer digital scoreboards

Common Financial Forecasting Workflows

In many organizations we see the financial reporting and forecasting working something like the follow. How does it work in your company?
  • Actual financial results are reported weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annually from the accounting team using the financial management system.
  • Export financial statements to Excel for:
    • Profit & Loss reports
    • Income Statements – cash flow
    • Balance Sheet statements for assets and liabilities
  • Staff and teams update and reforecast critical numbers in Excel
  • Teams review and approve the forecasts
  • Huddle – teams post the forecast and actuals on a Whiteboard physical Scoreboard in a team room
  • Everyone follows the action in the weekly and monthly huddle
  • Optional – some teams project the Excel forecast onto a projector screen for the huddle
Financial Score Boards GGOB   GGOB Huddle Score Board (See this example of a live Huddle and Score Board on white boards in a team room)

Who Benefits from Automation?

There are a number of people and departments groups that can be big beneficiaries of automation tools, that go beyond the business benefits listed in the introduction. We find the following groups have a lot to gain:
  • Financial Department – if automation can help with the work associated with weekly financial reporting and distributing that information across the company, that would help lighten the load often placed on the finance team
  • Forecasters – each of the employees responsible for forecasting a critical number and streamline the time they spend analyzing and updating their forecast if the data and reporting was automated at some lever. Also, the teams and managers that help collaborate to review the forecast can streamline the steps using software automation in many cases.
  • Everyone – all employees across the company can using digital score boards to follow the action and carry the information around with them on their devices, or project them on screens around the facility so the data is available everyone, any time, from any location, not just those in the break room where the white boards are

Tip #1 – Office 365 Excel Online

Our number one recommendation for automation is to move from Excel on the desktop or laptop, and shift to using Office 365 version of Excel that works on a web browser or mobile device. Here are some things that are possible with Office 365 Excel online:
  • Co-Author in Excel – you can have many simultaneous users working in the same spreadsheet document. This allows for parallel workflows not sequential routing of documents and versions.
  • Entire team or company can be reading off one spreadsheet
  • Works in a Browser/App/Device
  • Anywhere access
  • Collaboration with teams and reviewers can post notes, write comments, or share information
  • Example – finance can send out the updated actual data with the old forecast. Everyone in the company can review it and update their numbers in one spreadsheet
  • Tutorial – watch this short 0:48 Second Tutorial on how it works >>

Do You Own Office 365?

Here is how you check:
  1. Go to http://office.com
  2. Login with your company username and password you use at work
  3. If you can login, you have Office 365! If you cannot, you can ask your IT department to purchase it for you. It costs about the same as the old desktop office license
  4. Do you see Excel or SharePoint on the list of Apps like shown here? If so, you'll want Excel and SharePoint for the rest of this User Guide
Office 365 Apps Catalog  

Tip 2 – Office 365 SharePoint

SharePoint is a powerful tool that you probably already own if you have Office 365. It comes free with the Enterprise license. Here are some great ways you can use it to help manage and optimize and automate the business processes that deal with financial data and financial cost management.
  • SharePoint is a website with document libraries and data views
  • Perfect for company financial processes
  • Financial actual data could be published to SharePoint List
  • Forecasts could be updated on a SharePoint List
  • SharePoint even syncs with Excel
Take a look at some examples below. Project Scorecard – if your company bundles work into projects, keeping project costs under control is key to financial success. On this score board you can see how the team tracks:
  • Project Budgets
  • Forecast Hours
  • Actual Hours
  • Master Schedule Dates by Phase
  • Actual Dates (because on schedule often means on budget)
  • All the ingredients required for Job Cost data
SharePoint Project Cost Score Card Here is an example of Project Tracking SharePoint data list the company uses to track all high level project costs. See the Project Numbers, Job Cost Codes, and other information needed to tie Projects to Financials.   SharePoint Time Tracking Forms and Reports Here is an example of tracking specific time for tasks for employees and contractors. SharePoint can have forms and lists on the same page, making it simple to track and manage time reporting and actual hours spent vs. forecast hours.     SharePoint List for Account Recievables and Payables In this example we track all the invoices for accounts payable to sub-contractors and accounts receivable for us to bill our clients for our work. This AR/AP SharePoint page helps manage the workflow of authorizing work, getting business sign off, and collaborating with accounting on what invoices to send out and what invoice to pay. This streamlines the AR/AP process across the company. We track the hours, and costs billed to each project.  

Tip 3 – BI Scoreboards

  • BI = Business Intelligence – and it is a type of software automation tool that helps people understanding the Score Board information and what it means
  • Helps with Financial Literacy and rolling out open book management
  • Analytics help you to analyze the data, ask it “what if” questions, or to spot trends and outlier costs
  • Solve problems using data by researching the detail behind the numbers
  • Works on mobile devices, is usually dynamically updated and is secure so only the right people see the right data
  • Drill down, roll up, slice and dice data in new ways not possible before, at the click of a button or filter
  • BI tools are built on Excel, SharePoint and other systems of record
  • Microsoft Power BI or Tableau are the 2 most commonly used BI tools
Here are some examples of how you can use BI Tools to create new Scoreboards for the huddles in the Great Game. SharePoint Financial Roll Up Dashboard In this example the executive view combines all the financial metrics a leader wants to see from the Profit and Loss statement, Balance Sheet and Income Statement. You can also roll up a number of projects, entities, or in this case, real estate asset entities. This is very powerful because it pulls from multiple General Ledgers to roll them all up together across a portfolio of investments.   PowerBI Financial Balance YTD Dashboard In this example you can see all the accounts and categories for the financial statements compared to Year to Date so people can quickly verify where they are in their budget. Summaries are by Month of the Year.   PowerBI Monthly Financial Balances YTD Dashboard In this example we see a roll up of all costs for all financial statements, and compared against the forecast. It reports on the Variance from plan and alerts you immediately to any issues across the full suite of financial metrics, all on one screen.   PowerBI Profit and Loss Graphic Dashboards In this example you can see graphics and dynamic data that you can interact with across all the graphics for:
  1. Income by month and income metrics
  2. Expenses by category for the time period
  3. Net Operating Income vs. the forecast, by month
  4. Net Income vs the forecast by month
Here you see clear visual trends that tell a story and communicate if you are “winning” at a glance. These graphics can steer you immediate to the important trends, success, and problem areas in your business.   PowerBI Balance and Income Forecast Dashboard In this example the Scoreboard shows more financial metrics and trends for:
  1. Cash Flow statements by month
  2. Cash balances – cash is king! Follow the trends carefully
  3. Assets and Liabilities by month
  4. Balance Sheet by month so you know where you stand at all times
Imaging the possibilities if all employees had this information at all times on their laptops, tablets and mobile devices. That would be financial literacy at its highest level.

Tip 4 – Systems Integration

  • Use software to process data and share it across the job functions that need it
  • Eliminate manual data collection and analysis
  • Let the computers do the busy work and the people play the game
  • Get systems to “talk to one another” to eliminate redundancy
  • Tip – only 1 System of Record per piece of data
  • Tip – Data should only be entered once in a company or it should be automatically captured and output from existing processes and tools
Leading Indicators can be pulled for mini games to improve financial performance. Here are some recommending leading indicators from Great Game coaches:
  • CRM – marketing funnel data – integrate with your CRM and marketing platforms to track, report and manage information such as:
    • Impressions
    • Clicks
    • conversions
    • touch points
    • trade shows
    • leads
  • Sales – sales data can tell you a lot about the future. If you aren’t selling the future is bleak. If the sales funnel is healthy and growing, you may be on a financial upswing in revenue. Track some of these metrics:
    • sales qualified leads
    • appointments
    • proposals
    • RFQs
    • bids
  • Project Management + Financials = job cost control. Integrating project management and project job costs is critical.
  • 1 Way Sync – Push data out of system automatically to another system so you can share the data across the enterprise, but you don’t have to pay more for more licenses of the software. This saves money in the long run.
  • 2 Way Sync – Push and pull data in and out of systems automatically. This is when systems “talk to each other”. They are smart enough to send data out, let other review and approve it, and push the data back, with no manual work needed. This is very efficient and cost effective, and gets costs down to pennies per transaction.
THE END If you want to learn more about financial scoreboard automation: Email us here www.hingepoint.com for more information

About HingePoint

HingePoint offers cloud and mobile applications for construction and real estate that are easy to adopt and employees love. Specializing in the systems that run the construction and real estate business including SharePoint, Salesforce, Procore, MS Dynamics, Power BI, Microsoft Azure, and more. Scale and grow profitably with Financial and Project Management Dashboards with SharePoint, document management with SharePoint, and workflow automation for field to office collaboration. HingePoint 8105 Rasor Blvd. Suite 241 Plano, TX 75024 (214) 301-0000 www.hingepoint.com   [post_title] => 4 Tips for Financial Forecasting Scoreboards with Office 365 SharePoint & Power BI [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => financial-forecasting-score-boards-office365-sharepoint-powerbi [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2021-04-01 10:30:40 [post_modified_gmt] => 2021-04-01 15:30:40 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.hingepoint.com/?p=14496 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 14177 [post_author] => 3 [post_date] => 2018-03-01 11:42:16 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-03-01 17:42:16 [post_content] =>

What is Microsoft Power BI?

Power BI is a suite of business analytics tools that deliver insights throughout your organization. In the past, you may have spent hours in Excel manually organizing data, creating pivot tables, charts, graphs, etc. in order to gain the insight needed to make critical business decisions. Power BI solves this headache by automatically connecting data from different sources into one central system — allowing you to organize data, build visually stunning reports, and personalized dashboards that help you find answers to your companies most important questions.

If you manage all your company data in Excel, you may also want to read:‍

The 3 Reasons You Should Quit Managing Data With Spreadsheets


Since Power BI runs in the cloud, users can access data, dashboards, and reports online and across mobile devices. Share, collaborate, and edit documents with other users in your organization in real time directly inside Power BI. You can also embed reports to your SharePoint Online site, giving employees visibility into the metrics that are most valuable to the success of your business. (We can also help you develop and integrate SharePoint with other business software that you run.)

Power BI brings all your data together – from all your data sources – so you can start analyzing and visualizing right away.

For example, you can pull in data from Excel spreadsheets, on-premise data sources, and SQL databases. You can also automatically grab data from your favorite cloud services like Microsoft Dynamics, Salesforce, Google Analytics, Zendesk, Facebook, and more. Microsoft is continually rolling out direct integrations with other popular cloud services to make it even easier to get all your data straight into Power BI. Once you have the data you need, it should then provide you with the information required to make smarter and faster business decisions. That's where Power BI Q&A comes in. Simply type in a question about your data (as you would with Google) and it immediately serves up a response in the form of an interactive chart or graph For example, want to know this year's sales compared to last years sales by month? No problem! [caption id="attachment_14184" align="aligncenter" width="864"]Power BI Ask a Question Feature Power BI Visuals - Ask a Question About Your Data[/caption]

Power BI Tools Keep You Focused on The Important Metrics.

Gathering insights from your data is a breeze with Power BI’s simple drag-and-drop user experience. You can quickly find the insights you are looking for and visualize them in beautiful, interactive reports. Once you have a report, save it to your personal dashboard. Here, you can quickly see the charts and graphs with the data and metrics that are most important to you and your business. As we previously mentioned, you can also embed reports in SharePoint Online so that everyone (with access and the correct permissions) can view the report. [caption id="attachment_14185" align="aligncenter" width="962"]Power BI - Metrics Dashboard in SharePoint Power BI Visuals - Metrics Dashboard Example in SharePoint[/caption]

Power BI Gives You The Insight to Stay on Top of Opportunities and Risks.

Capitalizing on opportunities and minimizing risks are important to sustain business growth (of course). Power BI offers predictive forecasting to help you visualize future business performance (such as potential and predicted sales and risks) while providing more efficient data-driven decision-making opportunities. [caption id="attachment_14130" align="aligncenter" width="843"]Power BI Visuals - Stay on Top of Opportunities and Risks Power BI Visuals - Dashboard Example[/caption]   With Power BI consulting and development services from HingePoint, you can take the blindfold off, and see your data organized visually on one screen (instead of scattered across spreadsheets, software, and organizations). Interested in seeing how Microsoft Power BI can help your business? We'd love to have a conversation about what you are working on. Start a chat with our Solutions Architect on this page, give us a call at (214) 301-0000, or contact us here. ---

About HingePoint

HingePoint offers cloud and mobile applications for construction and real estate that are easy to adopt and employees love. Specializing in the systems that run the construction and real estate business including SharePointSalesforceProcoreMS Dynamics, and Autodesk. Scale and grow profitably with Financial and Project Management Dashboards, document management, and workflow automation for field to office collaboration. HingePoint 8105 Rasor Blvd. Suite 241 Plano, TX 75024 (214) 301-0000 www.hingepoint.com [post_title] => Microsoft Power BI Key Features and Benefits to Help Grow Your Business [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => microsoft-power-bi-top-features-benefits [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2021-03-24 12:18:22 [post_modified_gmt] => 2021-03-24 17:18:22 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.hingepoint.com/?p=14177 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 3 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 15344 [post_author] => 3 [post_date] => 2021-01-10 13:05:56 [post_date_gmt] => 2021-01-10 19:05:56 [post_content] =>

Leveling Up Your Business Dashboards with Microsoft Power BI & SharePoint

Microsoft Power BI is a fantastic solution for analytics that helps businesses to extract data and exchange insights within their organizations. It mainly improves productivity by showing immediate results. Using SharePoint without Power BI integration can make business analytics challenging. Doing so is not time-efficient, and it makes it difficult to fetch accurate data. It also lacks reporting visuals that make it easier to see progress. At HingePoint, we make sure you get all the advantages of Microsoft Power BI with a far more tailored approach. This tool can be integrated with Microsoft Office 365 applications, which is convenient for all employees since it is commonly the software companies use for data collection, sales reports, presentation, and more. Using immersive data visualizations, organizations can finally track their progress with this platform.

Why do we need Power BI reports and dashboards?

  1. Data Source (Fetching data in Power BI)
To fetch data from various data source can be the first and foremost challenge that can be faced in Power BI. Our approach: For fetching data of some of the services that don’t support Power BI integration, we have already used API’s of many services to get data in Power BI. (Only applicable for Services that provide API)
  1. Data Validation/ Data Structure
Another difficulty that can be faced in Power BI that is faced is Data validation. We need to have proper data structure so that Power BI can use that data appropriately. If the data structure is not as per the requirements there can be issues faced for fetching proper data as per requirements. For example, fetching data from excel that is not as per the appropriate data structure etc. Our approach: We create data structure that can be directly used in Power BI for making charts.
  1. Attractive designing (Look and Feel of reports)
This is the Key part for any Microsoft Power BI project. Attractive charts and reports as per the expectations are the foremost need of any clients. Our approach: We have already created many Power BI charts that uses color combination as per company logos, company specific needs. Bar charts, pie charts, maps, donut charts, and many more are used to make chart look more attractive.
  1.  Easy search and Filter (ease of data viewing)
Filter the data with ease is another specific requirement. Our approach: We try to maximize use of more filters so user can get ease of accessing more data easily.   5. Auto Refresh (Automatically refreshing charts) Refreshing the data automatically is one of the challenges that is faced in Power BI. Our approach: We configure Power BI desktop to provide 8-time refresh per day. Whereas in Power BI Premium has an option of hourly data refresh.

Enhancing Performance with SharePoint + Power BI

The advantages listed above play a significant role in business analytics. They can all be provided with SharePoint and Power BI integration, but with our services, you can get more to optimize Power Bi’s benefits. With HingePoint, you’ll get accurate data extraction and a more personalized platform complete with company attributes, including a high refresh rate for real-time reporting. If you have more inquiries or want to get started on enhancing your company’s performance, send us a message. We’re always here to assist you with your business needs. [caption id="attachment_15346" align="alignnone" width="822"] Example Project for Customers and Suppliers purchase and sales.[/caption] [post_title] => Leveling Up Your Business Dashboards with Microsoft Power BI & SharePoint [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => leveling-up-your-business-dashboards-with-microsoft-power-bi-and-sharepoint [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2021-03-24 13:37:32 [post_modified_gmt] => 2021-03-24 18:37:32 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.hingepoint.com/?p=15344 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [comment_count] => 0 [current_comment] => -1 [found_posts] => 3 [max_num_pages] => 1 [max_num_comment_pages] => 0 [is_single] => [is_preview] => [is_page] => [is_archive] => 1 [is_date] => [is_year] => [is_month] => [is_day] => [is_time] => [is_author] => [is_category] => 1 [is_tag] => [is_tax] => [is_search] => [is_feed] => [is_comment_feed] => [is_trackback] => [is_home] => [is_privacy_policy] => [is_404] => [is_embed] => [is_paged] => [is_admin] => [is_attachment] => [is_singular] => [is_robots] => [is_favicon] => [is_posts_page] => [is_post_type_archive] => [query_vars_hash:WP_Query:private] => 0309fd075064b22c19614c7d4bb88a23 [query_vars_changed:WP_Query:private] => [thumbnails_cached] => [stopwords:WP_Query:private] => [compat_fields:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => query_vars_hash [1] => query_vars_changed ) [compat_methods:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => init_query_flags [1] => parse_tax_query ) )