Business Intelligence tools

Choose the right tools for your data


There's a wealth of tools on the market for visualising your data. To choose the right ones, you must be clear on how you want to use your data. We can help clarify your business intelligence needs by asking the right questions and by reviewing your data sources and data structure.

Using this knowledge, we can help you choose the right tool for the task, and can also train your employees to use the tools.

We use Microsoft Power BI

Novicell uses Power BI for our internal data visualisation and we often recommend this solution to customers for several reasons:

Scalable data structure

Visualising data doesn't necessarily require a complete data warehouse, but can easily be scaled as necessary.


The user interface is very easy to access and, following a brief training course, you would ready to start visualising data and set up reports.

Enquiries in natural language

You can ask the system intuitive questions like: how many products of the type "rye bread" were sold in September 2017". This makes it easy to use in the entire organisation.

Automatic live update of data

Power BI automatically updates with new data and up to seven times daily. If you want a live update you need a consistent data structure.

Office 365 Integration

It is possible to integrate with your company's Office 365 solution. This facilitates role control and access to the tool. You probably already have access to Office 365.

Locally or in the Cloud

There's a Desktop and Cloud version, which makes it easy to develop locally on your PC and then distribute via the cloud to other people in the company.

Example of a set-up model with Power BI

Put simply, Power BI works as per the illustration below.

  • Data is taken from data sources, internal (Excel spreadsheets, SQl servers, SharePoint sites) and external Google Analytics, MailChimp) to Power BI Desktop
  • A data model is set up in Power BI desktop
  • Reports are made in Power BI desktop, which are uploaded to Power BI Online
  • The data is updated with the desired interval through direct connection or a data gateway
  • Users access the reports and Dashboards in Power BI online through their PC, on their mobile or via SharePoint sites

Your internal data from e.g. SQL servers, Excel or SharePoint have another way of updating than external sources such as Google Analytics or MailChimp. Both the internal and external sources can be processed and put together in the desktop version of Power BI, but the internal sources require an "on -premise data gateway" to keep the figures updated. We'll set up both the gateway and Power BI up for you in a way that is tailor-made for your company's data landscape.

Need help deciding on business intelligence tools?