For NetSuite users, Google Data Studio and Microsoft Power BI are excellent options for deep diving into ERP analytics. Both BI tools offer cloud-based data visualization, reporting and dashboards. What does this mean for you? You get more dynamic and visually appealing analytics that can be embedded in NetSuite.

What Makes Data Studio and Power BI Work Well?

The simple method would be to connect either tool to your NetSuite instance and start building reports with minimal effort. The fact is there’s “Pre-Work” needed to report on the data extracted from NetSuite.

It comes down to this: Data Studio and Power BI are only as good as their data model driving the analytics generated by these tools.

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What is a Data Model?

Essentially, a data model organizes the various data types accessed for reporting purposes. Data models are designed around your business needs so you have a structure and set of rules. This setup will act as a road map when delivering the analytics you need.

Data Models and Your NetSuite ERP System

ERP systems are built for the specific purpose of ingesting data and they’re part of a rigid data structure by design. At their core, there’s a General Ledger and Subledger structure - this is built for specific accounting purposes. This ultimately limits the reporting flexibility that your FP&A teams and stakeholders want.

What now? Your teams turn to extracted data sets from more flexible spreadsheets that can have human errors and very little reliability.

In order to get the most from your data visualization software, such as Data Studio and Power BI with NetSuite, you’ll need an optimized data model.

By getting this through a data warehouse, you’ll bypass the limitations of joining tables and directly access certain data sets within the actual systems.

Both Data Studio and Power BI have robust functionality in blending multiple data sources when accessed through a well-designed data warehouse.


Here’s An Example

What would normally be multiple saved searches in NetSuite can be a consolidated report combining information across NetSuite. This, plus the ability to incorporate third-party data sources (e.g. CRM, eCommerce, etc.) living in the same data warehouse.

Data Studio Vs. Power BI: Everything You Need to Know

Let’s begin with Data Studio for NetSuite users

How can Inventory Management improve your business?


It goes without saying that effective inventory management can help save you money. In fact, we’ve already written about the top tips that can help maximize your savings with efficient inventory management. But here are the benefits provided to you from NetSuite’s Inventory Cloud solution:

Customer Churn Rate (CCR)

The rate customers stop doing business with you. The typical formula would be:

CCR = number of customers churned - (customers who joined and churned) - (customer who churned & returned) in the defined period / number of customers at start of period.

Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR)

The percentage of lost monthly revenue from downgrades and cancellations in a given period. This is typically calculated as both Gross and Net Revenue, an essential metric to evaluate the financial state of the business. Typical formulas are:

Gross MRR = (Churned MRR + Downgrade MRR / MRR at the end of the previous month) * 100
Net MRR = (Churned MRR + Downgrade MRR – Expansion MRR) / MRR at end of last month

Annual Run Rate (ARR)

Forecasts future earning revenue based on historical MRR assuming no changes in churn and expansions. Typically the formula would be:

ARR = revenue in period X * Number of periods of X in 1 year

Customer Retention Rate (CRR)

Measures the number of customers a company retains over time. Typically the formula would be:


[(number of total customers at end of period X - number of new customers added within period X) / number of existing customers at start of period X] * 100

In addition to churn specific KPIs, subscription-based companies further analyze the state of their customer base by calculating periodic and long term value and cost to get a fuller picture of the health of their business.

Popular SaaS KPIs to consider include Customer Lifetime Value, Customer Acquisition Cost, CAC:LTV Ratio, Net Promoter Score, Payback Period, Annual Contract Value, among others…

100% cloud-based and requires zero license cost, so you get the best bang for your buck

User-friendly reports and dashboards easily shared via a free or corporate Google account. One really nice perk is the native integration with Google sheets which acts as a ”middleware” or connector within Data Studio.

Ideal for “Google Shops” who are within the Google Workspace; integration with Google’s BigQuery data warehouse and its productivity tools are simple and affordable.

A downside is the data transformation in NetSuite and the more complex reporting needs.

Working with a knowledgeable partner and a BI analytics solution designed for NetSuite will give you flexibility in a more affordable manner.


Power BI for a “Microsoft Shop”

Integrated with Office 360 and Azure, however only the Desktop version is free for customers. All cloud-based offerings have a per user fee and sharing reports with many users can add to that.

Power BI has data transformation capabilities with Power Query built in so your data sets are in the right format for reporting

Any extra features needed for setting up your backend data and customizing your final product come at extra costs

When it comes down to it, both solutions are suitable for the NetSuite customer looking to enhance their analytics. But they’ll need a reliable data model on the backend. Both have embeddable web links so you can view Data Studio and Power BI inside your NetSuite dashboard.

Data Studio Vs. Power BI Comparison



Data Studio

Power BI

Embedded Capabilities
Small & Medium Business Target
Support Multiple Data Sets  
Support Multiple Data Warehouses
100% Cloud-Based
NetSuite Connector
Google Native
Microsoft Native
Oracle Native


To learn more on how Gurus Solutions can help you with your Data Studio or Power BI connection to NetSuite, check out Business Intelligence for NetSuite, Powered by GURUS.

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About Neil Stolovitsky

Neil Stolovitsky has over 20 years of IT experience with end-user, consulting, and vendor organizations, along with extensive expertise in Pre-Sales, Business Development, Product Marketing, Software Selection, and Channel Strategies. He has published numerous blogs, white papers and articles covering Business Intelligence, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Professional Services Automation (PSA), Project Portfolio Management, IT Governance, and New Product Development to a global audience. Neil currently holds the position of Product Manager with GURUS Solutions.