Power BI For CRM: Reporting Nirvana Or Just The Media Noise?

Published: 27 November 2017

Positioned by Gartner as a leader in Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms, Microsoft Power BI has become a tool of choice for business owners across the world. While many praise its extraordinary capabilities, the application seems unnecessary for others who get overwhelmed by its development and integration requirements.

While the debate continues, here we explore the true value of Power BI to help you rise above the media noise…

Can I reach big data nirvana with CRM Business Intelligence?

One of the biggest benefits of a CRM software is that it allows you to capture an enormous amount of data that can be used to gain incredible insight into your business.  Nonetheless, although most CRM systems provide a range of reporting tools, they sometimes lack the flexibility to modify the existing templates and pull reports that you need. That’s where Power BI comes in…

Power BI – What’s the noise about?

Microsoft Power BI is a suite of business analytics tools which enable you to see your business in new ways using visual dashboards and interactive reports. By combining Power BI and your CRM you can get unlimited and real time reports, accessible on any device. Nonetheless, not everyone agrees with its capabilities – here we examine the pros and cons…

The utopian  tool

Real time – Reports are updated automatically giving you full visibility of your business performance at a click of a button.

Flexible – You can set up and easily update your dashboard to display all the information you need in one place.

Digestible – Power BI charts and graphs allow you to present your most important data in an easy-to-digest format.

Drillable – You have access to underlying data through a set of filtering options, allowing you to monitor performance, analyse trends and spot potential issues before they occur.

Cost effective – The basic version of Power BI is a free subscription service, whereas the full Power BI Pro costs £7.50 per month, per user.

Accessible – Power BI tools are available for mobile apps in Android and iOS, allowing easy use on a variety of devices.

Customisable – Should you wish to personalise the visuals of Power BI, there’s an option for custom building in line with your requirements.

User-friendly – For users with different levels of computer expertise, Power BI is easy to navigate and work with.

Connected – Power BI connects to most types of on-premise databases and there is a large and growing list of cloud-based connection options as well.

The pet peeves

Configuration costs – Although easy to use, for some Power BI can be a bit tricky to setup, therefore you might need to consider an integration service including setting up templates.

Overwhelming – With the volume of enhancements and components available, it might seem difficult to keep up to date with the latest features as well as find the relevant templates for the business.

No data quality checks – Power BI assumes that the data you’re pulling has already been properly cleansed. If you need data cleaning capabilities, you will need to invest in an alternative solution.

Power BI for CRM – Your business under the microscope

Power BI can extend your CRM reporting capabilities, giving answers to all your questions, including your pipeline and sales and service data across a variety of metrics to gain actionable insights. Below are a few examples of reporting and dashboards through Power BI:

Sales Pipeline Reports

Bring your company’s sales pipeline under the magnifying glass and report on revenue, win counts and ratios as well as open activities and lead analysis to better forecast revenue.

Service Management

Improve overall service levels and resolution rates by analysing the volume and status of support tickets.

Account Management

Analyse the performance of individual account managers to maximise productivity and ensure targets are met.


Monitor and analyse the performance of your marketing campaigns to identify customer trends and compare campaign costs and ROI.

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