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Building a successful data analytics platform with Power BI

Leon Gordon

21 June 2022

Power BI can help businesses create visualizations that are informative and engaging—all while improving productivity across departments at every level of your organization.

Introduction

One of the key strengths of Power BI as an analytics platform is that it can grow and evolve as your business grows. With a monthly release cycle of new features there are many aspects of the tool that can be utilised after you have a basic data analytics platform, adding more features as they need them. You may begin by creating simple dashboards for your sales team or financial reports, but eventually, you may find yourself building data models for predictive analytics or connecting to external web services. We can use the same platform in every case: Power BI.

 

So, what are the first steps when getting started?

 

Understanding Business Requirements

  • Understanding business requirements

To build the best data analytics platform, you need to understand the business requirements of your company. This will help you to identify which key questions need to be answered and what are their sources. You can then use these insights to develop a solution that aligns with these needs.

 

  • Identify stakeholders

Once you have an understanding of the key questions, it’s important to identify who will benefit from having access to this information and how they will use it in their day-to-day operations within the business. For example, there could be an opportunity for cross-promotion between two different products or services offered by your company. This may be a very valuable insight for your marketing department. There could be a large opportunity to grow sales by knowing how many customers already own one product before offering them another option or discount on both items together through email marketing campaigns.

 

Establishing Data Governance

Data governance refers to the overall policies and procedures that your organization follows to ensure that data is used appropriately, and in compliance with applicable laws. The goal of data governance is to establish trust between an organization and its customers, partners, and employees.

Data governance helps ensure that:

  • Data quality is maintained at all times. Poor-quality data can result in incorrect conclusions and decisions being made by business users using analytics solutions.
  • That you maintain compliance with legal or regulatory requirements related to your business activities (e.g., GDPR).
  • Your employees know what they are allowed/not allowed to do with company information assets such as customer personal identifiable information (PII).

 

Managing and Maintaining the Solution

Once you have the initial structure in place, it’s important to maintain it. The best way to do this is through a data governance charter and committee. This will ensure that all decision-makers understand their roles and responsibilities when it comes to ensuring that your data strategy aligns with organizational goals.

It is also crucial that everyone on your team is trained in good data governance practices before they start making any decisions or edits. Additionally, make sure you create documentation regarding which fields are required for each dataset so no one accidentally removes an important field from the information they’re working with. Finally, make sure you track any changes made, so you can keep track of who made which change when (and why).

 

Data Visualization with Power BI

Data visualization is a powerful tool for communicating insights to business leaders and other stakeholders. It allows you to present information in a way that users can quickly understand, making it easier for them to make decisions based on their findings. However, many companies still struggle with data visualization because they don’t have the right tools or processes in place.

Power BI can be a fantastic tool in the world of data analytics, especially when looking for ways to improve your current process or spreadsheets.

Power BI can help businesses create visualizations that are informative and engaging—all while improving productivity across departments at every level of your organization.

How to Implement Power BI for Your Organization

To implement Power BI, follow these steps:

  • Start with a small team. The power of the cloud means that your analytics platform can be operational in a relatively short space of time, but it doesn’t mean you should do this on your own. You will need to have someone who understands how to configure the platform, dataset, and create reports, as well as someone who can help users get started when they join your organization.
  • Start with a targeted data set. If your organization has a lot of data for which it needs good insights, then start with a particular set of reporting requirements or answer a particular business question.

 

The best way to get started with Power BI is to start small and grow as needed.

If you’re starting out with Power BI, the best way to get started is to start small and grow as needed. This approach will save you time, money, and effort.

Start by choosing a small project to work on:

  • Choose a department at your company that could benefit from the additional business value of an analytics solution or BI solution. If no one has a need for this type of project, then create an internal demo for your boss or other stakeholders so they can understand the value proposition of Power BI.
  • Keep it simple! Start with only the data required for reporting for the particular use case and add more later when needed by users in different departments who want access to different data sources such as databases. You can always expand later but don’t bite off too much too early!

 

Conclusion

There are many different ways to use Power BI, but they all boil down to the same thing: data visualization. That’s why we recommend that you start with the basics and grow from there. If you want to learn more about Power BI, check out our other blog posts or contact us today! We’re happy to answer any questions you have so we can help you get started on your journey toward building a successful data analytics platform with Power BI.

Leon Gordon, is a leader in data analytics. A current Microsoft Data Platform MVP based in the UK and a Partner at Pomerol Partners. During the last decade, he has helped organizations improve their business performance, use data more intelligently, and understand the implications of new technologies such as artificial intelligence and big data.


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