Sequel Support is offering small and medium-sized enterprises a way to make the most of their data by leveraging Microsoft Power BI to deliver commercial insight capable of driving business efficiencies and thus increasing profits. Michael Zellhorn, MD of Sequel Support, says that SMEs often don’t have the in-house expertise to use Power BI to its full potential.
“Too often, SME admin staff spend hours collecting data and putting it into spreadsheets so that managers can understand the implications,” he explains. “The process is hugely time-consuming and error-prone, and it means managers are always several steps behind. Power BI offers a way to visualise data and give useful and user-friendly insights. Power BI is also one of the least expensive and richest data visualisation tools on the market, which is why Sequel Support has chosen Power BI as its preferred tool for business intelligence.”
Sequel Support typically uses SQL Server Integration Services, which is the ETL (extract, transform and load) tool bundled with SQL Server, to consolidate data from the software on which the SME runs—accounting, payroll and specialised programmes such as inventory management or project management—and visualise it using Power BI. These Power BI visualisations offer drill-down capability right into the raw tabular data. Having an automated ETL task eliminates the need to capture the data manually and makes it available for analysis by Power BI.
Sequel Support’s BI team can help design reports, visualisations or dashboards that make the insights derived from the data available to managers in a user-friendly way. Scheduled jobs can also be designed to send reports when specified thresholds are breached—for example, when sales are down, or stock levels fall.
“Each business is unique and will want to use its data to generate insights that align with its circumstances and strategy,” Mr Zellhorn says. “Automating the process means that SMEs can finally leverage the insights contained in their own data, and thus compete more effectively in their particular marketplace even with larger competitors, thus increasing their profitability and, ultimately, sustainability.”