Migrating BI Systems? Failure Is Not an Option

May 09, 2019

Dashboards Reporting and Visualizations, Data Architecture, Data Preparation

How to Ensure a Successful Change

Migrations. Oh for the days when the process involved simply moving from one tool to another. The variety and complexity of migrations has multiplied. Project types fall under a wide umbrella and can include everything from moving Excel to the likes of Tableau, Power BI and Cognos to consolidation and moving from on-prem to the cloud. For starters. Given the mission-critical role of BI in today’s most successful companies, failure is not an option!

This webinar recording takes the migraine out of migration, providing the information to ensure a successful change. Learn how migrations have changed over time and the common phases and steps in most migrations. Get the common pitfalls that can trip you up as well as the tips and tricks to help ensure a smooth transition.


Michael Weinhauer
Practice Area Director/Solutions Architect
Senturus, Inc.

Michael is part of the team that developed the Senturus migration utilities and Analytics Connector. He also heads up our Tableau Practice. Before Senturus, Michael spent over 20 years in different roles at Oracle, IBM and SAP acquiring a wealth of hands-on, practical BI and big data experience.


  • What is a migration?
    • The old definition of migration of simply moving from one tool to another, no longer applies
  • Migrations come in many varieties
    • Excel to Tableau, Power BI, Cognos, etc.
    • Classic BI system to BI system
    • Consolidation
    • On-prem to cloud or hybrid
    • In-house to managed services
    • Centralized to self-service (aka IT to business)
    • Standardized to “bimodal”
    • Printed/fat client to any device
    • Major version upgrade
  • Migrations are more complex
    • Simple lists to visual
    • Static to interactive
    • Printer/desktop to any device
    • Single to multi-source
    • On-prem to cloud/hybrid
    • In-house to managed services
    • Predictive/prescriptive/ML/AI/NLP
    • Embedded
  • Migration scope is ubiquitous
    • All functional areas
    • Cross boundary
      • Functional
      • Organizational
    • Migrations are mission critical
      • “Companies who use analytics the best are two times more likely to have top quartile financial performance, three times more likely to execute decisions as intended and five times more likely to make decisions faster”- Bain
    • Migration challenges
      • Lack of skillsets – need in all tools/applications/environments
      • Time/bandwidth
      • Cost
      • Risk
    • What has precipitated the migration?
      • M&A
      • Business need
      • Modernization
      • Regulatory change
      • Licensing costs
      • Consolidation
    • Assess – organizational readiness
      • Executive sponsorship
      • Cross-functional support – business and IT
    • Assess – BI platform health
      • Current system on fire? Or…
      • Can we co-exist?
    • Assess — stakeholders
      • Anyone vested in project’s success
    • Assess – change management
    • Roadmap – tool selection
    • Roadmap – rip and replace vs. optimize (vs. augment)
    • Roadmap – cloud strategy



  • Roadmap – in-house vs. managed
    • Managing and maintaining BI systems is complex and costly
  • Optimize – identify missing data
  • Optimize – model improvements
  • Optimize – Senturus report insights
    • Catalog and inventory report logic
    • Combine with audit reports to
    • Prioritize migration
    • Identify candidates for consolidation/reduction
    • Reduce risk, cost, footprint, QA effort and time
  • Optimize – rapid prototyping
    • Use wireframes and mockups
    • Use the tools to iterate rapidly
    • Adopt the Pareto Principle
  • Execute – data model migration
  • Execute – report migration
    • Understand logic and structure
    • Maximize use of new features
  • Secure and manage – access and distribution
    • Easy access for users, hard for anyone else
    • Any device, any time
  • Secure and manage – support community
    • Many touchpoints
    • Groom SME’s
  • Secure and manage – training plan
    • Critical, often overlooked step
    • Nurture digital artisans
  • Migration overview – roles
  • Secure and manage – performance monitoring
    • Performance is key to adoption
    • Complexity makes this harder
  • Secure and manage – on-going maintenance
  • Senturus migration benefits
    • Faster – reduce time spent migrating and start getting value out of your modern BI tools
    • Reduced cost and risk – not only are model migrations up to 70% faster, but they are more accurate, reducing cost and risk
    • Increased trust in the data – migrating from vetted data models and using best practice deployments increases trust in the data, improving adoption rates
    • Improved security — following best practices for deployment and governance reduces risk associated with data management
    • Superior performance – properly modeled data deployed according to best practices results in better performance, which in turn improves adoption, user satisfaction and ROI
  • Summary
    • Migrations are varied, complex, ubiquitous, critical
    • Approach holistically and methodically
    • Many organizations lack critical elements and skills to succeed
    • Automation can help
    • Consider help with important elements, such as:
      • Assessment
      • Tool selection
      • Cloud and managed services
      • Implementation
      • Training/enabling self-service
    • Broad and deep platform support
      • Our experts have experience migrating to and from many platforms