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How Top Companies Leverage Microsoft Forms and Power BI for Data-Driven Insights

29 September 2023

How Top Companies Leverage Microsoft Forms and Power BI for Data-Driven Insights

This article can be used as a resource for our Microsoft Forms Data in Power BI part of our Power BI Training. 

In today's highly competitive business landscape, data-driven decision making is imperative for success. Organizations must find ways to efficiently gather feedback, turn it into actionable insights, and enable fact-based choices across all operations. This is where integrating Microsoft Forms and Power BI can provide unmatched value.

Forms and Power BI are powerful tools on their own. But together, they offer an end-to-end solution for collecting survey and structured data at scale, analyzing it impactfully, and delivering insights through interactive visualizations. Leading innovative companies are taking notice and deploying Forms-Power BI integrations to transform key business processes.

The Power of Connecting Forms and Power BI

Before diving into real-world examples, let's recap the core capabilities Forms and Power BI unlock together:

  • Efficient data gathering - Forms provides an easy way to create surveys, quizzes, and structured data collection templates. These can be shared across the organization or externally.
  • Automated live data imports - Forms seamlessly connects to Power BI, enabling real-time data imports as responses are submitted.
  • Flexibility in data modeling - Power BI's data transformation tools shape Forms data for analysis-friendly structures.
  • Impactful interactive dashboards - Insights are visualized on flexible canvases with cross-filtering and drill-downs.
  • Broad distribution - Apps, portals and embedded analytics provide ubiquitous access to findings.
  • Security and governance - Access controls, auditing and compliance tools keep data safe and managed.

With this powerful framework, let's see how leading companies leverage Forms and Power BI to drive competitive advantage.

Contoso - Customer Satisfaction Surveys

Understanding the voice of the customer is critical for Contoso's retail success. They need to continuously gather customer feedback and tap into it for improvements.

Contoso uses Forms to create branded customer satisfaction surveys and transactional NPS surveys. The surveys are distributed via email and embedded in Contoso's e-commerce site.

As responses flow in, the data is ported in real-time to a Power BI dashboard showing:

  • Overall satisfaction metrics
  • Ratings breakdowns by product and service category
  • Sentiment analysis across customer journeys
  • Competitive benchmarking from industry data

With these insights, Contoso spots emerging issues early. Their product team addresses common pain points in new releases. Customer-facing staff refine support processes. Sales and marketing optimize based on buyer needs and perceptions.

By uncovering the voice of the customer through Forms and Power BI, Contoso drives continuous improvement across the organization.

Fabrikam - HR Employee Engagement Surveys

Fabrikam knows that employee satisfaction is crucial for innovation and growth. They need continuous pulse checks on engagement.

HR creates pulse surveys in Forms and sends them weekly to all staff. The anonymity helps surface honest feedback.

The survey results feed into an interactive Power BI dashboard analyzing:

  • Overall engagement and satisfaction
  • Sentiment breakdowns by department
  • Trend analysis after major initiatives
  • Anonymous open text feedback

With these insights, Fabrikam optimizes people processes and celebrates wins. Managers run focused groups to address team issues. Execs spot areas needing broader change management.

The Forms and Power BI solution provides Fabrikam's HR leaders with their fingers on the pulse of employee engagement.

Northwind - Retail Store Audits

For Northwind's retail stores, policy compliance is paramount but difficult to monitor. They needed an efficient auditing system.

Northwind built a store audit Form template covering security, displays, cleanliness, and more. Store managers conduct self-audits via Forms on iPads.

The audits feed into a Power BI dashboard showing:

  • Compliance scores by location
  • Trends and outliers for specific policies
  • Inline images and open text feedback

District managers review the interactive dashboards to maintain standards. They quickly identify problem areas needing support or training. Store teams are empowered to self-correct issues.

With the Forms and Power BI solution, Northwind keeps store conditions optimized through data-driven audits.

Tailspin - Helpdesk Ticket Tracking

Tailspin's IT helpdesk needed to improve its tracking and resolution of support tickets. They wanted to optimize technician performance using hard metrics.

The helpdesk team built a ticketing Form that technicians fill out for each request.

As data comes in, it flows to a Power BI dashboard displaying:

  • Volume and backlog trends
  • Resolution rates by technician
  • Ticket categorization and common issues
  • Customer satisfaction feedback

By analyzing these visualizations, the helpdesk spots areas for improvement. They can refine processes, balance workloads, and boost customer satisfaction through data.

The integration between Forms and Power BI gave Tailspin the insights needed to optimize support operations.

Key Takeaways

These examples showcase the value of connecting Forms and Power BI to unlock data-driven decision making. Some key learnings:

  • Forms standardizes data collection from frontline teams.
  • Real-time dashboarding in Power BI drives agility.
  • Interactive analysis uncovers trends and outliers.
  • Broad distribution democratizes access to insights.
  • Data-driven improvement becomes ingrained in culture.

The flexibility of Forms and Power BI means every function, from HR to IT to customer service, can leverage structured data collection and analytics to enhance operations.

Best Practices for Maximizing Impact

To emulate the success of these leading companies, keep in mind a few best practices:

  • Combine Forms data with other sources - Connect to existing data for 360-degree analytics.
  • Build governance early - Plan security, access controls and compliance up front.
  • Train end users - Enable employees to self-serve analytics.
  • Iterate and optimize - Continuously collect feedback and improve.
  • Start small, scale big - Prove value with pilots before broad rollout.

With the fundamentals covered here, you can get started unlocking your own data-driven insights using Forms and Power BI today.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I connect a Microsoft Form to Power BI?

In Power BI, select "Get Data" > "Microsoft Forms" and enter your Form ID to create a live connection.

What are some effective Forms and Power BI dashboards examples?

Customer satisfaction, employee engagement, audits, and helpdesk are prime use cases covered here.

How can I customize Forms for my business needs?

Use Forms branching logic, data validation, theming, and Power Apps integration to tailor forms.

What governance best practices should I consider?

Plan security roles, access controls, compliance rules, and training enablement early in rollout.

How can I expand Forms and Power BI capabilities over time?

Consider combining Forms data with other sources. Build in artificial intelligence. Leverage APIs.

Next Steps

You might like to read our article on Transforming Survey Data Insights with Microsoft Forms and Power BI or consider taking a course with one of our leading experts in. 

  • Power BI Gain a comprehensive overview of Power BI capabilities. Learn to connect data sources, model and visualize data, and create interactive reports and dashboards.
  • Power BI - Beyond the Basics Take your Power BI skills to the next level with advanced visualization, security and administration features.
  • Power BI - Visualisation Master visual storytelling and effective data visualization design principles in Power BI.
  • Power BI Modelling & Data Prep Learn end-to-end data modeling, shaping and ETL techniques with Power BI Desktop and Power Query.
  • Power BI - Dax Become a DAX expert to analyze and calculate custom measures for impactful Power BI data models.
  • Power BI - Power Query & M Harness the flexible Power Query M language to extract, transform and load data for powerful Power BI analytics.

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