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Reporting is often one of the most challenging aspects of any marketing campaign.  Whether you’re an in-house marketing director, solo consultant, or handling multiple clients within an agency, reporting can make or break relationships and retainers.  The domination of digital marketing has created a whole new set of KPIs to report on, like CPC, CPC, CPA, CTR, and more.  Marketers who rely on spreadsheets to combine multiple data sources from Google Analytics, social media channels, PPC providers, and SEO tools are left with massive amounts of data that translate poorly to stakeholders. That’s where Power BI comes into play.

What is Power BI? 

Microsoft Power BI is a business analytics and data visualization tool available as a desktop application or mobile app.  Power BI allows you to connect unlimited data sources from almost anywhere.  Desktop data sources like Excel spreadsheets easily connect, as do online data providers like Google Analytics and Salesforce. You can even connect more complex data sources like SQL, Azure, or Big Query.  

Once connected, Power BI allows you to transform and blend your data into powerful interactive visualizations and dashboards that can easily be shared with clients, colleagues, and leaders.     

Why Power BI for Marketers is So Valuable 

In any capacity, marketing comes down to generating outcomes and reporting on those outcomes.  The more effective your reporting is, the easier it is to keep the marketing machine going.  When stakeholders can get real-time data and insights on campaigns and metrics, it creates a level of transparency that removes some of the discomforts around budget and performance conversations.  Additionally, Power BI can automate much of the manual reporting that takes time away from optimizations and strategy.     

The major draw of Power BI is the ability to combine marketing data from different sources.  Rather than manually combining the ad spends and conversion rates from all your social media marketing channels, Power BI can allow you to aggregate all metrics from LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, etc.  You can even add in other channels like Google AdWords, organic metrics, or data from your CRM.

These datasets, in turn, can easily be configured into dashboards with charts, graphs, and other interactive visualizations that give insight into every aspect of marketing analytics.  These marketing dashboards allow you to tell the story of every dollar, impression, click, conversion, and purchase.

How to Get Started With Power BI 

Like all business intelligence and data analytics tools, Power BI has a learning curve. Power BI for marketers is a great course available from ONLC that can take your marketing dashboards to the next level and give stakeholders the visibility they’re looking for.           

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