Microsoft is keen, it seems, to take anyone with a basic knowledge of IT and via their Power BI software turn them in to business data analysts, according to Forbes information. With no training, experience or accurate concept of the task in hand, the user can apparently get the answers required with minimum effort. A premium edition of the software is due for release soon.

Microsoft’s BAPI vice president James Phillips has described the enterprise software as a tool that allows businesses to, “…sign up for the service in seconds and get business value by drawing insights from their data within minutes.” Experts would refer to this as DIY business intelligence.

The concept is a solid one but it should be recognised by every business user, as it has by business intelligence specialists, that the Microsoft software is just one of the tools required and to get the best accurate analytics it’s vital to source the maximum amount of useful data.

Forbes’ assertion that “everyone will be a business analyst” is perhaps stretching the point too far.

We’ve grown to appreciate data’s importance for BI tasks. However, data is just data. It takes analysis, study and the resulting decisions to make the information useful. To say that Microsoft’s software will make everyone a business analyst is on a par with alleging that WordPress has the capability to make every person using it in to a bone fide web developer.

Training, expertise, experience and skills are required to analyse data correctly and in depth, just as non-basic level web design isn’t an attribute that everyone was born with, BI takes more than a software package for data collection and analysis.

One of the leading business data analysts and business intelligence consultants in the south of England is Chris Scanlon. He is a qualified chartered accountant who works with Thames Valley Business Advisors and helps SME’s with data analysis, to identify key data and weed out the interesting but not imperative information. He has over 25 years in blue chip industries and 15 years in owner managed businesses.

The brain has not yet been replaced! Whilst Microsoft’s vision of a world filled with business analysts in unrealistic, there is scope for businesses to use their Power BI software to achieve their aims using big data, but only in a rudimentary way.

It could be argued, of course, that Microsoft aren’t as interested as they appear in providing the means for SME’s to get data and make decisions based on it as they are with remaining competitive by offering services and making money in a marketplace which no one wants to be left behind in.

Their experts are working, in all likelihood, with no plan to take over the human aspect of data analysis, the simple truth is that technology is not yet a match for the convoluted, charming, contradictory and calculating human.

To learn more about maximising business intelligence data gathering and analysis please contact an industry expert like Chris Scanlon.