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  • How can Microsoft Power BI benefit the charity sector

Charitable organisations have never had access to, obtained or utilised such large amounts of data about their donors, recipients, and advocates as they do now. To reap the benefits of all collected data, organisations must go beyond basic reporting and into the rapidly increasing field of “analytics.” But what does all of this mean for your charity?

Organisations are expected to be data-driven in today’s world. Everything, whether it is an industry, company type, or cause, is based on data. Digital transformation—the redirection of information to better serve stakeholders, donors, and members and increase value—has become more important to the survival of charities.

How is data utilised in the charity sector?

The proper use of data has become important to the running of practically every organisation in every sector, including the charity sector. It is more critical than ever for executives, employees, and volunteers to be able to access and use information when, where and how they need it.

However, according to the Digital Skills Report 2022, only 27% of charities have the confidence to use data to inform decisions or increase their impact, while only 36% have an understanding of digital tools. This demonstrates a huge opportunity for charities to better understand their data and uncover valuable organisational insights by leveraging easily available business intelligence tools.

What is Microsoft Power BI?

Microsoft Power BI has developed into one of the leading business intelligence solutions in recent years. Power BI, which is part of Microsoft’s Power Platform, allows a wide spectrum of business users, from IT professionals and data analysts to non-tech workers, to develop, share and utilise insights gathered from different data sources.

Power BI includes the following features:

  • Connection to many data sources – Whether your data is stored in Dynamics 365, a data warehouse or an Excel spreadsheet, Power BI can bring it all together in a single location.
  • Data cleaning and transformation – Power Query, Power BI’s data transformation tool, enables you to rapidly prepare your data for analysis and visualisation.
  • Developing interactive visualisations and reports – Power BI features a variety of built-in and custom graphics that enable users to explore and analyse data.
  • Secure report and dashboard sharing – With Power BI, you can publish and share reports and dashboards throughout your organisation using your current Office 365 accounts. You can determine who has access to what data using Microsoft’s authentication and access controls.
  • Integration with other Microsoft products, such as Excel and Microsoft Teams, allows users to access data, reports and dashboards when and where it is convenient for them.

How may Power BI be put into practice in the charity sector?

Reporting Program Results

Capturing and analysing project data is crucial to ensuring your organisation’s initiatives have the greatest possible impact. Giving donors input on programme outcomes is also becoming an increasingly crucial component of creating and strengthening donor relationships.

Power BI is an effective tool for communicating the impact of your projects in the communities you serve. A project outcome report may look at how many individuals your activities reached, how satisfied they were with the services and how much better off they were after participating in them. Power BI also allows you to easily compare your outcomes.

Keeping track of donations and funding

Understanding the source of your donations is critical to ensure that you have enough finances to successfully offer your activities. Power BI gives you deeper insights on your donors, such as who is donating to your organisation, when they are donating, what causes they are donating to and how they are donating in a visually pleasing way. 

Volunteer administration

Many not-for-profit and charitable organisations rely heavily on volunteers. Volunteer team leaders can use Power BI to guarantee that volunteers are managed as effectively as possible. Volunteer skills, availability, and interests, for example, might be matched with project needs. Power BI may also be used to analyse volunteer workloads and levels of satisfaction, as well as to identify future skill gaps in your volunteer workforce.

Annual reports and snapshots that are interactive

Transparency in the utilisation of donations and funding by charitable organisations is more essential than ever. Effectively communicating how your funds were spent and the benefits gained will help you develop closer ties with your contributors and the community. Power BI can transform a traditional annual report (often a static PDF document) into an interactive data story that highlights your organisation’s significant achievements and allows users to explore the effect you have made.

Organisational performance assessment

Determining, monitoring and reporting on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) is important for any organisation pursuing particular objectives, including charities. Power BI enables you to track metrics across your organisation and immediately evaluate how you are performing in relation to your objectives. Power Automate, Microsoft’s process automation tool, can also be coupled with Power BI to notify users when a KPI is met.

Microsoft Power BI is a powerful tool that can assist your charity in obtaining the unique solutions it requires. It will assist you in making data-driven decisions. The capabilities of Power BI make it significantly more useful for assisting you in improving your decision-making abilities. It also promotes increased productivity and the ability to concentrate on your goal. Power BI can create a wide range of complex visualisations that help to bring your data to life and aid in the review process. Using our tried-and-tested strategy and a qualified specialised team, m-hance will help you get the most out of your Power BI investment. So, if you want to learn more about Power BI, don’t hesitate to contact our team.

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