The Best Visualization Dashboard Builder

    What if you could build an elegant and complex visualization dashboard at the touch of a button? Some tools give you the power to do just that. The best visualization dashboard builders allow you to create multiple charts and other graphics to organize your data—often without writing any complicated code. 

    However, there are hundreds of visualization dashboard builders out there and only a handful of them are generate truly groundbreaking visuals and insights. To find the most innovative and intelligent visualization software, let’s compare five top dashboard builders.

    Five Innovative Visualization Dashboard Tools

    A visualization dashboard is a tool that helps you organize and display data in a visual format, such as a chart or graph. Most dashboards contain multiple visuals on a single page and can track everything from key performance indicators (KPIs) to project timelines. What makes these dashboards so useful is that they are infinitely customizable; you’re only limited by the visuals and tools each dashboard software supports. 

    But this is where the dashboard creation process gets a little tricky. Some dashboard builders don’t have as many visualization options as others. Many also place a limit on the size of the data sets you can use or number of visuals you can display on a single page. 

    This is why it’s important to weigh all of your options and find the tool that offers you the greatest number of benefits and the fewest restrictions. These five popular visualization dashboard building tools are the most robust and have very few flaws.

    • Microsoft Power BI
    • Available for desktop or mobile users.
    • Offers a free license, a Pro license for $9.99 per user per month, or a Premium license for $4,995 or more per month. 
    • Includes hundreds of detailed visual templates and custom visuals
    • Choose a dashboard template or create your own custom layout. 
    • Make any dashboard a featured dashboard that automatically opens for every user. 
    • Link dashboards to Power BI reports to slice and dice data or drill down through the data to identify trends. 
    • Export multiple small data sets (although there is a data size limit). 
    • Easy to use, even if you have no experience with data science, visualizations, or dashboards. 
    • Tableau
    • Available for desktop or mobile users.
    • Offers a personal desktop license for $35 per month, a professional desktop license for $70 per month, a server license for $35 per month, or an online license for $42 per month. 
    • Includes a number of visuals that you can add to the dashboard from a dropdown list (however, custom visuals are harder to add). 
    • Create your own dashboard by dragging and dropping different visuals or objects onto the page. 
    • Link dashboards to Tableau sheets for more detailed data analysis. 
    • Make interactive dashboards to share with other Tableau users. 
    • Export very large data sets. 
    • Requires some knowledge of dashboard design and data science, but is easy to use once you get over this initial learning curve. 
    • Sisense
    • Available for desktop or mobile users (although mobile users may have fewer dashboard creation options). 
    • Offers custom pricing models depending on your business’ needs. 
    • Includes visuals in the form of widgets that you add to the dashboard page. 
    • Customize the appearance of the widgets using the app’s Widget Designer or adjust the layout of the dashboard’s visuals. 
    • Make interactive dashboards. 
    • Export very large data sets. 
    • Has a slight learning curve at first, but once you learn how to use the visualization dashboard builder, it’s easy to design new dashboards on the fly. 
    • Zoho Analytics
    • Available for desktop. There is a mobile app; however, you may only be able to view dashboards from a mobile device. 
    • Offers licenses for $25 for two users per month or more expensive plans for as much as $485 per month for 50 users. 
    • Includes visual widgets that are automatically populated from reports linked to your Zoho Analytics account. 
    • Resize or change the order of visuals on the dashboard. 
    • Create custom themes using an HTML editor. 
    • Export some large data sets, limited to 100 MB or 100,000 rows. 
    • Not as customizable as some of the other options on this list and may require some knowledge of HTML. 
    • iDashboards:
    • Available for desktop or mobile users. 
    • Offers custom pricing options that vary by user. 
    • Includes a list of custom visuals. You can also embed other graphic elements into your dashboards (such as a company logo). 
    • Make interactive dashboards that drill down through your data to display more detailed information. 
    • Export small data sets (users may struggle to export large data sets or tables). 
    • The drag-and-drop feature makes it easy to create dashboards without writing any code. 

    These are only a few of the visualization dashboard builders available on the market, so there may be other tools that better suit your needs. However, for most businesses, one of these five is usually the best option, as they are well-established in the data analytics industry and are known reliable customer support. 

    Although all of these tools are advanced, you’ll need to consider the pros and cons of each before you make your decision.

    What’s the Best Visualization Dashboard Builder? 

    There isn’t a single visualization dashboard builder that meets everyone’s needs. That’s because every business is different. To pick a software that best matches your workflow, budget, and data requirements, ask yourself the following questions: 

    What’s your budget? 

    Power BI is the only software that offers a free license, but if you want to share your dashboards with other Power BI users, then you’ll have to pay for a Pro or Premium license. Still, the Pro license is less expensive than any of the other five software options on this list. Zoho Analytics is the next most affordable option. Tableau is more expensive than either Power BI or Zoho Analytics, but also comes with a number of additional features that may be worth the higher price. Sisense and iDashboards both offer custom pricing options, so it’s wise to ask for an estimate from them before you make a final decision. 

    Do you need to analyze large data sets?

    If you only work with small amounts of data, then Power BI, Zoho Analytics, and iDashboards are all fine options. They cost less than services that support larger data sets. However, if you need to build dashboards from large sets of data, then either Tableau or Sisense are your only out-of-the-box options. 

    Do you have a data science or graphic design background? 

    If you don’t have any experience working with data, writing basic code, or designing engaging web pages or infographics, then some of these visualization dashboard builders will be tough to navigate. Tableau, Sisense, and Zoho Analytics have some of the highest learning curves, whereas Power BI and iDashboards are typically very easy for anyone to use. 

    Keep in mind that these five tools aren’t the only options you have for designing effective visualization dashboards from scratch. You can also hire a third-party data analytics company to create a custom visualization dashboard builder based on your workflow.

    How to Build Robust Visualization Dashboards 

    Although visualization dashboard builders are designed to work straight out of the box, the reality isn’t always as elegant or streamlined. Unexpected costs, steep learning curves, and data limitations make switching to a new piece of software difficult. 

    If none of these dashboard builder options meet your needs, or you’re looking for alternatives to self-service dashboard builders, consider hiring a third-party data analytics firm. They can take a close look at your business strategy and operations to create the best possible dashboards for every data set you’d like to analyze. 

    In some cases, hiring a third party is a better option than buying a software license because the third-party system is built specifically for your business. You won’t have to worry whether you’re missing key features or paying for more than you’ll actually use. Another benefit is that the system is inherently simple. It’s built around your workflow and experience level, meaning you won’t waste time learning how to use it. With help from visualization dashboard experts, you’ll create spectacularly-detailed visuals without lifting a finger. 

      To get a custom visualization dashboard of your own, contact Tek Leaders today. We specialize in creating robust and visually-engaging dashboards that are designed to track all of your most important KPIs and generate insights that have the greatest impact on your bottom line. If you’d like more information about the custom dashboard services we offer, you can reach us by email directly.

      Author: Devender (Dev) Aerrabolu

      Devender (Dev) Reddy Aerrabolu is the CEO of Tek Leaders. His goal is to help SMBs bring value from their data. Dev helped Tek Leaders grow from scratch into a $25 million enterprise by focusing on clients’ data needs.

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      Dashboard vs. Report in Power BI

        Dashboards and reports in Power BI are very similar tools in appearance, and they both perform many of the same visualization and data analytics tasks. Even users that have years of experience with Power BI may be unsure whether to build a dashboard or report for a given project. 

        However, if you want to generate the most accurate insights, you need to understand the differences between dashboard vs report in Power BI. This guide will help you decide which tool is right for you.

        The Differences Between a Dashboard vs. Report in Power BI 

        A dashboard in Power BI is a single page that displays the most important information from one or multiple detailed reports. You can think of Power BI dashboards like headlines in a newspaper—they’re designed to show you the most important information and insights so that you can make decisions quickly. 

        This is also why Power BI makes these dashboards shareable. They’re perfect for presenting complex information in its simplest form so you can share insights with upper management or your teams. 

        By comparison, a Power BI report is much more detailed—and harder to share. These reports consist of many visuals like pie charts, heat maps, and tables. You can slice data, dice it, filter it, or compare multiple data points to reveal hidden patterns. 

        Going back to the newspaper analogy, if a dashboard is the headline, then a report is the news story underneath it. While these reports take longer to read, they also provide you with more information than dashboards. 

        In addition to these basic differences, there are a few more subtle differences between dashboards vs. reports in Power BI: 

        Sharing options availableNo sharing options (but users can subscribe to report pages instead) 
        One pageCan contain multiple pages 
        Displays information from multiple reports or data sets Only displays information from one data set at a time (but looks at it from multiple angles)
        Hides data set fields from the pageUsers can click on data set fields for a more detailed view 
        Limited visuals available (displayed as widgets) Users can include any Power BI visual or create their own custom visuals 
        Data is read-onlyData can be changed 
        Automatically refreshes when data changesHas to be manually refreshed 
        Users can program email alerts based on the dataNo alerts are available 

        These aren’t the only differences, but they are some of the most important. To help you decide, consider what you would like to do with your data and select the tool that best supports those goals.

        When Should You Use a Dashboard vs. Report in Power BI? 

        Deciding whether to use a dashboard vs. report in Power BI is easy once you know what each tool does.

        You should use a dashboard if:

        • You are a C-suite executive who needs to look at the bigger picture;
        • You want to share information in a meeting;
        • Upper management wants to know how the company is performing overall;
        • You and your team don’t have time to generate or read multiple reports;
        • You’d like to summarize a particularly complicated report or data set;
        • You want to track daily key performance indicators (KPIs);
        • You don’t want to refresh your data manually;
        • Project managers or sales managers need to receive alerts based on the data (like an email alert when a sales goal is reached);
        • You and your team want to quickly track progress toward certain goals from a mobile device (by making it a featured dashboard, it will be the first dashboard displayed in the Power BI app).

        Many users default to using a dashboard because it’s the easiest to build and doesn’t require any computer science or data science knowledge.

        However, if one or more of the statements below is true, then you should use a Power BI report:

        • You need to interact with your data to find hidden patterns or trends;
        • You aren’t sure what the next step is and you want to use data to drive the decision (reports are ideal for coming up with new business strategies);
        • You have time to drill down through the data;
        • Your job requires you to examine the data (e.g. an accountant, data scientist, or marketing strategist).

        Even the simplest dashboards rely on more detailed reports to function properly. A dashboard can only display the information it’s given, and the information comes from complex data sets and reports. It’s not a question of whether you need a dashboard vs. report in Power BI—it’s a question of which tool is right for each individual task you have to perform. That’s why virtually all businesses use a combination of dashboards and reports to achieve their goals and operate efficiently.

        What’s the Best Way to Generate Reliable Insights? 

        The main reason people use Power BI is to leverage data and make better business decisions. Some businesses use multiple dashboards to ensure everyone stays on the right page. Others create more reports to discover new insights.

        However, even if you use the perfect combination of dashboards vs. reports in Power BI, this approach still has limitations. For example, if you’re not collecting the right type of data or the quality of your data is poor, then it doesn’t matter how many dashboards or reports you create. Your insights will be flawed.

        This is why it’s important to create an effective system for collecting, storing, normalizing, and governing your data. Third-party data analytics firms specialize in this type of work. They can also build custom Power BI dashboards and reports for you based on your staff’s workflow and your business strategy. These firms can also set up predictive analytics models that you can export to Power BI, so you can think ahead and make better decisions about your company’s future.

        Generating accurate insights is a complex process that involves looking at historical data, real-time data, and projections to identify the best possible path to success. When you combine the robust visuals of Power BI dashboards and reports with powerful predictive modeling and tight data governance, you’ll come up with novel solutions and strategies to drive your business.

        An accounting dashboard allows you to see your data in an entirely new light. By enlisting the help of experts with experience designing these complex visualization tools, you’ll lead your company to financial success.

          To make the most of your Power BI dashboards and reports, contact Tek Leaders today. We specialize in comprehensive data analysis systems. We offer secure storage, automatic normalization, custom Power BI dashboards and reports, and predictive modeling using innovative machine learning technology. If you’d like a free business strategy audit, you can reach us by email directly.

          Author: Devender (Dev) Aerrabolu

          Devender (Dev) Reddy Aerrabolu is the CEO of Tek Leaders. His goal is to help SMBs bring value from their data. Dev helped Tek Leaders grow from scratch into a $25 million enterprise by focusing on clients’ data needs.

          Read more

          Power BI Accounting Dashboard Best Practices

            What’s the best way to keep track of where your company’s money is going? Many accountants would probably say that spreadsheets are the fastest and easiest tools for the job. However, there is another that is even simpler and more reliable: Custom Power BI accounting dashboards. 

            This powerful visualization software gives you complete control over all company financials, from inventory and sales revenue to vendor invoices and detailed bank statements. Power BI’s accounting dashboards keep it all in one place so you don’t have to track it down. 

            To leverage this software, use Power BI accounting dashboard best practices. This guide will help you build an efficient and sleek-looking dashboard to help you run a lean business.

            Why Use a Power BI Accounting Dashboard?

            Microsoft’s Power BI is one of the best accounting tools because it helps users see financial information in complex new ways that standard spreadsheets don’t support. 

            You can manually enter sales revenue data into an Excel spreadsheet and display them in one of the basic charts or graphs available in Excel. However, these visuals aren’t as compelling, detailed, or customizable as Power BI’s visuals. They’re also harder to share, as you have to save and upload the graphics into separate slideshows or reports. You also can’t edit them on the fly without accessing the original spreadsheet, manually changing the data, and creating a brand new graphic containing the updated information.

            With a Power BI accounting dashboard, you can generate engaging visuals to help you understand your company’s sales, like:

            • Colorful pie charts showing opportunity count by region;
            • Detailed bar charts showing total revenue by sales stage;
            • Heat maps showing total revenue per branch;
            • Line graphs comparing projected sales to actual sales; and more. 

            There are more visual options in Power BI than there are in Excel, but these visuals are also much easier to share and edit. When you create a Power BI accounting dashboard, you can include data filters that automatically adjust the graphics as you remove or add data. Power BI also lets you generate reports or add graphics to slideshow presentations instantly. You won’t waste time saving graphics, manually inserting them into documents or presentations, and adjusting the size or layout to fit the page.

            Another benefit of Power BI for accounting is that you can continue using Excel, Power Query, and other Microsoft-supported accounting tools in tandem with the software. Power BI is simply a visualization generator that connects to data sources and displays data in an aesthetically-pleasing way. It makes it easy for accountants to balance the budget and identify potential financial trouble long before it impacts the company’s bottom line.

            How to Make the Most of Power BI Accounting Dashboards

            If you plan on using Power BI for accounting, you should follow these three best practices: 

            • Choose the right Power BI accounting license. 

            To use Power BI for accounting, you can sign up for a free account or upgrade to a Pro or Premium license. The free account enables you to create visuals and dashboards as well as store a limited amount of data in the cloud. The Pro version builds on the free version, allowing you to share and collaborate on dashboards with other Pro users in your organization. Meanwhile, the Premium version is much more advanced than either the free or Pro versions, allowing you to perform more detailed data analysis and store more data in the cloud.

            The license you choose depends on your needs. Most accountants will be perfectly happy with the free version, since it includes plenty of visual templates. However, if you are part of an accounting team or share information with a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) or a Chief Financial Officer (CFO), then a Power BI Pro license is a better choice. If you plan on only using Power BI for accounting, a Premium license offers more features than you’ll probably use. This is only the best choice if you store data on premise or require more cloud storage space. 

            • Clean up your data.

            The main problem with financial data is that it isn’t always well-organized or normalized. If you don’t clean your data first, then the visuals you create with Power BI will look messy. Cleaning up your spreadsheets and datasets take time, but it’s worth the extra effort because it enables you to produce cleaner-looking visuals and govern your data more effectively.  

            • Build project-specific dashboards.

            Once you have a Power BI accounting license and a system for organizing your data, you can start building custom financial dashboards. The best method is to build one unique dashboard for every project or department. This prevents dashboards from becoming too complicated or cluttered, so you can focus on issue at hand. 

            For example, you can use one dashboard to track overall company expenditures and revenue across all departments for a bird’s eye view of what’s happening. You can build more detailed dashboards tracking expenditures and revenue for each individual department or product to identify specific areas for improvement. 

            Here are some examples of effective Power BI accounting dashboards, by data type tracked.

            • Transactions: Type and amount, including debits and credits;
            • Invoices: Payment status and accounts receivable; 
            • Monthly ledgers: Company balance; 
            • Budget: Including projections and goals; 
            • International sales and vendors: Including exchange rate calculations; 
            • Inventory: By location and value. You can also use these dashboards to calculate depreciation; 
            • Total revenue: from sales by product or location;
            • Payroll: Payment timeliness and estimated salary offerings for future hires.

            The specific visuals you choose for each dashboard depends on what you want to track and how you prefer to organize the information. Because Power BI accounting dashboards are customizable, you can build them around your preferred workflow. For more specific tips on how to build the most effective dashboard, consult this detailed guide to dashboard database design.

            The Best Way to Create Impressive Accounting Dashboards 

            Power BI isn’t the only tool accountants can use to track and visualize finances. While this software is robust, it isn’t perfect for every business. 

            For example, you have to clean up your data and set up a secure data storage system of your own before you can start using Power BI for accounting. This is a major problem if you want to schedule data updates automatically, as you may inadvertently introduce errors into your visuals. It’s common to export blank cells or flawed data from Excel, which could ruin the look and accuracy of your visuals. Currently, Power BI doesn’t have a reliable system for cleaning up this data automatically. Another limitation of Power BI for accounting is that it’s difficult to tell where exactly each visual should go on the dashboard, particularly if you’ve never designed one before. 

            This is why many accountants choose to work with third party dashboard accounting experts to help them build the most efficient system possible. These experts can: 

            • Automate the data collection, storage, and normalization process so accountants never have to do this work themselves;
            • Create custom visualization dashboards based on the accountant’s workflow and financial strategy; 
            • Incorporate stunning Power BI visuals into these dashboards for a polished final look; and
            • Include more advanced data analytics, including predictive models to help accountants make better financial decisions. 

            An accounting dashboard allows you to see your data in an entirely new light. By enlisting the help of experts with experience designing these complex visualization tools, you’ll lead your company to financial success.

              If you’re an accountant looking to upgrade your financial data visualization system, contact Tek Leaders today. Our team of Power BI experts will help you build dashboards to balance the budget, project future earnings, track recent expenditures, and more. If you have questions about the data visualization services we offer, you can reach us by email directly.

              Author: Devender (Dev) Aerrabolu

              Devender (Dev) Reddy Aerrabolu is the CEO of Tek Leaders. His goal is to help SMBs bring value from their data. Dev helped Tek Leaders grow from scratch into a $25 million enterprise by focusing on clients’ data needs.

              Read more

              Is It Wise to Use Power BI for Procurement?

                When you run a business, you want to get the best deal from vendors. How do you know whether you’re getting goods or services at the lowest possible price? Is there another vendor out there that can offer you a better deal or faster shipping?

                This is where expert data analysis can help. By performing a detailed cost-benefit and cost-utility analysis, you’ll sign contracts with the most reliable vendors in your industry. Microsoft’s Power BI is one of the best tools for visualizing this type of data. It displays extensive vendor comparisons to help you make the right decisions.

                However, there are a few limits to using Power BI for procurement purposes. Let’s look at the pros and cons.

                The Benefits of Using Power BI for Procurement 

                Although Power BI is a simple visualization tool that displays sets of data in detailed charts or graphs, businesses can also use it during the procurement stage to select the best vendors for raw materials or operational services. The main benefit of using Power BI for procurement is that it makes this complicated and time-consuming process much faster and simpler.

                During the procurement stage, managers have to determine which goods or services the business needs to operate or manufacture products effectively. To do this, managers first gather a list of potential vendors or suppliers that can provide them with these raw materials or services.

                Not only are there often hundreds and sometimes thousands of vendors to choose from, but it’s also hard to judge which vendor has the best offer at face value. Procurement managers usually spend hours researching individual vendors, including:

                • Analyzing the quality of the service and the value that they will bring to the business;
                • Negotiating price;
                • Reviewing proposals and contracts;
                • Discussing transportation, shipping, and other logistical details; and more.

                Managers who use Power BI for procurement are able to see all of this data on a single page and even compare multiple vendors at once. Managers can build custom Power BI dashboards that generate visuals based on procurement-related data sets, like material cost or estimated time to delivery.

                With the Power BI software, procurement managers can:

                • Compare prices and discounts offered by hundreds of vendors to find the best deals;
                • Show what times of the year vendors usually offer the deepest discounts so that managers can schedule re-orders or negotiate new contracts at these ideal times;
                • Determine which vendors can ship products or materials the fastest; and
                • Gather real-time performance data on current vendors, including delivery reliability, product and service quality, lead time, and net margins.

                The advantage of using Power BI for procurement is that you can begin using it as soon as you sign up for a Power BI Pro or Premium account. It doesn’t require any special training or knowledge of data analytics. Procurement managers simply select the visuals they want from a set of Power BI visual templates and upload their procurement data into the Power BI cloud system.

                With this tool, managers can quickly see which vendors deliver the best products at the lowest price. They can also share these visuals with upper management to justify working with a reliable vendor over an inferior competitor.

                Another benefit of using Power BI for procurement is that it helps managers check in on the vendors they already use. It’s common for vendors to change their products or services in an effort to cut back on costs. This may lead to an inferior product or delivery delays. By tracking how vendors are performing every month and frequently comparing current data to this past data, procurement managers will ensure that their vendors are holding up their end of the bargain. You’ll avoid working with vendors that cut corners.

                However, while there are many advantages to using Power BI for procurement, it’s not the most advanced system for comparing and tracking vendor performance. There are plenty of limitations to this software that procurement managers may find frustrating.

                What Power BI Can’t Do 

                The main downside of using Power BI for procurement is that procurement managers still have to make most of the decisions on their own. It’s more of an optimization tool than robust decision-making software. Power BI makes data more readable, but it won’t perform any complex calculations for you. You still need to collect quality data and process this data before you upload it into a visual template.

                One area in particular that procurement managers may miss with Power BI is the lack of predictive analytics. For example, the price of raw materials like metals tends to fluctuate over time. Vendors may charge you more for these materials in the future due to these changes in the material’s market value. A powerful predictive analytics software could track the historic price of the material and calculate accurate projections of what the price of this material may be in the near future.

                Power BI is not a predictive analytics tool. It can only display the data that you supply. You have to use a combination of Power BI dashboards and predictive analytics software to perform these types of complex calculations. The Power BI software can still help you share this predictive data with your team or compare it to other data sets in visual form, but if you want to maximize your data, then you will need more than just Power BI for procurement.

                Should You Use Power BI for Procurement? 

                If you are just looking for a simple visualization tool to help you organize your vendor data and track the procurement process, then using Power BI for procurement is a very wise choice. It features some of the most compelling visuals on the market and is easy to learn, even if you have no experience with this type of visualization technology.

                However, if you’re looking for a tool that does more than just display procurement data, then Power BI isn’t the best option. It’s extremely limited in scope when used on its own.

                For more advanced data analysis, you should consider hiring a third-party data analytics firm that can create a detailed procurement portal for you. Data experts will build a custom visual dashboard that is as simple to use and as visually compelling as Power BI dashboards. However, unlike standard Power BI dashboards, these dashboards will also be linked to powerful machine learning algorithms and other predictive analytics software that can help you make more reliable procurement decisions.

                Procurement is complicated because markets and costs are so inconsistent. When you deploy algorithms that are designed to drill down and identify hidden market trends, the procurement process is much less unpredictable. You won’t have to change your strategy after you lose an important vendor or a vendor suddenly charges more for its products or services. Data analysis can help you predict many of these events in advance, giving you more time to take precautionary steps or start shopping for new vendors.

                With the combined forces of Power BI visuals and predictive data analytics, you’ll master the procurement process and run a lean, efficient operation.

                If you’re looking for a simpler way to analyze vendor services, contact Tek Leaders today. Our team of data analysts and procurement experts will help you build an efficient system for comparing all of your industry’s leading vendors. We’ll also provide you with the tools you need to keep track of your margins and vendor performance so that you can maintain low overhead and get the most from your investments. If you have more questions about whether you should use Power BI for procurement purposes, you can reach us by email directly.

                Author: Devender (Dev) Aerrabolu

                Devender (Dev) Reddy Aerrabolu is the CEO of Tek Leaders. His goal is to help SMBs bring value from their data. Dev helped Tek Leaders grow from scratch into a $25 million enterprise by focusing on clients’ data needs.

                Read more

                Is a CIO Dashboard in Power BI Right for Your Organization?

                  Visualization dashboards help CIOs interpret data so that they arrive at the right conclusions every time. CIOs use these tools to replace guesswork and arbitrary IT staffing levels. The best results come from CIO dashboards in Power BI that track preferred KPIs and are built around existing workflows.

                  By designing a well-organized dashboard, you will lead your IT teams confidently and inspire them to achieve more.

                  What Can a Power BI CIO Dashboard Do? 

                  Microsoft’s Power BI is a platform for visualizing data. Users connect Power BI to a data source and upload their data into a visual template of their choice. There are hundreds of visuals available, designed to analyze data from many different angles.

                  To save time, users can also create dashboards in Power BI that display multiple visuals on one page. With these dashboards, you can filter your data by type or range and the visuals will change automatically based on your inputs.

                  A CIO dashboard in Power BI is made specifically to help CIOs perform their daily tasks and make big-picture decisions. The dashboard features data and visuals related to the company’s IT strategy and technological needs.

                  Why do CIOs need a dashboard like this? Today’s CIOs are expected to do more than ever. They must:

                  • Manage IT staff schedules and performance;
                  • Balance the budget;
                  • Hire appropriate IT experts in every field;
                  • Oversee software patches and security rollouts; and
                  • Educate themselves on innovations that will drive the company forward; and more.

                  CIOs often take most criticism when things go wrong with IT. One misstep or bad decision can have lasting consequences. This is why more CIOs are relying on tools like CIO dashboards in Power BI. It helps them to stay on top of staffing needs and to delegate tasks to individual team members. Data-driven CIO decisions are less likely to involve costly mistakes.

                  Creating a CIO Dashboard in Power BI 

                  Make a list of all of your responsibilities at the organization. You should make at least one dashboard for every task. These may include:

                  • Data logs: You can connect your CIO dashboard in Power BI to Microsoft’s Azure Activity Logs. This allows you to see how your data is being used and identify problems immediately. In Power BI, this information is displayed in a chart of your choice and is automatically updated whenever the SQL database is refreshed. You can check this log every day for potential issues.
                  • Compliance states: Power BI linked to Intune Data Warehouse enables you to see device configurations and whether these devices are fully compliant based on your organization’s standards.
                  • IT troubleshooting: CIO dashboards in Power BI can be designed to include data about server status, security issues, and devices requiring software patches. You can see which devices or hardware are currently posing a problem and get them fixed before they lead to excessive downtime or security breaches.
                  • Sales, market trends, and budget: There are many visual templates for tracking these metrics in Power BI. Sales, market trends, and budgets affect the IT department and determine how much the CIO can spend on upgrades.
                  • IT project tracking: CIO dashboards in Power BI include Gantt charts that can track project progress and show whether teams are meeting deadlines.
                  • Assessing current IT strategies: CIOs can keep scorecards or track KPIs for new staff members or third-party vendors to ensure that the services they provide are actually bringing value to the organization.
                  • Downtime analysis: When the system goes down, a dashboard can track when and why it happened and identify downtime trends that CIOs can use to prevent it from happening again in the future. 

                  If you’re still unsure exactly how to organize your CIO dashboard in Power BI, break your tasks down into one of the following categories and keep similar tasks together on a single dashboard:

                  • Portfolio management. This includes project budgets, schedules, deadlines, staffing, staff performance, and project risk analysis.
                  • IT health. This includes data or tasks related to downtime and uptime, training, maintenance, software patches, hardware upgrades, and changes that will reduce operational costs.
                  • Troubleshooting and customer satisfaction. This is any data related to customer surveys, how long it takes for customers to receive help from IT staff, and how quickly IT staff can fix problems.
                  • Big picture decisioning. Working with upper management, you can identify the core business principles that your organization follows and track overall IT performance to test whether it aligns with those drivers. For example, if your organization wants to respond to customer inquiries within 24 hours, CIOs can track this metric and ensure that IT staff are also following this company-wide guideline. This is also where you can analyze the budget to determine whether you have the resources you need to introduce a new IT strategy.

                  You have so many possibilities when you build a CIO dashboard in Power BI. However, the system does have its limitations.

                  Should You Make a CIO Dashboard in Power BI?

                  The main limitation of Power BI is that it only tracks data after the fact. When something happens, Power BI logs it right away, but if you want to find out whether something will happen, you’re out of luck. This is a problem for CIOs because they have a responsibility to come up with forward-thinking solutions.

                  For this reason, many CIOs are hiring third-party dashboard experts to link CIO dashboards in Power BI to predictive analytics software. This gives them the power to make accurate predictions. By combining Power BI visuals with machine learning algorithms, CIOs can:

                  • See how easy or difficult it would be to change the IT strategy;
                  • Analyze hardware or software vulnerabilities and limitations; and
                  • Project future budgets and technical requirements; and more.

                  While CIOs should incorporate CIO dashboards into their workflows right now, they must also consider future needs. By discussing their options with a data analytics firm, CIOs can maximize the use and ROI of this technology.

                  Are you looking for an easy way to manage your IT staff and make better data-driven decisions? Contact Tek Leaders today to learn more about our dashboard services. Our team of Power BI experts can build a custom CIO dashboard that tracks data in real time and can predict the outcomes of your decisions. To get a free audit of your current IT strategy, you can reach us by email directly.

                  Author: Devender (Dev) Aerrabolu

                  Devender (Dev) Reddy Aerrabolu is the CEO of Tek Leaders. His goal is to help SMBs bring value from their data. Dev helped Tek Leaders grow from scratch into a $25 million enterprise by focusing on clients’ data needs.

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                  How Can You Use Power BI for Production?

                  Production lines involve thousands of daily details. From assessing operational risk to calculating each product’s contribution margin per machine hour, product and operational managers need a simple tool to do it all.

                  Power BI for production is one of these streamlined tools. It lets managers create responsive dashboards for overseeing complex product portfolios and improving manufacturing efficiency.

                  In this guide, you’ll learn how to build a clever Power BI dashboard that includes all of the visuals and features needed to grapple with your production data.

                  Power BI for Production

                  Power BI is a visualization tool, but it can do more than just display data in a chart. You can also use the software to build custom production dashboards that display multiple pieces of information on a single page. This lets production managers see all of their data at a glance.

                  Power BI for production is a robust tool that lets managers see customer behavioral data alongside operational data. This helps them make better decisions about how to manufacture products in the most efficient and customer-friendly way possible.

                  Managers who are short on time never have to hunt for customer surveys or balance production budgets by hand. Power BI automatically pulls data from an on-site source or cloud warehouse and generates compelling visuals in the dashboard. All the manager has to do is publish the results and invent an action plan.

                  Another benefit of Power BI production dashboards is that you can configure them to filter data you’d like to see at any given moment. Production managers can analyze operations at a specific plant or by product. They can also see which customers buy which products by comparing demographic information to average sales.

                  The goal is to find opportunities for your organization to grow and to refine products so that your customers are more satisfied with the results. It makes your passive data more actionable.

                  To use Power BI for production, you need to build a custom dashboard that fits your products, staff, manufacturing process, and customer base. This requires some knowledge of the Power BI system, but it’s fairly easy to learn, even with little-to-no experience with data analysis and visuals.

                  Building an In-Depth Production Dashboard 

                  Start by making a list of all of the data you currently collect on your customers, products, staff workflows, and manufacturing process.

                  You may not be able to include all of this information in a single dashboard, since cluttered dashboards are more difficult to navigate and use. Instead, you should build a few dashboards based around the insights you need.

                  For example, customer demographic information and satisfaction ratings can be used to determine:

                  • The customers’ average interest in a product by location, age, sex, or income. You can use a heat map or pie chart to analyze this information.
                  • How long it takes your customers to move through the sales funnel. Using a Gantt chart, you can create a set of milestones for staff as they guide customers through the funnel. You can compare how long it takes customers to move through each step for continuous improvement.
                  • Patterns in customer satisfaction ratings. You can’t please everyone, but if multiple customers are complaining about the same thing, it’s a sign you need to improve your product. Power BI’s color-coded bar charts can show what percentage of customers were satisfied with a particular aspect of a product compared to those who were dissatisfied.

                  By breaking these insights up into three different dashboards, you can drill down to the information that really matters to you. In general, managers should focus all of their dashboards around one of three central aspects:

                  1. Internal operations, including staff schedules, budget, manufacturing details, plant performance, and materials.
                  2. Market analysis such as competitor market shares, industry trends, and product compliance regulations.
                  3. Customer relations, including satisfaction scores, pain points that aren’t currently being addressed, and target audience analysis.

                  You should have at least one dashboard for each of these three aspects. This helps you to stay on top of all of the details that matter and to lead your team in the right direction.

                  Making a custom dashboard in Power BI isn’t always as easy as it first appears. If you’re unsure which visuals to use to present your information in the clearest way possible, then building a dashboard may be a struggle.

                  The Best Way to Use Power BI for Production 

                  The best method for using Power BI for production is to hire a data analytics firm to help you create dashboards from scratch.

                  Many of these firms partner with Power BI to help production managers visualize their data. They start with questions about your workflow and responsibilities. Data scientists look carefully at the type of data you collect and offer suggestions on how to improve it. They may suggest  collecting additional data for better results. The result is a series of dashboards that analyze and display your data from multiple perspectives. Data analytics firms also check in with you periodically to ensure that the system is working well, and to make adjustments as needed.

                  Data experts know how to collect and report actionable data. They can take the vaguest production goals and translate them into detailed and user-friendly analytics.

                  Hiring experts is a must if you want to do more than just visualize your data. Power BI can only display your data in charts and graphs. It can’t dive deeply into the information to identify hidden patterns, or project results based on predictive modeling.

                  A data analytics firm can combine these features in your Power BI visual dashboards. From a single location or portal, you can quickly generate visuals based on existing data or generate visualizations of future outcomes. You can predict what may happen if you make a change to your production line or introduce a new product. You’ll no longer take a shot in the dark and hope for a positive result. You’ll know.

                  Contact Tek Leaders to learn more about how you can use Power BI for production. Our data analytics experts will help you create effective dashboards and integrate them into a secure, user-friendly portal for complete production line management. If you have more questions about our tools and services, you can reach us by email directly.

                  Author: Devender (Dev) Aerrabolu

                  Devender (Dev) Reddy Aerrabolu is the CEO of Tek Leaders. His goal is to help SMBs bring value from their data. Dev helped Tek Leaders grow from scratch into a $25 million enterprise by focusing on clients’ data needs.

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                  Should You Use Power BI for Predictive Analytics?

                  How risky is that business loan? Should your company add another branch in a new location? When will your stakeholders make a return on their investments in your company? Predictive data analysis answers questions like these, using historical data to make reliable forecasts.

                  To make the most accurate predictions, you’ll need a powerful statistical data analysis tool. Power BI for predictive analytics lets you assess trends and forecasts visually for a glimpse into your company’s future.

                  Can You Use Power BI for Predictive Analytics?

                  Predictive analytics is the process of analyzing big data, identifying patterns, and producing models that forecast future outcomes. There are many ways to perform predictive analytics. You could hire a statistical data scientist to manually create predictive models, or download predictive analytics software that uses machine learning algorithms to automatically process your data. 

                  But can you use visualization software like Power BI for predictive analytics as well? The answer is slightly complicated.

                  Power BI is a visualization platform for displaying your data in graphic form. It’s mainly used to generate visually-compelling reports and to look at your data from multiple perspectives. Its predictive modeling capabilities are pretty limited, particularly if you’re only using a standard Power BI Pro or Premium license and no other tools. Power BI cannot perform any predictive analysis on its own. It can only display the data it’s given.

                  However, Power BI can be adapted to perform advanced predictive analytics. You just have to connect it with a more robust analytics tool first. Once you have a comprehensive predictive analytics system up and running, you’ll be able to make very accurate models from your data and present them in stunning visual form.

                  How to Use Power BI for Predictive Analytics 

                  If you want to use Power BI for predictive analytics, you must link your Power BI account to another predictive data analytics tool. One of the easiest ways to do this is to use Power BI and Microsoft’s Azure software in tandem.

                  Azure is a cloud computing system that stores and analyzes big data. The platform includes multiple tools, one of which is Azure Machine Learning Studio. This tool uses machine learning algorithms to identify patterns and make predictions about future trends. It also learns from your past data to make more reliable forecasts every time you use the system. To tie an Azure account to a Power BI account, you can:

                  1. Connect Azure to your data source or store your data in the Azure system
                  2. Drag your data sets or modules into Azure’s predictive model creator
                  3. Give Power BI permission to access the models and send this data through Power BI
                  4. Generate visuals of the models using one or more of the visuals available in the Power BI gallery.

                  You are essentially analyzing the data twice. During the first round, Azure runs the data through machine learning algorithms based on the type of predictions you want to make (e.g. budget forecasts or market projections). Once this process is complete, you’re left with a new set of data like any other you would upload to Power BI. The only difference is that this data is predictive rather than historical.

                  What makes this system so effective is that it combines the power of predictive modeling with user-friendly visual aids. Most laypeople struggle to read and understand complicated predictive models. They need charts or other graphics to help them make sense of the information. Power BI offers some of the most compelling, detailed, and polished visuals on the market. When you use Power BI, your predictions will not only be trustworthy, but they will also be easy to share with your entire organization.

                  Is Power BI and Azure the Best Predictive Analytics System? 

                  Although a combination of Azure and Power BI for predictive analytics is a dependable system, it may not be the best option for every organization. The main problem with using Power BI for predictive analytics is that someone on your team will need to be familiar with the R programming language and the Azure platform.

                  First, you have to access your data from Azure SQL and then use R to extract this data. Next, you must send this data to the Azure ML web service so that it can score the data. From here, you’ll send the data back through Azure SQL and use R once again to send this data to Power BI’s system. Once you’ve reached this point, just publish the data to Power BI and refresh the data through the gateway. Now all that’s left to do is to generate visuals.

                  If you’re unfamiliar with R programming and Azure,this process is far from simple. It’s also quite time-consuming, even for those who know their way around R and Azure. You’ll have to repeat the entire process for every new prediction or model before you can start generating visuals and reports. This is why many organizations choose to hire third-party predictive analytics experts to build user-friendly systems customized to their workflows and needs.

                  The Benefits of a Custom Predictive Analytics System 

                  A custom predictive analytics system can automatically perform all of the tasks that Azure normally would, generating accurate models based on your historical data. To make this system, data experts ask which types of models you’d like to create and run your data through machine learning algorithms designed for those specific tasks. All of the predictive modeling is done for you. There’s no need to learn R commands or practice using the Azure platform.

                  These firms can also handle visualizations. Experts will build you a user-friendly dashboard where you can quickly generate Power BI visuals or other detailed graphics and charts at the touch of a button. Because your predictive models are already connected to this dashboard, making new visuals is lightning-fast.

                  Predictive analytics models are only useful if you keep them current and use them in your reports consistently. If they’re too difficult or time-consuming to create, then your managerial team will be less likely to create them— or to consult them when they make their decisions. By outsourcing this process to the experts, you’ll build a system anyone can use, with the most innovative predictive technology.

                  Do you want to make the most accurate business decisions possible? If so, contact Tek Leaders today. Our team of skilled predictive data analytics and machine learning experts will help you design an efficient system for modeling your data and creating compelling visuals to support it. If you want to learn more about using Power BI for predictive analytics, you can reach us by email directly.

                  Author: Devender (Dev) Aerrabolu

                  Devender (Dev) Reddy Aerrabolu is the CEO of Tek Leaders. His goal is to help SMBs bring value from their data. Dev helped Tek Leaders grow from scratch into a $25 million enterprise by focusing on clients’ data needs.

                  October 15, 2019

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                  Best IT Staffing Agency & Quick Turn Support Services

                  Every company has specific IT needs. If a support service provider wants to be successful, it must get to know each client. No matter what solution providers offer—from consulting services to IT staffing—they must deliver timely, quick-turn support services.

                  You have a business to run, and finding the right human resources can be difficult. If you do reach out for help, how can you be sure you’ll receive the right staffing or consulting services when you need them? Engage Tek Leaders and let us take the pressure off.

                  We match you with people who have the right skills and experience to meet your company’s needs, quickly. Instead of worrying about the details of recruitment and other business challenges, let us create solutions and handle the details. Your time is better spent growing your company and focusing on its goals.

                  Tek Leaders has strong product experience in all types of technology. We know how to source the talent you need. We recruit talented, passionate, dedicated candidates to help make your organization stronger.

                  The Best IT Staffing Agency in Texas—and Planetwide

                  Finding the right people can be hard. But Tek Leaders has qualified, reliable staff ready to work. When your business needs to add new skill sets or another set of hands, we can find them. Our process starts by understanding your specific IT staffing needs.

                  We take the time to understand your short and long-term goals, and provide staff who have the skills and dedication needed to help you achieve them. We have an established base of IT staff, including programmers and software engineers, ready for projects all across the United States—even on short notice.

                  When you choose our IT staffing services, we’ll only send you the best of the best—the most qualified candidates who stand out from the crowd. If you’re not sure of your staffing needs, we can help determine which additional skills are required to complement yours, and can find candidates who have them.

                  We also offer managed services that take the hassle out of ongoing and routine maintenance. Do your developers hate doing application maintenance and want to move onto new projects? Our management and maintenance services can free up their time. By analyzing what your business needs and by understanding your goals, we can help identify skill gaps—and which services will fill them. We offer a variety of IT consulting services, including business intelligence, data analytics or cloud migration.

                  Our Quick Turn Support Services Can Solve Your Business Challenges, Quickly.

                  No matter what IT consulting services you choose, you can be sure you’ll receive quick-turn support services, delivered promptly. We know how quickly market conditions change in the IT industry. Part of helping your business is ensuring that once you engage Tek Leaders you receive your solution when you need it.

                  Tek Leaders is an agile company that responds quickly to pressing business challenges. We’re here to solve problems, with customized solutions for your business strategy, all optimized to help you get the most value from your data and technology.

                  When Deadlines are Tight and Expectations are High, Contact Tek Leaders.

                  If you need quality staff and solutions immediately, contact Tek Leaders. We can place IT staff with your organization when you need them most. When you’re facing complex IT business problems, we can provide custom solutions within a quick turnaround time.

                  When you need help that’s specialized for IT-related challenges, contact Tek Leaders first. We have the resources and knowledge to help solve even the trickiest problems. Contact us, tell us what your business needs, and give our customized solutions a try. We’re confident you’ll see the value of our quality staffing and quick-turn support services within weeks. You can also reach us by email or call us at (214) 504-1600 directly.

                  Image: Max Pixel

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                  Business Intelligence and Analytics Management | FAQs

                  Business Intelligence and Analytics Management | FAQs

                  Every successful leader understands the importance of business intelligence and analytics management. Market conditions change constantly and business sectors grow more competitive with each passing day. But if you’re new to business intelligence and analytics management there can be a steep learning curve. And even the savviest heads of marketing or finance have questions.

                  Knowing the details of how to implement and use business intelligence and analytics solutions and the insights they yield is the first step in making better-informed decisions. Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions.

                  Business Intelligence and Analytics Management FAQs

                  Q: How are business intelligence and business analytics different?

                  A: “Business intelligence” and “business analytics” are not interchangeable terms. Business intelligence (BI) analyzes existing business data to predict events. Business analytics (BA) extracts insights from business information from the past to create more successful business planning in the future. BI and BA both create insights that help you make smarter decisions. For example, they can help you identify new revenue opportunities, track KPIs, become more efficient, predict customer trends or raise productivity.

                  Q: How can BI and BA uncover the insights hidden within large numbers of datapoints?

                  A: When you have a lot of datapoints to wade through it can be hard to create useful insights. You can use a BI or BA solution to locate the data you’ve designated as being most important, even within big data. Then the solution can organize those insights and present them in easy to understand ways, such as through reports, charts, summaries, or dashboards.

                  Q: What can I do to stop multiple people within my organization from using different data?

                  A: When you have too many practitioners it can be hard to yield useful planning from their data sets. For example, you may have people working with old spreadsheets or having trouble with version control. Instead, try migrating to a BI or BA solution. You’ll notice right away how much simpler it is when everyone is analyzing the same data—data that can be easily accessed and automatically updated across your organization.

                  Q: My company currently uses Excel for all its data-interpretation needs. How can I overcome Excel’s limitations?

                  A: While Excel is a useful program, it’s not a great tool for data analysis. It’s a spreadsheet tool, not a BI or BA tool. Manual data entry in Excel makes it far from error-proof, especially when a document is passed around and edited within your organization. It makes it hard to sift through large volumes of data, and you certainly don’t want to try working in a spreadsheet that goes on longer than 1000 rows.

                  A dedicated BI and BA solution is more accurate because it self-updates data automatically. I can pull structured and unstructured data from different sources, yielding insights that are useful in all areas of your business—not just within a single department using Excel. And you can use a BI or BA solution to instantly manipulate data, uncovering patterns using interactive data discovery and visualization. Building a single detailed chart can take hours in Excel, and not even the most advanced Excel user can create the same results as a dedicated BI or BA solution can, using far less effort.

                  Q: When should I deploy a new BI or BA strategy?

                  A: It’s common to start looking into a BI or BA strategy when a business problem arises that you think has a solution hidden within your data. But you don’t have to wait for such a problem to arise. A BI or BA strategy can be adopted any time. Try using one now and make collecting, cleaning and analyzing data an ongoing process. Once you start, you’ll see how easy it is to use it to make strategic business decisions on a routine basis.

                  Q: What criteria should I consider when choosing a BI or BA Solution?
                  If your company is not using a BI or BA solution you should definitely start. But if you’re not sure what capabilities to look for, here are some to keep in mind.

                  • Analytics (such as benchmarking, predictive analytics, social media and web analytics, statistic analytics, data mining)
                  • Data blending support
                  • Data visualization (such as storyboarding, geospatial integration, barcodes, infographics, widgets)
                  • Flexibility to adjust to business changes
                  • Maintenance and support
                  • Purchase price
                  • ROI
                  • Scalability, especially regarding user growth
                  • The ability to integrate with third-party applications

                  If You Don’t See Your Question Answered Here, Give Us a Call.

                  These are just some of the questions people have on their minds, and if we haven’t answered yours, give us a call. We have business intelligence and analytics experts who would be happy to talk to you any time. Our Tek Leaders teammates can walk you through all the details of intelligence or business analytics implementation and optimization. Or if you’re looking for solutions, they can help with that, too.

                  There’s a lot to learn about business intelligence and analytics management. And there are new solutions that can help you yield more successful insights being innovated every day. With a little know-how, your business could be using business intelligence and analytics management to beat your competitors and master the changing market. Tek Leaders is ready to help you achieve all of those goals and more.

                  If you’re ready to improve your business intelligence or business analytics management, contact Tek Leaders today. Our experienced IT services team will find custom solutions for your industry’s specific needs, including powerful data analytics tools and detailed business intelligence strategies. Or, if you have more questions about our process, you can reach us by email or call us at (214) 504-1600 directly.

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                  Cloud Computing vs. Cloud Storage: What Does Your Company Need?

                  Cloud Computing vs. Cloud Storage: What Does Your Company Need?

                  If you’re looking for the best cloud computing or storage system for your company’s needs, consider the pros and cons of these systems and your organization’s goals. While both technologies have great benefits, you should think carefully about whether they are the right option(s) for you. Every company has a unique set of needs and requires a customized business strategy to address them. The same is true when you consider a cloud computing vs. cloud storage system. The system that most benefits one company may not necessarily benefit another, so customization is key. This guide will help you decide which technologies are the best to help reach your goals.

                  Cloud Computing vs. Cloud Storage

                  It can be difficult to choose between cloud computing vs. cloud storage because these two methods are so closely related. Most companies use a combination of cloud computing and storage systems to get the best possible results. However, you don’t necessarily have to use both of these services; in fact, in some cases, it’s better to use just one.

                  To determine which service is right for your company, consider the key differences between cloud computing vs. cloud storage:

                  • Cloud storage is the process of storing your data on a virtual server. You may also have data stored onsite as a backup, however, all of this data also exists on the cloud just in case the onsite data is compromised.
                  • Cloud computing is the process of analyzing or using this stored data in the cloud. You can access your data through a virtual desktop or internet application. There is no hardware required and any device can access the data using a secure login and internet connection.

                  If you’re deciding between cloud computing vs. cloud storage, you have three options:

                  1. Implementing a storage and computing system at the same time. To use cloud computing, you need to have an effective cloud storage system in place first.
                  2. Using a cloud storage system on its own. Cloud storage doesn’t depend on cloud computing–while computing can help you analyze and visualize your data, it isn’t a necessity.
                  3. Having both a cloud storage and an onsite storage system. The cloud storage system is the one you’ll use on a daily basis, while the onsite system is merely a failsafe–an extra layer of security.

                  But which option is right for your needs? By thinking carefully about some of the pros and cons of each system, you’ll make the best decision for your company.

                  Cloud Storage Benefits

                  Because cloud storage is a requirement for effective cloud computing, you should start by determining whether this method will benefit your company. Nearly every company can make use of cloud storage, especially now that there are numerous security protocols in place to protect sensitive data.

                  Here are some of the pros and cons of this system:

                  The Pros

                  • Your data is more accessible
                  • You won’t have to store or organize paperwork
                  • Data analysis is faster and more accurate
                  • Sharing and collaboration is easier
                  • Data readings can be automated
                  • Employees spend less time managing data by-hand
                  • You’ll spend less money on onsite data storage resources
                  • Your data storage system is more flexible and scalable

                  The Cons

                  • Cloud storage comes with a few unique security risks
                  • There may be a steep learning curve at first
                  • You’ll have to pay additional cloud storage fees
                  • The cloud storage option must meet your industry’s compliance standards

                  As you can see, the benefits of cloud storage far outnumber the possible downsides and risks. Moreover, you can usually avoid most, if not all, of the challenges of cloud storage when you work with a trustworthy service provider.

                  For example, in the past, healthcare providers weren’t able to store any patient information in the cloud because there were too many potential security risks. Now, however, cloud storage has become much more secure. A recent survey found that 84 percent of healthcare providers already use cloud storage in some form, and 69 percent say that they plan on moving even more data to the cloud.

                  As long as the cloud storage service provider that you use is aware of your industry’s compliance standards, you should be able to safely make the transition to the cloud. Likewise, reliable service providers also handle all of the details of the transition for you, reducing the potential learning curve.

                  And if your industry still requires onsite data storage, you can make use of both cloud and onsite storage at the same time. This does come with a few additional costs. Still, this option is better than maintaining an onsite storage system alone. You can use the cloud storage system to perform data analysis and maintain the onsite system only for backup purposes.

                  An effective cloud storage system is one that is secure, intuitive to use and makes the storage process as simple and straightforward as possible. Unless your industry has strict rules banning the use of cloud storage technology, there is no reason why your company shouldn’t make this transition. It has become the new standard in almost every industry.

                  The question, then, is not whether you need cloud storage, but whether you need both cloud storage and cloud computing. To answer this question, you’ll need to look more carefully into the pros and cons of cloud computing vs. cloud storage.

                  Cloud Computing Benefits

                  The power of cloud computing can’t be underestimated. Having a reliable cloud computing system in place allows you to make the most out of your cloud storage system and leverage your data in exciting and innovative ways. It takes your cloud storage process to the next level.

                  Here are a few pros and cons to think about if you’re wondering whether you need a cloud computing system:

                  The Pros

                  • More detailed insights and accurate analysis results
                  • Faster analytics
                  • Fewer mistakes due to human error
                  • Cost savings on physical servers and hardware
                  • Predictive analysis leads to better efficiency and loss prevention
                  • The software updates automatically
                  • New technologies are easier to implement
                  • You’ll receive around the clock technical support
                  • There is no training required

                  The Cons

                  • You’ll have to pay additional cloud computing fees
                  • Your company may not need this level of detailed analytics

                  Not every company needs cloud computing. While this service can benefit the vast majority of industries, it may not be essential for running your business. The key to deciding between cloud computing vs. cloud storage is to think very carefully about what cloud computing can do for you.

                  Most of the time, the added costs of cloud storage are well worth all of the benefits you get from it. Cloud computing may even save you money over time. For example, if you work with a massive amount of data and frequently generate financial reports, quarterly charts, risk analysis studies or demographic surveys, then cloud computing will have a significant impact on your business. Almost every company will save time and money when they hire a cloud computing provider to analyze and visualize data.

                  However, if your company only needs to keep data on-file for future reference or to meet compliance standards, then cloud computing may not be as useful to you. This is rare, however. Most companies perform some form of data analytics, at least on an annual basis to see how they are performing and where they need to make improvements.

                  For this reason, it might be a good option to hire a cloud computing firm whenever you need to create a new business strategy, conduct an audit or take a closer look at your data. Some firms offer the option to sign a short-term contract to complete a specific project. So, even if you don’t use data analysis very often, cloud computing can still be useful for running your business.

                  Do You Need Both?

                  Because cloud computing and storage are closely connected, most businesses will benefit from using both of them in tandem. Moreover, cloud service providers usually offer both options as a complete package. The firm will upload all of your data into the cloud, create organization systems and applications to help you manage it, and then provide options to analyze this data and generate reports. This is likely the best option for your business, as all of the details are handled for you by the service provider.

                  However, your company doesn’t necessarily need to use both of these systems. You should at the very least have a cloud storage system in place, but cloud computing isn’t as vital, especially if you don’t perform a lot of data analysis. In this case, it’s wise to hire a cloud storage provider to upload your data into the new system and perform routine maintenance and software updates to keep everything organized. Later, if you need to analyze your data more carefully or you’re dealing with a complex project that requires a higher level of data expertise, you can ask the firm for additional cloud computing help.

                  How to Transition to Cloud Computing or Cloud Storage

                  Now that you’ve considered the pros and cons of cloud computing vs. cloud storage, you’ll need to find an IT firm to help you make the transition. No matter which option you choose, it’s important to work with a firm that offers both services. That’s because if your company’s needs suddenly change or you wish to scale up, you can negotiate with the firm and deploy the new system as quickly as possible.

                  When you make the transition to cloud storage or cloud computing, you’ll discover the power of your data. Implementing these systems now will allow your company to stay competitive and optimize every facet of your data collection and analytics processes.

                  If you’re ready to transition to a cloud computing or cloud storage system, contact Tek Leaders today. We offer a wide range of cloud computing and storage services to our clients and will create a custom data management solution based on your unique needs. Or, if you need help choosing between cloud computing vs. cloud storage, you can reach us by email or call (214) 504-1600 directly.

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