Microsoft Power BI

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How to build a no-cost ERP solution for micro business organizations using Power BI and Excel

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ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software offers comprehensive solutions to businesses by efficiently managing their HR, Operations, Finance, Sales, and Marketing data. It helps the businesses in streamlining their operations which helps in reducing manual errors, providing real-time insights, and thus helping in better decision-making.

However, many micro and small businesses in India do not use ERP because most of the well-versed ERP solutions costs lakhs of rupees for the licensing and implementation. Another issue is that the business often needs to buy separate licenses for different modules like, HR, Finance, SCM, Marketing etc. which make it further unaffordable to them. So, what if these Businesses are given an option to create an ERP themselves using free version of Microsoft Excel and Power BI. This is the scenario we are discussing in this blog.

Skills Required

As mentioned above, the tools required to create such a Powerful mini-ERP is MS Excel and MS Power BI. We will use the Excel as a database where we enter the data in a tabular format and Power BI is used for creating reports from Excel data. But let us now discuss what are the major skills that you must possess in order to successfully implement a self-service ERP.

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MS Excel

1. Data Validation: It is a way to ensure that data entered into the system or database is accurate and meets a certain criteria or rule. This also helps the person who enters the data and eradicates chances of errors. There are Format validation, list validation and field-level validation you might need to do when creating such database using Excel.

MS Power BI

1. Normalization: It is the process of reducing redundancy in data by dividing tables into smaller tables like fact and dimension tables, which enhances data integrity. This will also make data management and querying easier.
2. Data Modelling: It is basically about creating relationships between tables in a database. It is essential to establish the right relationship between entities to ensure the results are accurate.
3. Power Query Editor: This is an ETL (Extract, Transform, and Load) tool within Power BI Desktop. You need to have good hands-on experience to transform the tables in the Excel to create a good data model.
4. Data Visualization: It uses charts and graphs to represent data more meaningfully and easily. Graphical representation of data often gives more insights and patterns, which in turn enhances decision-making.
5. DAX (Data Analysis Expressions): DAX is a functional language in Power BI used to create advanced calculations. You can easily create visuals and reports in Power BI without knowing DAX. But if you have good knowledge of DAX then you can create advanced and next-level reports.
The points mentioned above are some of the technical skills that one should possess to create a mini database on Excel and create its report on Power BI. However, there are also few crucial factors to be kept in mind while creating the overall design. Let us see each one of them.
– Studying the business requirements
– User friendliness in data entry
– Ensuring Parent-Child integrity during data entry
– Future Proofing solutions


Although is it possible to create a no-cost ERP with the use of MS Excel and MS Power BI, it must be made clear that it is not a perfect substitute for any established ERP systems. This is a workaround solution that meets most of the business requirements and one also needs sound data knowledge to implement it. However, it may not be able to solve a complicated business requirement. But the best part is, unlike a proprietary ERP software, here you will be able to customize your report in any way you require if the data is entered accurately.

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About CloudThat

Established in 2012, CloudThat is a leading Cloud Training and Cloud Consulting services provider in India, USA, Asia, Europe, and Africa. Being a pioneer in the cloud domain, CloudThat has special expertise in catering to mid-market and enterprise clients from all the major cloud service providers like AWS, Microsoft, GCP, VMware, Databricks, HP, and more. Uniquely positioned to be a single source for both training and consulting for cloud technologies like Cloud Migration, Data Platforms, DevOps, IoT, and the latest technologies like AI/ML, it is a top-tier partner with AWS and Microsoft, winning more than 8 awards combined in 11 years. Recently, it was recognized as the ‘Think Big’ partner from AWS and won the Microsoft Superstars FY 2023 award in Asia & India. Leveraging its position as a leader in the market, CloudThat has trained 650k+ professionals in 500+ cloud certifications and delivered 300+ consulting projects for 100+ corporates in 28+ countries.




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