Although it’s known that many businesses have plenty of software and tools to manage their financial processes, it’s hard to find a single financial department who’s measurements or processes are not being controlled in spreadsheets. I’m not going to attack nor discriminate these alternative controls. Many of these excel files are vital because they help the business to be more agile, to change it’s workflow faster.  In addition, they are also responsible for initiatives that flow into ERP enhancements. It is easy to discriminate a simple and poor spreadsheet, however, its harder to work without them.
Anyway, in this topic we won’t see how to “eliminate” all your spreadsheets, but we are going to talk about “How we can create a simple financial report using Power BI”.

This post was specially written for those who have no experience with Power BI.

For those who don’t know what Power BI is, here we go:

  1. Power BI is an amazing business analytics service that enables anyone to visualize and analyze data. (Beautiful!)
  2. Its benefits include: user friendly, agile development, rich and stunning graphs, integrated mobile+cloud+desktop version, data security per user, etc.

Did you like it? Better that you can start getting a free version OR pay the Pro version as service (it is around $9,99 user/month).


  1. To begin with, please, create a Microsoft account in
  2. Now, Let’s get a sample-fake spreadsheet (click here to download). This file has 1 transaction tab with fake data, this will be our data set which or dashboard will be based on.
  3. After logging into Power BI portal, click em “Get data”, “Get data from file”, “Local file”, then select the spreasheet. After that, select the first option “Import excel data into Power BI”.
  4. Once it is imported, you will see a new dataset. Lets have a basic explaining below.
    1. pwbiBasic explanations. (you can have a detailed information here)
  5. Now that the spreadsheet has been imported. You can play \o/. In the right tab Visualization, add how many objects you want. Interact with them and create your report. In 3 minutes, I created this one:
    1. Untitled-2You may say: “Ah, this one is so simple. Really?” Yes, it is! However, it will depend a lot of you to create powerful dashboards with this outstanding tool.
  6. You can observe that in the report tab, looking at the bottom, you can add more pages in your report. Furthermore, you can click in a specific tile or graph and “pin visual” to a dashboard.
  7. Dashboard is the coolest part, besides you can gather and rearrange graphs from different reports, share, and you will also have active the Q&A analysis, where you can ask some questions to the graph/objects that you pinned into the dashboard.
    1. Untitled-3
    2. With Q&A, You can interact with your pinned object
  8. So cool this Q&A :). Furthermore, you can download the Power BI for Desktop to edit your reports from your machine and download the Power BI for mobile, which is other awesome feature. I’ve downloaded, authenticated with my MS account and see the results:
    1. Screenshot_20160916-180421
    2. Visualization in Power BI mobile
    3. Others interesting features that you have in your Power BI mobile are Alerts and Annotations.
      1. Alerts
        1. UntitledClick in a number or a gauge, tap the bell icon, tap the yellow +, fill the criteria that you would like to receive the alert. 
    4. Annotations

      1. Screenshot_20160918-104913
      2. Click in any tile (for example, a graph), tab the … option, then Annotate.
  9. You also have “Quick Insights” based on your data set. For that, click at the (…) of your Dataset, then click in “View Insights”.

To finish, in this post we passed very quickly in the main benefits and tools of Power BI. We really encourage you to try this tool, you will see all benefits in short-time. Impress your boss! Change the culture!

If you need something more advance or you would like to have a presentation about Power BI / Business Intelligence solutions, please, contact us for a FREE demonstration driven by your company’s data.

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