Hello! I am Eryn Collins, Research Associate, from Choices Coordinated Care Solutions (https://www.choicesccs.org), a national non-profit organization that uses evidence-informed methods to support individuals in community settings who have significant behavioral, emotional, or substance use challenges.
In our organization, we create Performance Quality Improvement (PQI) plans that are team-driven, individualized, and measurable. Our methods for data use, grounded in the Program Evaluation Standards (https://jcsee.org/program/), are intended to create meaningful processes and outputs that address the communication needs of a variety of audiences.
Microsoft Power BI is practical and effective for creating reports designed to track progress toward these goals. Power BI’s interface is user-friendly and allows us to produce reports with a clean and professional appearance. By default, Power BI reports maintain consistent formatting across multiple pages which improves how we communicate data trends by eliminating extraneous or distracting details for our decision-makers.
To make our charts more readable, we utilize the data labels function. We also use text boxes to create our own labels to explain any data elements that may need additional information (in the example above, we used a text box to explain what hours our time periods encompassed).
Not only can you select colors for every visualization (including hex codes for maximum customization), but also you can upload your own color theme as a template! We employ our Choices colors on every report and insert our Choices logo image.
Using Power BI has improved the accuracy of our data, which improves the quality of our conclusions. When it comes to adding visualizations, we found that creating a new page and splitting charts over multiple pages works better than crowding visuals on one page of a report. Filters can also be very useful in allowing your users to view different categorizations of data. On our reports, filters have become a standard feature.
Our department has the Power BI Pro License ($10 a month per person), which allows us to publish and share content, but there is also a free version available. Power BI can be used in an online app, as well as downloaded and used as Power BI Desktop. We’ve found that the desktop version’s capabilities far exceed the app version, but the app is useful for quick updates and sharing. We share our reports on SharePoint using the easy-to-generate link in the Power BI app. Importantly, the SharePoint platform is password protected, which means our underlying data confidentiality is maintained.
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