Since Power BI’s unveiling in late 2013, Microsoft has done a remarkable job of making an extensive set of learning resources available.
These resources support Power BI’s positioning as a tool that is easily used by anybody in any size organization or enterprise. Best of all, the Power BI Desktop authoring tool is free to download. So, if you’ve not already done so, you should go to PowerBI.com, download and install Power BI Desktop, and build a report to analyze any set of data you have handy – or attend one of Advisicon’s Power BI webinars. The Microsoft resources are for a general audience, but ours are for our specific PPM audience.
The Power BI user community (comprised of more than half a million users worldwide) typically uses that approach: a bit of self-paced instruction, download the Power BI Desktop, and create compelling reports – sort of a “Lone Ranger” approach to business analytics. Your organization may have one, a dozen, or hundreds of individual contributors consuming and transforming data, creating and distributing reports and dashboards. Because there is access to a free tool and access to source data, that’s a very common scenario. Many of the data connection and transformation capabilities in Power BI have been available in Excel, but users are finding that Power BI makes these tasks simpler and more accessible to a wider audience.
Avoid the Administrative Burden
Organizations of all sizes are beginning to recognize that this easy access, in the absence of appropriate guidelines and oversight, can result in an administrative burden from the ever-increasing number of Power BI app workspaces and an ever-increasing list of widely-shared datasets, reports, and dashboards. This proliferation is often not subject to ongoing control and support. It might not comply with the organization’s data access and data sharing requirements. It can also result in orphaned reports and dashboards that suffer from stale data or, even worse, reports that don’t reflect changes in the organization’s structure and operating model. Or that just broke – or they might operate correctly but have fallen out of use, causing the organization to fail to get value from its investment in business analytics capabilities and user training.
Microsoft makes numerous tools available so that a trained Power BI administrator can easily and routinely identify whether the reports and dashboards you’ve deployed are being used and can support and oversee your broad business analytics environment. They reflect whether users are accessing the environment routinely and other characteristics that help you to know if your investment in business analytics is paying off. They highlight if there is an opportunity to better communicate with your organization about your business activities.
Advisicon has recently developed and delivered a Power BI Administrator class, in which the participants learned about the Power BI users’ development and deployment processes and tools, typical decisions being made by IT organizations tasked with information security and/or desktop support, about Power BI security, and how to select from and use the tools Microsoft makes available for administering the environment.
With a trained Power BI Administrator, you eliminate the barriers to effectively and efficiently deploying Power BI across your enterprise.
There are multiple approaches for filling this role. For some organizations, training and assigning an internal resource makes sense though there is an ongoing training need that the organization has to be able to absorb to maintain current skills in this role. Advisicon’s IT Support Center brings a formal help desk, supplemented by trained Power BI consultants, to the rescue for client organizations of all sizes.
We invite you to register for one of the public Power BI classes on our events calendar or reach-out by phone or email. We can help you structure a 1, 2, or 3-day custom Power BI or Power BI Administrator class or structure an outsourced Power BI Administrator support package through our IT Support Center. Our experts specialize in applying Advisicon’s 25+ years of project, program, and portfolio management experience to developing Power BI reports and dashboards. Let us help you equip yourself to more effectively communicate with your project sponsors, PMs, teams, and other stakeholders.