Manchester, UK-based digital signage CMS provider NowSignage has announced a full integration with Microsoft’s Power BI product – a business analytics tool set popular in business environments.
The company says its integration is an industry-first, but five seconds on Google reveals several companies have some degree of integration with things like visualized data widgets.
NowSignage says the difference here is that competing providers who currently have integrations with Power BI are limited to displaying only publicly available links. “When it comes to displaying private business intelligence or confidential financial data, it is incomprehensible for companies to knowingly generate these private reports as a public links for the sole purpose of displaying this content on their office screens – these links can end up visible on search engines such as Google, accessible to anyone in the world,” the company asserts in a press release.
“Here at NowSignage we are dedicated to driving forward groundbreaking technology and making it accessible to all,” says Nick Johnson, CEO, NowSignage, stated. “After months of working alongside Microsoft to achieve this integration we are delighted to announce the release of Power BI into the platform. From today, customers can login to NowSignage, activate Power BI through our in-platform App Store and immediately start displaying their private reports across screens in global office locations. NowSignage is the only platform to do this securely without any visible public access.”
First or not, whatever … as I have noted many times visualized business data on workplace screens makes a world of sense, and any signage solutions providers going after workplace communications jobs should be putting the R&D work in to enable real-time charting and graphics for Key Performance Indicators.
Emails don’t get read. Handouts languish on desks. Printouts on notice boards get glances, but the information is agin as soon as it is printed. Screens get noticed.
NowSignage says UK recruitment giant Robert Walters is already putting the integration to work in its offices. That company has 4,300 staff operating across 31 countries.
“Digital signage was the perfect tool to broadcast our live metrics and targets to our employees across the globe,” says Sean Paul Bradley, Continuous Improvement Director for Robert Walters. “NowSignage were the only offering we found that could provide a secure solution to PowerBI on digital signage, and we’re delighted with the result.”
The HR firm identified digital signage as an optimal way to improve employee engagement by making real time data visible and target-driven. “Digital screens located throughout the global offices were identified as a primary outlet to achieve this and as such the IT team at Robert Walters were immediately tasked with finding a way to securely display live business intelligence reports onto their 200+ screens.”
Being an enterprise-level user of Microsoft Power BI, the ability to collate data from hundreds of data sources and then visualize?them into business critical data reports and live dashboards, was not a concern for Robert Walters. The issue lay with being able to present these reports securely onto a screen without making them publicly available across the web.
By activating the Microsoft Power BI within the NowSignage in-platform app store, users can connect their Microsoft Power BI account directly to the NowSignage platform through a ‘first of its kind’ integration. Once connected the NowSignage user can select their private reports and broadcast them as stunningly animated visualizations which tell their data stories with real-time content on any targeted office screen.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.