Businesses are generating more data than ever before, and all that data offers immense opportunity. However, to take advantage of that opportunity we must first be able to access, analyse, and utilise that data seamlessly. In the past, we relied on a few specialists and developers to achieve this, but this time has come to an end.
Now, using your data meaningfully no longer requires report developers or specialised users. Microsoft Power Platform empowers non-technical end users to customise and build a variety of business apps all within Microsoft 365. In this article we reveal how the Power Platform can be used to advance your business.
Microsoft Power Platform | Why is it so valuable?
The ‘Power Platform’ is a low-code platform that integrates four productivity tools: Power BI, Power Automate, PowerApps, and Power Virtual Agents. It helps people surface, manipulate, and analyse data and it can be used with Microsoft 365 and Teams.
More than ever, companies understand the value of data for driving business outcomes. By using software like the cloud for massive storage they have grown more efficient at harnessing data from multiple sources. However, even if they create this infrastructure, how do they make the data work for them effectively? They require an additional system that allows technical and non-technical users to leverage data.
This is precisely what the Power Platform enables. It allows end-users to drive business via three key data functions: Automate, Analyse, and Act. This means you can visualise data and gain powerful insights that will benefit your team, all while saving time.
Furthermore, Power Platform integrates with hybrid work innovations like Microsoft Teams allowing you to increase productivity and harness intelligence within your organisation.
Microsoft Power BI
Power BI is a business intelligence tool which allows you to gather raw data and generate insights with powerful analytics. It can be used to collate data across Microsoft 365 or third-party services and visualise it on live dashboards and interactive reports. This allows businesses to form their own data analytics, thereby freeing up more time for data analytics departments and empowering ordinary users with new tools. What’s more, Power BI uses artificial intelligence (AI) to improve its business intelligence sophistication.
Microsoft Power Apps
PowerApps is an application development platform that allows you to quickly build and customise business apps that connect to your data either in Microsoft Dataverse or various other data sources e.g., SharePoint. These apps transform manual business operations into streamlined automated processes. These low-code apps don’t require coding expertise to be built, and therefore development obstacles are eliminated. Users can enjoy custom codes, convenient templates, and the drag-and-drop functionality to efficiently build apps that are mobile-friendly and work over multiple operating systems.
For an example of how Power Apps can support businesses check out our success in supporting CalMac Ferries. CalMac is the UK’s largest ferry operator with a team of over 1,500 employees. We created a business application with Power Apps, Power BI and Power Automate, with a SharePoint data store, to report and manage defects across their fleet of ships.
Microsoft Power Automate
Microsoft Power Automate is a service that allows you to produce automated workflows over Microsoft 365 and other applications to collect data, synchronise files, get notifications, and more. The built-in powerful AI can automate tasks in a repeatable sequence; these are called Power Flows. Power Flows can be triggered at any time from a mobile device and serve many purposes e.g., walking users through a business process so they achieve the desired outcome. Conveniently, the Power Automate homepage hosts hundreds of pre-made flows which you can use immediately to get started.
In summary, automation speeds up and safeguards your business activities by increasing productivity and lowering the chances of errors.
Microsoft Power Virtual Agents
Microsoft Power Virtual Agents is used to create intelligent chatbots without using complex developer technology. These ‘virtual agents’ can be integrated into your website or other Microsoft 365 services to answer questions posed by users. Furthermore, they can monitor performance and track information using data-driven insights and AI. Here are some examples of how chatbots are used:
- Launching emails with a pre-filled template
- Collecting customer satisfaction data
- Technical support issues
- Employee FAQs
Unlock your business’ potential with Microsoft Power Platform
The Power Platform empowers all types of users to streamline processes, unlock insight, and achieve greater productivity all without requiring coding experience. Existing Microsoft users also gain huge benefits as it integrates with Microsoft 365 so you can extend and customise these services, making them much more powerful.
These tools offer many exciting possibilities for businesses; however, it can be difficult to know where to start, or how it would work for your organisation. If you want to discover more about the Power Platform and how it can make your business work more efficiently, utilise more data and intelligence, and thus improve decision-making, then please get in touch with us today.
We provide consultancy, workshops, and ongoing technical support, so we can empower your team to use these tools to their fullest and be able to do so independently.