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Increase Business Impact with Power BI and Azure Analytics

Headshot of article author Arun Ulagaratchagan

Emerging competition and fierce financial pressures are driving businesses to embark on a digital transformation journey.

A new Harvard Business Review Analytics Service survey revealed that data-driven enterprises are better positioned to manage this disruption and become market leaders. In this survey, 87% of the respondents believed that analytics proficiency will be a competitive differentiator in their industry over the next two years.

Power BI and Azure Analytics help businesses build a data-driven culture and drive analytics proficiency.  This has been seen in recent findings from the commissioned Forrester Consulting study, The Total Economic Impact™ Of Microsoft Azure Analytics With Power BI. The study specifies that together, Azure Analytics and Power BI can provide value to customers by delivering an ROI of 271% over three years.

But how is this significant ROI possible?  Three aspects we explore here are our impact on Total Cost of Ownership, Time to Insights and Productivity.

Total Cost of Ownership

The Forrester study found that Power BI and Azure Analytics lowers TCO by 25.7%. Power BI’s economic model really helps customers drive a data culture by putting BI in the hands of everyone: authors can use Power BI Desktop completely for free, and access to Power BI for end users is just $10 per user, per month. When combined with Azure Analytics, a large portion of your infrastructure is managed by Microsoft. This results in a lower cost of ownership. These cost savings are one of the reasons why customers like Fordham University are adopting Power BI and Azure.

“We can quickly roll out Power BI to anyone who needs it, and, compared with other solutions that charge over $1,000 for a desktop license, Power BI Desktop is free.”

Rashid Khan, Director of Analytics, Fordham University

Time to Insights

According to the Forrester study, Time to Insights was 27% faster. Waiting for data to refresh, queries to be revised, and hiring highly skilled data scientists to build AI models are a thing of the past. Power BI provides a low-code/no-code report authoring experience with the ability to easily add AI models via point and click experience and simple visualizations.  With Power BI and Azure Analytics, business users can get data and actionable insights in seconds.

“We now deliver all store sales data at 9 a.m. instead of 11 a.m. Those 2 hours are very important for our purchasers because they have so much, they need to do. This improves forecast accuracy, managing inventories, and ordering the right products to sell.”

Forrester study interviewee

“The Power BI machine learning algorithms made unlocking insights from qualitative feedback quick, efficient and meaningful. We can now parse hundreds of thousands of customer comments for sentiment, themes, and issues with a speed and level of analysis that our human efforts simply could not achieve.”

Lee Sherry, Head of Analytics and Data Science, Geocaching


Better self-service tools and automation via Power BI and Azure Analytics led to an average time savings of 1.75 hours per week for business users.

Power BI improves human productivity by bringing already familiar experiences from Office 365, Excel and PowerPoint.  In addition, our integration with Microsoft Teams and SharePoint enhances collaboration between users in an organization.  All these, in combination with Azure Analytics providing automated server management on behalf of IT staff greatly improves productivity.

“End user empowerment is key. Everyone in the company can now produce better data visualizations and can access the data faster. Collaboration, communication, and visibility on analytics have greatly improved.”

Enterprise architect, networking equipment interviewed for the Forrester study    

When you add it all up, Power BI and Azure Analytics are simply unmatched!

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To learn more about Azure Analytics and Power BI, watch the recording of the webinar: Take Your Business Intelligence Further with Blazing-Fast Analytics or read Azure’s take on why, together, we are simply unmatched.

Charles Feddersen and Christian Wade