How you can elevate your business intelligence skills

Written on Sep 21, 2017

question-2519By Jessica Salerno, OSCPA content manager

When it comes to your list of priorities, brushing up on your business intelligence skills might not be at the top. But a tool called Power BI could change that.

“Business intelligence for a long time has been very expensive and was reserved for very big companies with very big budgets,” said Mat Herring, principal consultant at PowerPivotPro. “And this technology has enabled it to be a powerful tool for anyone.”

Herring said the language of the tool is similar to Excel, and an accountant with Excel skills will be able to make the transition easily.

Herring will present "10 Things Modern Data Tools Can Do for You" on Oct. 26 at the Cleveland Accounting Show. Some of those “10 things” are fair metrics, better questions and looking at the whole picture. And as with any new tool, one of the most attractive benefits is how it saves time and money for the user. Herring said he’ll discuss examples where companies have been able to save millions of dollars over the long term from using better BI tools.

He stressed self-sufficiency when it comes to Power BI, and said the easiest way to get started is to simply download the technology free to your computer.

“This will certainly unlock efficiencies that will give you your life back,” Herring said. “The time you spent on typical spreadsheet drudgery you’ll now get back.”

Herring also spoke of the importance of a holistic approach to using business tools such as Power BI. Greater efficiency can help free up your time to focus on other things, giving you a chance to dive deeper into the parts of your workday that can’t be automated, like strategizing and working on long-term projects.

“We talk about the tools, but ultimately it’s not about the tools, it’s about the people that use the tools,” Herring said. “And this tool will help you be happier.”

Register for the Cleveland Accounting Show online now.

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