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CGADDY
New Member

Need help deciding if Power BI is The right solution

I work for a professional association that provides services for accounting firms.  We conduct a yearly survey of 75 member companies and provide a custom report that compares their financial data.  At least twenty years ago, we devised a system that uses SQL to store the data that we collect and runs queries to generate the report.  The process is complex and it takes a considerable amount of coding knowledge just to change a question on the survey.  My employer has asked that we simplify the process and try to use excel the create the same report.  I have 75 completed surveys in excel and have been able to recreate the report using formulas to pull from the data.  I was planning on taking additional excel courses to learn how to create a Macro in order to streamline the process in Excel, but my IT Director asked me to look into Power BI and see if it offers a better solution.

 

Does Power BI have to link to SQL in order to pull data and create reports?  Is there a way to use Power BI to get the result that I am looking for without having to input all of this data into SQL?  

 

Thank you for considering my question!

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION
Greg_Deckler
Super User
Super User

Not entirely certain I understand this. I was with you up until the part about not having to input all the data into SQL. I think I am missing some aspect of this in terms of where the data comes from.

 

Yes, you can connect Power BI to SQL. However, it may be possible to integrate Power BI directly with whatever data source the survey tool is putting stuff into.

 

In general, the process could be that you ingest the data into Power BI into 75 different data models, basically pulling only the data that you need for each member. You could create a template for this and use a parameter to easily switch between the various member organization's data. You could then share these out for free using "Publish to Web".

 

Another option if you or the member organizations are willing to spring for a Pro license (or if you are willing to invest in Power BI Premium) would be to create a single report and use Row Level Security (RLS). 


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Greg_Deckler
Super User
Super User

Not entirely certain I understand this. I was with you up until the part about not having to input all the data into SQL. I think I am missing some aspect of this in terms of where the data comes from.

 

Yes, you can connect Power BI to SQL. However, it may be possible to integrate Power BI directly with whatever data source the survey tool is putting stuff into.

 

In general, the process could be that you ingest the data into Power BI into 75 different data models, basically pulling only the data that you need for each member. You could create a template for this and use a parameter to easily switch between the various member organization's data. You could then share these out for free using "Publish to Web".

 

Another option if you or the member organizations are willing to spring for a Pro license (or if you are willing to invest in Power BI Premium) would be to create a single report and use Row Level Security (RLS). 


@ me in replies or I'll lose your thread!!!
Instead of a Kudo, please vote for this idea
Become an expert!: Enterprise DNA
External Tools: MSHGQM
YouTube Channel!: Microsoft Hates Greg
Latest book!:
Mastering Power BI 2nd Edition

DAX is easy, CALCULATE makes DAX hard...

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