Xero partners with Microsoft to enable big data collection


Cloud accounting firm Xero has teamed up with Microsoft to provide an avenue for its customers to collect and collate its own big data across Xerox’s software and other integrated business applications, via Microsoft Power BI. Xero said the integration will visualize data from 25 of the most commonly tracked small business metrics, including cash position, revenue versus expenses, profit loss trend, debtor days, and return on investment.

Additionally, the company said the platform will enable small businesses to analyze data with greater speed, efficiency, and understanding. “Business tools today are smarter and more connected than ever and finally available to the small business sector,” Xero CEO Rod Drury said. “The accounting industry runs on Microsoft Office and we’re delighted to further integrate with Microsoft’s Power BI to give our users easier ways to access and analyze information from Xero and other sources to make smart, informed decisions.” Xero said it is deeply invested in the potential of big data for small business, saying it understands that the true value of data lies in the ability to extract insights and the story it paints around the health of their business.

“Technology exists for us to transform and change what we can do,” James Phillips, Microsoft corporate vice president and general manager of Microsoft’s Business Applications, Platform and Intelligence organisation, said. “Microsoft’s integration work with Xero brings together each of our strengths in cloud, productivity, and business intelligence so our customers can more easily analyze and visualize their business data, share insights from anywhere within Office 365, and work with each other to get more done.”

Available in March, Microsoft Power BI will be accessed via the financial system of record in Xero and integrated with data from other advanced inventory systems. At the start of the year, Xero announced it appointed Trent Innes to its Australian managing director role, following the resignation of Chris Ridd, who is expected to step down at the end of March but will remain as an adviser for the next 12 months.

For the three months ending December 31, 2015, Xero reported a negative net operating cash flow of NZ$6.5 million. At the time, Xero said the result was reflective of cash it spent on operating and investing activities, including staff costs, advertising and marketing, and other working capital.

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