48 Years Young – Pictures that paint 1000 words

My parents are remarkable. They have just celebrated their 48-year wedding anniversary, and during this time period, they raised 5 children. They have lived in seven countries and worked in numerous others. Probably most remarkable was that as part of their honeymoon in 1969, they drove a red MGB from Cape Town to rural Zambia to start their married-life journey—forming memories as pictures that will last a lifetime.

This got me thinking, what else had its origins in 1969, and what has been their journey thus far?

  • Apollo Moon landing
  • World’s first ATM
  • ARPANet (the basis for the Internet)
  • First RAM chip manufactured

If you experienced the above in 1969, it may not be far off to imagine that in 48 years from now, we would be:

  • Living on Mars,
  • Have immediate access to money
  • Data will be available everywhere
  • Data will be processed in real time to make decisions.

Well, we’re not quite living on another planet yet, but the world has fundamentally changed. And particularly, there’s a need to make business decisions quickly from ever growing data sets available from multiple sources.

How are we dealing with this plethora of data and the need to make decisions as fast as possible?

The old adage, “A picture paints 1000 words,” comes to mind here, and has become the way to do this. By this, I mean there has been a massive increase in the availability and scope of visualisation solutions.

Just do a quick Internet search for data visualisation solutions and you’ll be overwhelmed with the choice (as well as some amazing images) to depict large sets of data.

So, which option do you go for?

Well, the choice will be dependent on your business needs, data volumes and most definitely price.  Luckily, there are some really great solutions available for free, and some at very little cost.

For us at Sage Intelligence, we have always focused on giving back time to business owners. To do this, we have always tried to make functionality easy to use and available in environments that are familiar to business owners and accountants. The success of our product has a lot to do with our seamless integration with Excel—which has always been the preferred reporting tool for accountants and small businesses.

When we started looking at data visualisations to aid business owners and accountants, we started looking at different options to bring into our solution—and even built our dashboard solution (currently available in Accounting in AAMEA region). However, what we are really backing now is what we believe will be the best data visualisation tool for all size businesses—Microsoft Power BI.

Microsoft has consistently been in the Gartner top quadrant for Business Intelligence solutions for the last 10 years. Also, with monthly feature releases for Power BI, their offering is constantly innovating and delivering additional value to customers. With an existing base of 1.2 billion Office users and availability in 140 countries, they have a great ecosystem to deploy a seamless BI solution.

As a result, to leverage off Power BI for our existing on-premise Sage Intelligence customers, we have created a very easy process to consume Sage Intelligence reports through Power BI. This creates an opportunity for customers to have access to fantastic dashboards available on their mobile when out of the office.

For our cloud and hybrid customers, we are in the latter phases of developing an embedded Power BI solution. This solution will allow customers to remain in the familiar environment of their Sage product (Sage Intelligence) but utilise the full functionality of Power BI.

There are some amazing Power BI visualisations (such as the image below) that will make understanding your business much easier. And much like our Excel integration, we will give you the ability to change these visualisations to customise to your business needs (and then reuse the template with new data).

So although we don’t know what will be happening in 48 years and how the picture will be painted, if your business journey takes you to Mars, Sage Intelligence with Power BI will provide you with great insights into your Martian sales.