The following two blog posts have been guest written by our great partners over at OPSPro, LLC. Cathy Goin, Tricia Santos, and their team have been instrumental in helping us develop the ability to connect PROCAS data to Business Intelligence systems via an API. Part 1 describes the relationship between API and BI, and Part 2 discusses how you can leverage your PROCAS data using this resource.
API and BI – Where acronyms meet
Data analytics and business intelligence used to only be available to large corporations. These large enterprises had massive amounts of data to consume that Business intelligence had to become ingrained in their reporting tools. The goal of these tools was always an easy interpretation of vast and sometimes unstructured data.
In recent years, these tools have evolved to where a small business is no longer left behind. Whether your company is big or small, or you are the CEO or an employee, the tools available have progressed so you can access and make use of the same interactive reports. You no longer need large databases and dedicated analysis to retrieve your information in a meaningful way. These tools let users consume data in tailor-fit solutions that provide them with up-to-date information with a modern look and immersive feel.
Right now, you may have processes in place where you pull and export data from Procas into excel. Each time the data is pulled you or an employee may have to waste time updating formulas, reselecting chart areas, filtering and removing columns, but now there is a new way.
Microsoft defines Power BI (Business Intelligence) as a “collection of software services, apps, and connectors that work together to turn your unrelated sources of data into coherent, visually immersive, and interactive insights. Your data may be an Excel spreadsheet, or a collection of cloud-based and on-premises hybrid data warehouses. Power BI lets you easily connect to your data sources, visualize and discover what's important, and share that with anyone or everyone you want.”
An API, Application Program Interface, is a set of programming instructions. These instructions enable computer programs to communicate with each other. These programs allow a software-to-software interface which allows the programs to communicate with each other without any user intervention. The API lets Microsoft’s Power BI Application communicate and exchange details with the Procas server. The API provides us with the data and the Power BI Application gives us the tools to export, transform, and refresh the data without repeating or reconfiguring steps or formulas.
What do you need to visualize and discover? What’s important to you?
Our clients look at a vast array of items from their project profitably, their resource management, to employee timesheets, and income statement details. These and more could be at your fingertips.
Follow along in the series to see detailed examples of how OPSPro and Procas used each powerful application to help create an easy-to-consume report.
What is Power BI? - Power BI | Microsoft Docs, 9/23/2020, website