Introduction to Power BI and the Business Benefit for Cannabis Processors

Power BI, a data visualization and business intelligence tool, offers a comprehensive solution for cannabis processors.

Sara Silver

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Table of Content

    Microsoft Power BI is a solution that provides unparalleled business intelligence (BI). What does that mean in practical terms for cannabis processors? It means that your data becomes useful.

    Collecting data takes effort. But once you have it—perhaps in various spreadsheets, documents, or even several different systems and platforms—how can you actually make it work for you? Power BI answers that question, but equally importantly, it does the work of pulling all your information from disparate places together.

    Power BI Provides a Central Platform for Cannabis Processors

    In many cases, cannabis operations have complex organizational structures, with locations in multiple states without a standardized process for data collection. “Typically,” says Sara Silver, Industry Director – Horticulture and Cannabis, Velosio, “before growers get to us, they’re using many of different systems. They don’t have any current data, and what they do have isn’t connected or all in one place.”

    Adding to that issue, within each complex organization, there tends to be very siloed departments, says Ben Marchi-Young, Senior Product Owner, Velosio. “Accounting might use QuickBooks, Operations might be using Excel. The production team and sales might be using Metrc. And the supply chain team might use a totally different system,” he adds.

    The result is a lack of communication and visibility. A business intelligence platform brings all of that information together. “One of the benefits of Power BI is that it allows you to join data from all your different systems together,” says Silver.

    Power BI Puts Your Data to Work

    The second thing that Power BI does is make that data work for you. It gives you the ability to visualize your data in ways that make it useful for making business decisions. Reading rows and columns of numbers is not what most people regard as fun, and it can be really difficult to pull out the relevant and important information when your data is in that kind of format.

    cannabis sales by sales person

    With the complicated organizational structure of many cannabis operations, having a “single source of truth” is one of the most important benefits of Power BI, but when that source is also easy to understand, better business decisions follow. The ability to use dashboards to easily see the reports that matter. “The graphical representation of data is really important because things pop out without having to go through all the numbers,” notes Silver.

    cannabis sales summary

    When it comes to tracking nitty gritty details, virtually no other industry is as regulated as the cannabis industry. Each and every plant must be accounted for.

    “If I’m growing flowers,” says Silver, “I could have a whole greenhouse of tulips, and that’s all I need to know. But if it’s cannabis, I need to know every single plant’s ID and to track where that plant has been. If my tulip dies, I just pull it up and throw it in the trash. But if it’s cannabis, I have to weigh it, identify it, tell the state we trashed it.”

    Power BI provides a robust reporting solution that meets that stringent level of detail.

    power bi puts your data to work

    Take Your Data Up A Notch

    As useful as Power BI is, you can garner even more benefits by implementing a system designed specifically for cannabis operators. Our product SilverLeaf, is built on top of the best-in-class ERP, Microsoft Dynamics Business Central, which includes Microsoft 365 and the Power Platform, giving you a full suite of cloud-based business solutions, covering everything from inventory to accounting.

    Connect with us today to schedule a demo.

    Sara Silver

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