Data Analysis and Business Intelligence techniques are now implemented by most modern companies to drive business growth and profitability. A majority of all organizations now rely on data-driven decision-making for every aspect of their business whether it is Product, Marketing, or even Finance.
This article will help you understand the features of Xero and Microsoft Power BI and also provide you with a step-by-step guide on how you can set up Xero Power BI Integration easily.
Table of Contents
Introduction to Xero
Xero is a well-known Cloud-based Accounting Software that is primarily used by small businesses. It helps businesses seamlessly perform a range of business finance functions like Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, etc. Xero houses support for various accounting features such as Cash Bank Reconciliations, Flow Management, Financial Reporting, Payroll, Processing Payments, etc.
It is also capable of performing various book-keeping functions such as Payroll & Invoice Management and further lets users connect to a live bank feed with ease. Xero allows both Accrual Accounting and Cash-based Systems and hence, it is considered perfect for companies adhering to the UK Generally Accepted Accounting Practice (GAAP) or International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).
Xero offers three different tiers which users can choose from based on their business requirements. These three tiers are as follows:
- Early Plan: It permits a limited number of Bank Transactions, Bills, and Invoices to be processed in a month.
- Growing Plan: It allows unlimited Bank Transactions, Bills, and Invoices.
- Established Plan: This plan houses support for multiple currencies and expenses along with unlimited Bank Transactions, Bills, and Invoices.
More comprehensive understanding of the Xero Accounting Software can be found here.
Understanding the Key Features of Xero
The key features of Xero are as follows:
- Business Snapshots: A dashboard-style report that displays all essential metrics that you need to understand the financial performance of your business.
- Dashboards: These provide you with a financial overview of your business. These also house numerous quick links to the most crucial parts of your accounts and provide businesses with a clear understanding of key aspects like Bank Balance, Creditors, Debtors, Overall Expenses, etc.
- Invoice Management: Xero allows businesses to easily create, send and track Custom Invoices generated depending on the business use case.
- Free API: Xero offers seamless integration with 300+ third-party software vendors such as Stripe, PayPal, HubSpot, etc.
- Unified Ledger: Xero uses a single Unified Ledger. This means that all users within a business can access the same dataset irrespective of their physical location or Operating System.
Introduction to Microsoft Power BI
Microsoft Power BI is a Business Intelligence tool that is part of the Microsoft Power Platform. It aims to provide users with interactive visualizations and advance Business Intelligence capabilities through a simple interface, thereby allowing them to create their own Dashboards and Reports.
It can be seen as a collection of Applications, Software Services, and Connectors that work together to turn numerous Data Sources into visually immersive, coherent, and interactive insights. Microsoft Power BI supports almost all kinds of data sources such as Microsoft Excel, Google Spreadsheets, Cloud-based, On-premises, or Hybrid Data Warehouses, etc. It lets you connect to all your data sources, visualize the data to derive insights, and share them with the decision-makers at your organization.
Microsoft offers three platforms in its Microsoft Power BI suite which are as follows:
- A Desktop Application called Microsoft Power BI Desktop.
- An Online Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) called Microsoft Power BI Service.
- Mobile Applications for Android, iOS, and Windows called Microsoft Power BI Mobile.
More information on Microsoft Power BI Visualisations can be found in our other article here.
Understanding the Key Features of Microsoft Power BI
The key features of Microsoft Power BI are as follows:
- Attractive Visualizations: Microsoft Power BI supports numerous detailed and attractive visualizations such as Line Chart, Stacked/Column Bar/Cluster chart, Ribbon Chart, Funnel Chart, Area Chart, etc.
- Data Sources: Microsoft Power BI supports a wide variety of Structured and Unstructured On-premise or Cloud-based data sources including Microsoft Power BI Datasets, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Azure, MySQL, Oracle, JSON, Text/CSV, etc.
- DAX Data Analysis: Data Analysis Expressions (DAX) is a library of operators and functions that can be combined to build complex formulas and expressions in Microsoft Power BI to perform analytics-specific functionality.
- Customizable Dashboards: Microsoft Power BI provides users the ability to create custom and interactive dashboards using numerous visualizations that can then be used to derive meaningful insights from the data.
Understanding the Need for Xero Power BI Integration
As businesses grow, the amount of financial data they handle also increases. Most businesses make use of existing platforms like Xero to manage their financial data instead of maintaining a record of it manually. Businesses rely on such tools primarily due to their ease of use and their ability to automate various tasks that have to be performed regularly.
Although tools like Xero can be used to perform a simple analysis using Level-One Performance Metrics, it is not possible to perform an in-depth analysis or create custom financial reports. Hence, businesses feel the need to set up Xero Power BI Integration to perform a comprehensive analysis of their data and derive meaningful insights.
Method 1: Manual Xero Power BI Integration
This method involves installing the Xero application in Microsoft Power BI and then importing the required data.
Method 2: Using Hevo Data, a Simple Way to Set Up Xero Power BI Integration
Hevo provides a hassle-free solution and helps you directly transfer data from Xero to Microsoft Power BI and numerous other BI tools without any intervention in an effortless manner. Hevo is fully managed and completely automates the process of not only loading data from your desired source but also enriching the data and transforming it into an analysis-ready form without having to write a single line of code.
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Hevo’s pre-built integration with Xero (among 100+ Sources) for free will take full charge of the data transfer process, allowing you to focus on key business activities.
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Methods to Set Up Xero Power BI Integration
The two methods to set up Xero Power BI Integration are as follows:
Method 1: Manual Xero Power BI Integration
In this method, users first have to install the Xero application in Microsoft Power BI and then import all the data. The following steps can be implemented to set up Xero Power BI Integration:
Step 1: Installing Xero App in Microsoft Power BI
- Open Microsoft Power BI, select “Apps” in the Navigation Pane and then click on the “Get Apps” button present in the upper right corner.
- Under the “AppSource” section, select “Apps” and search for the official Xero application.
- Upon clicking the “Get it Now” option for “Xero,” you will see a prompt asking for confirmation on whether you wish to install the application in Microsoft Power BI or not. Select “Install.”
Step 2: Connecting to a Xero Account
- In the “Apps” section, select the “Xero” tile.
- Under the “Get Started with your new app” Section, click on “Connect.”
- Enter a unique name for your organization that can be used to identify any data being imported.
- Select “oAuth2” as the Authentication Method.
- Sign in to your Xero account and select the organization for which you wish to import the data.
Step 3: Visualizing Data
- Upon a successful sign-in, a default dashboard will open up which can be analyzed to derive useful insights.
Limitations of Manual Xero Power BI Integration
The limitations of setting up the Xero Power BI Integration manually are as follows:
- The Xero application for Microsoft Power BI does not support advanced requirements such as consolidation of financial data from multiple organizations, or integrating multiple data sources.
- The default Xero template is not customizable and hence, the manual method is not considered to be very flexible.
- The Xero application for Microsoft Power BI does not support write-back or budgeting.
- Users often face numerous performance issues while using the Xero application when connecting to Microsoft Power BI which requires them to clear the cache/cookies and then try again.
Method 2: Using Hevo Data to Set Up Xero Power BI Integration
Hevo helps you directly transfer data from Xero and various other sources to Business Intelligence tools such as Microsoft Power BI, Data Warehouses, or a destination of your choice in a completely hassle-free & automated manner. Hevo is fully managed and completely automates the process of not only loading data from your desired source but also enriching the data and transforming it into an analysis-ready form without having to write a single line of code. Its fault-tolerant architecture ensures that the data is handled in a secure, consistent manner with zero data loss.
Hevo takes care of all your data preprocessing needs and lets you focus on key business activities and draw a much powerful insight on how to generate more leads, retain customers, and take your business to new heights of profitability. It provides a consistent & reliable solution to manage data in real-time and always have analysis-ready data in your desired destination.
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Hevo focuses on three simple steps to get you started
- Connect: Connect Hevo with Xero and various other data sources by simply logging in with your credentials.
- Integrate: Consolidate your data from several sources using Hevo’s Managed Data Integration Platform and automatically transform it into an analysis-ready form.
- Visualize: Connect Hevo with your desired BI tool such as Microsoft Power BI and easily visualize your data to gain better insights.
Check out what makes Hevo amazing
- Real-Time Data Transfer: Hevo with its strong Integration with 100+ sources, allows you to transfer data quickly & efficiently. This ensures efficient utilization of bandwidth on both ends.
- Data Transformation: It provides a simple interface to perfect, modify, and enrich the data you want to transfer.
- Secure: Hevo has a fault-tolerant architecture that ensures that the data is handled in a secure, consistent manner with zero data loss.
- Tremendous Connector Availability: Hevo houses a large variety of connectors and lets you bring in data from numerous Marketing & SaaS applications, databases, etc. such as Xero, Airflow, HubSpot, Marketo, MongoDB, Oracle, Salesforce, Redshift, etc. in an integrated and analysis-ready form.
- Simplicity: Using Hevo is easy and intuitive, ensuring that your data is exported in just a few clicks.
- Completely Managed Platform: Hevo is fully managed. You need not invest time and effort to maintain or monitor the infrastructure involved in executing codes.
- Live Support: The Hevo team is available round the clock to extend exceptional support to its customers through chat, email, and support calls.
This article provided you with a step-by-step guide on how you can set up Xero Power BI Integration manually or using Hevo for free. There are certain limitations associated with the manual method. If those limitations are not a concern to your analysis, then the manual method is the best option but if it is, then you should consider using automated Data Integration platforms like Hevo.
Hevo helps you directly transfer data from a source of your choice to a Data Warehouse, Business Intelligence tools such as Microsoft Power BI, or desired destination in a fully automated and secure manner. You don’t have to write any code. It will make your life easier and make data migration hassle-free. It is User-Friendly, Reliable, and Secure.
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