* Business Intelligence Software: A Quick Comparison

As Business Intelligence” (i.e., data analytics and dashboards) plays an ever-increasing role in day-to-day business, the systems for harnessing your data are increasingly accessible. Data collection is no longer the most challenging piece of the data puzzle – separating signal from noise, and communicating insights that trigger better decisions and increase focus is where the real value lies.  Unless your dashboards “touch a nerve,” compelling users to adopt BI as part of their daily routine, your investment will go to waste.  And according to Gartner, that goal can be elusive, with over 60% of BI initiatives failing to meet the goals of the business. 

* 5 Ways Leading Manufacturers are Putting Their Data to Work

Complex logistics, multiple data sources, tight order-to-cash timelines . . . for virtually every manufacturer, these stressors constantly plague production and profitability. Managers are bombarded daily with issues that demand prioritization and agile adjustments. To meet that demand, managers must wrangle data from disparate sources, with limited resources and little margin for error.

* Private Equity Turns to Business Intelligence to Maximize Investments

Private Equity investors make investment decisions based on balance sheets and P&L statements – typically in Excel, the tried-and-true tool of choice. Yet most firms struggle to keep up with running the real-time reporting race needed to move companies forward, post-acquisition. Portfolio companies are often saddled with multiple ERP systems and fragmented financial and operational data. Too many reports originate from too many disparate sources, and there’s too little time to separate signal from noise. 

* 3 Years and Power BI is Still on Top!

Power BI outranks every business intelligence and analytics platform available on the market - again.  

Garnter just released its 2018 Magic Quadrant for Analytics and Business Intelligence Platforms, and for the third consecutive year, Microsoft stands alone for Completeness of Vision.  Here’s why.  Microsoft is outpacing the market in development, continuing their monthly release that started when Power BI launched in 2015. Those monthly releases aren’t token, they’re a non-stop flood of new and better functionality for transforming your organization through data.

* Blue Margin Releases VSTS Solution Template for Power BI

Blue Margin, Inc., Microsoft Gold Partner in Data Analytics and Data Platform just released a VSTS Solution Template to provide project managers the insights they need to manage their portfolios.  The VSTS Solution Template is an end-to-end data-management and business-intelligence solution that can be set up in just a few clicks. 

* Our Secret Sauce for Creating Power BI Dashboards that GET ADOPTED

Fact:  The difference between dashboards that just "look good," and those that get adopted is subtle. 

More Important Fact:  The impact of "pretty" dashboards vs. dashboards that get adopted is all the difference in the world.

Designing dashboards that touch a nerve, that change behavior, and that improve performance – from the CEO down – is both an art and a science.  And, if you know anything about our approach to designing dashboards that move the needle, you know it comes down to ADOPTION. 

* Power BI Heats Up Summer with their June Update

We admit we sound like a broken record lately, but this month’s Power BI update has got to be one of the biggest to date!  We encourage you to read about the latest features in their full release summary and if you have a half hour to spare it’s worthwhile to view their full demo.  We’ll break down the highlights for you here.

When it comes to new visual capabilities in reports, we are excited that data bars are now available!  These customizable bars are a quick and easy way to compare values in a table (consider it a marriage between a bar chart and a cell value). 

* Financial Execs Know:  Good Dashboards Transform Companies (Part 1)

Perhaps you’ve heard the adage, “You don’t fatten a pig by weighing it.”  While this holds true on a farm, if you’re in business, experience shows that “what gets measured, gets managed."

You also know that if your M.O. is to manage by reaction, putting out fires only when they’ve reached critical levels, you won’t likely surge ahead of the competition anytime soon. 

* Power BI May '17 Feature Summary: The Biggest Release To-Date?


Power BI announced more exciting updates this month and some MAJOR news about Power BI Premium their new licensing/pricing structure (more on that here) and Power BI Report Server for an on-premises infrastructure.  But first, let’s cover the plethora of other new enhancements for this month, including table upgrades, added quick measures, and improved labeling, to name just a few. 

* The Latest from Harvard:  Motivate Employees with Your Data, Not Your Instinct

At Blue Margin, we’ve experimented with various tactics to motivate our employees and executives (we sometimes feel like guinea pigs, but hey, it's important to eat your own guinea pig food).  We're guessing you tinker in the same way at your company.  Why?  Because "How do we motivate our employees?" is a question that has surely dogged every employer since the first wage was paid.