Computer software

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There’s no question that Microsoft is a jack of all trades and the king of computer software.  I never knew that Microsoft created an information, intelligence, system for businesses to use.  Microsoft Power BI is a product that was created to simplify the processes of input, analysis, and organization of data for those employees, especially accountants, who do this type of work.  Financial Management says that, “Power BI is far from the only business intelligence software available, but it’s not as expensive as many of the other BI tools and it’s easily accessible as part of the Microsoft ecosystem.”(Bastick, 2020).  Microsoft is building their information system empire on being one of the most affordable products on the market and they are doing a very good job at it.  Power BI’s biggest competitor in the market currently is Tableau, which is just a bit different in how it works with other applications and seems similar to Microsoft Excel (Thomas, 2020).  I always struggle with learning new products and software that are from Microsoft because some of them are not as user friendly as one would think they should be.  Another article I read says that “The learning curve for Power BI isn’t steep because the user interface is quite similar to that of other Microsoft products like Excel, Word, ect.”(Yang, 2021).  There is an issue with Power BI, which truly is not that much of an issue, is that it is new to the market and was only introduced in 2015 (Yang, 2021).  This is not a big issue because there does not seem to be any major issues in the infrastructure of the software but it is almost too new to be able to see how it has impacted businesses and their relationship with data.

The amount of time it takes in the first several stages of using data is almost too time consuming for those who do the data input and organization of data.  Chapter 1 of the textbook shows Figure 1.3; this figure is a diagram of the functional components of an information system.  It labels 5 major components being input, storage, processing, output, and users (Gelinas, Dull, Wheeler, & Hill, 2017).  These components all work together to form an information system that takes in data, processes it, and spits out an organization of the data as an output to be interpreted by those who are interested.  If the data input and processing takes more time than the output is worth in value, then it is almost a waste of resources.  Microsoft Power BI is trying to add value back into the data processing and input of information systems.  By reducing time and resources spent just getting data ready to be used, Power BI will be able to be much more valuable to businesses.  The textbook says ‘The IS facilitates these operational functions and supports management decision making by providing information that managers can use to plan and control the activities of the firm.”(Gelinas, Dull, Wheeler, & Hill, 2017).  Information systems are very important because of the way that they impact businesses and day to day operations, but it is also critical that they do not consume too much time and resources because the information they provide is important and needed as quickly as possible.

The Bible is also no stranger to technology.  In the book of 2 Chronicles it reads, “In Jerusalem he made devices invented for use on the towers and on the corner defenses so that soldiers could shoot arrows and hurl large stones from the walls.” ( NIV, 2 Chronicles 26:15).  The person in the verse who made the machine arrow thrower was King Uzziah who defeated the Philistine army and reigned as King until his pride consumed him and God knocked him off of his throne.  God is not averse to technology, as long as it does not make us feel as though we are to boast in our technology and intelligence.  I can see where, in our world, many have let the power of technology begin to rule their world and we begin to idolize it.  This sin is quite detrimental to the way God wants the world to work, as this mentality of technology being our idol is not beneficial to us and our relationship with God in many ways.  I do not foresee Microsoft Power BI being able to take the stage in someone’s life enough to become an idol to them, but you never know.

Microsoft Power BI combines data extraction, transformation, and many of the  tools already in Excel and is able to transform them into more visual aids that are easier for mass interpretation (Thomas, 2020).  Simplifying and streamlining these processes must impact a business in so many ways.  Being able to input data in one area and having Power BI extract and transform the data in a way that is easier and more user friendly to interpret has a lot of value to a company.  Especially for companies with a lot of data and decision making I can see this system making a huge impact on their day to day lives.  Financial management says, “when it comes to creating reports and sharing them throughout an organisation, Power BI can take advantage of the hard work performed in Excel spreadsheets by extracting data to create reports.”(Bastick, 2020).  This is a quite unique function for an information system because most accountants and business people use excel anyway but if their spreadsheets can be transformed and reorganized into reports for a whole organization with the click of a button, it will simplify everyone’s day.  It is also said in that article that Power BI is “much more flexible” than excel in respect to how you can use the data to produce different reports and visualizations (Bastick, 2020).

Data interpretation is quite important to the life and health of a company.  We have seen it time and time again where working in a company you have to interpret and use data and also it is apparent when someone fails to use data and the interpretation properly.  I guess that is why we have several whole classes just on information systems and how to use them and the processes that information systems go through.  Information systems are crucial to the day to day and long term aspects of companies so it is important as students and young professionals that we are able to understand and adequately navigate through data information systems, whether they pertain to accounting or not.  The main article I read pertains to chapter 1 specifically but it truly pertains to the whole textbook itself being that it is about Microsoft Power BI and the monster of an information system that it is.