Tools of the trade: Power BI

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Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

data visualisation software

by Dr Judy Harbison, Bulimba Vet Surgery, Hawthorne, QLD

Power BI is a Microsoft product used to monitor all the different parameters of your business.

What’s good about it

Power BI automatically links to RxWorks, our customer relationship management software. It also links to our rostering program and our phone records. It allows me to monitor all the data that’s going on behind the scenes of the business and display it on my iPhone. I open the program every morning and see what’s happened in the past 24 hours. I’m running 10 clinics now so it’s important for me to be able to access all the different data every day.

Some of the most useful things about Power BI is that I can confirm there’s enough revenue coming into the business to pay wages and that I’ve got the rostering right. If there’s a changing trend then I can tweak the rostering accordingly. There’s no need to wait for an accountant’s report every three or 12 months.

Its biggest advantage is that it allows you to look at data almost in real time. It can be used effectively with a single or multi-practice business. It’s a good value program that places important information at your fingertips.

What’s not so good

It’s a tremendously versatile system but you need an experienced IT partner to set it up. If you want to add another KPI, a different parameter or integrate it with a different bit of software, it requires someone with IT experience. I’ve had very few troubles with the system but, occasionally, there will be issues in February when the month is only 28 or 29 days long. For some reason, it puts the system into a bit of a spin.

Where did you get it

Downloaded from Microsoft

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