Properly deployed, Power BI is an amazing tool. It drives action from insight and facilitates the growth of a data-driven culture. The keywords to note here are properly deployed. Because rolling out Power BI is a complex process that involves a large number of stakeholders and technical requirements, organizations can find their experience with Power BI falls short of its potential. They soon realize they need to do more than just “turn it on and hope for the best.”
Watch our on-demand webinar to learn what’s involved in properly rolling out Power BI for maximum performance and user adoption. We cover the people, process, technology and cost aspects that need to be taken into account.
You will learn
- Why you need a rollout strategy for Power BI
- Six considerations to take into account before you deploy
- Which stakeholders you need to engage
- What support options to consider for Power BI users
Senturus Australian Partner
Principal Consultant | MVP Data Platform
Dear Watson Consulting
Greg Nash is a Senturus partner in Australia. He is principal consultant at Dear Watson Consulting, a Microsoft Data Platform MVP and Power BI user group leader based in Melbourne Australia. He has 20 years of experience in enterprise IT and more recently, he’s specializing in Microsoft Power BI adoption, mentoring and development for organizations of all sizes.Read more
Greetings and welcome to this latest installment of the Senturus Knowledge Series. Today we’re pleased to present to you on the topic of planning for a Power BI enterprise deployment.
Before getting to the main part of the presentation, some quick housekeeping items.
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Which leads us to the next slide and question.
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It is available on Senturus.com presently.
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Today’s agenda, we’ll do some introductions, and then we’ll get to the main part of the presentation. Power BI rollout and support, covering the topics of why a rollout strategy is needed.
Focus on the stakeholders, rollout consideration, and Power BI support.
After that, we’ll do a real quick Senturus overview, for those of you who may not be familiar with what we do all day every day, And some additional, almost always entirely free, great resources, and then, again, stick around for the always entertaining and valuable Q and A. So introductions joining us today, I’m pleased to be joined by Mr. Greg Nash.
Greg is a Senturus partner, joining us from Australia.
He’s a principal Consultant at Dear Watson Consulting, a Microsoft data platform, MVP and Power BI user group leader based in Melbourne.
He has 20 years of experience in Enterprise IT.
And, more recently, he’s specializing specifically in Microsoft, Power BI adoption, mentoring, and development for organizations of all sizes.
My name is Michael Weinhauer.
I’m a Director here at Senturus, and among my various roles, I have the pleasure of emceeing, these Knowledge Series events.
So, last thing before we get into the main presentation and I hand the floor over. We always ask a couple of questions of our audience. So, we’ve got two polls today.
I’m asking, which BI platforms are your organization?
And you can select all that apply here, whether it’s power BI, Tableau, Cognos or something else.
I’ll give everybody just a little bit of time to do that.
We have an alert crowd today. They’re cranking through this pretty quickly or almost three quarters.
Give it a few more seconds.
Democracy in action. All right.
Sharing the results set back here.
So, three quarters Power BI, Only a third Tableau and, again, about two thirds, they’re using Cognos and another roughly 20% are using something else. So, that’s an interesting split. A lot more. Maybe it’s the topic, but Power BI.
A lot more than Tableau.
And then another pull this one is a single answer, so, please select the statement that describes your Power BI rollout and adoption thus far.
So, somewhere on the spectrum of, you don’t use Power BI and you don’t plan to. Or you plan to use Power BI, but you haven’t gotten around to rolling it out yet.
Or Power BI has rolled out.
It’s got a lot of adoption or you’ve rolled out, it has no medium adoption.
We rolled it out as low adoption.
Those votes in here are again in about three quarters of the audience.
Guys are quick.
Couple more seconds here, close that out, and share the results with you.
So, lot of people planning on using it, but haven’t rolled it out yet. That’s interesting. About 10% not planning on using it.
Then the bulk of the rest, kind of between medium and low adoption and I adoption.
Well, thanks for sharing your insights people. Hopefully, you guys find this informative as well. I’m going to hide that, which will take us back to the presentation.
And with that, I’m going to hand the floor and the microphone over to Mr. Nash. Greg, the floor is yours.
Thanks, Mike, good day folks, welcome. Welcome to my presentation on Power BI rollout and adoption.
It’s a great privilege to be here and to be able to present to you guys about this. Before we get started, I just wanted to clarify. You can make sure you’re in the right session, don’t want to waste your time. There’s a lot of information to talk about when we talk about Power BI rollout, But I wanted to talk about what this session is about and what isn’t it about. So first, we’re not going to talk about how to build Power BI reports in this session. We’re not going to talk about DAX, so Power Query. We also want to be talking about, like, how to organize your workspaces in Power BI. There’s a lot of consideration just in that one topic, or how to sort of configure and do admitting the service. What we will be talking about is, like, how do we get Power BI into our organization? How can I give you the best chance of success in terms of things you need to consider when you’re talking about Power BI as a service?
Really, what to think about before you give access to the users before you actually get this thing into people’s hands, inside your organization.
First, we’re going to talk about why you need this strategy at all. Can’t we just turn on Power BI and it will work for everybody? You know, what is this? Why do we, why do we even care about the subject? The second thing is, there’s a lot of things you need to think about before you even consider rolling out, right? And we need to touch on those things. I want you to make sure that, you’ve that, and I haven’t forgotten anything, before we get to the rollout phase. If you think of the rollout phases, when we, we go, we’re actually deploying Power BI to our users, and then, of course, all the considerations for the rollout itself, and then post rollout. What kind of support considerations do we need to do? What, what needs to happen with Power BI going forward?
So, let’s start with, why do we need a rollout strategy?
So, primarily, the reason why you would need to come up with a strategy for your rollout is really the people in your organization, right? The biggest challenge for technology rollouts is always going to be people. They tend to resist change.
They don’t know what they don’t know, and you’ll need some kind of structure to help manage that, change over your people might be used to you know, looking at spreadsheets, and, and, and printed out PDF forms, and you’re looking at a transition to a tool that is interactive. It’s much more difficult to get information out in a sort of a paginated PDF style form. It’s an interactive tool. And so there’s that changeover that you need to think about, and you also need to think about, well, who in the organization is going to run the service? Who’s going to provide that support? How are people going to interact, find help, and all that kind of stuff?
The second reason why you need a rollout plan is because of the technology itself. How BI is a very big platform. And you might not necessarily, need all of this stuff.
You can see here, there’s potentially hundreds of things you need to consider.
It’s can get very messy if we don’t understand the pieces that are relevant to us. And we have to think about things like governance. This is a data platform, so governance and security, and privacy of your data is really, really important.
You also have to think about all the different skill sets that might be required to deliver some of these things, right. You’ve got things inside Power BI, like ETL Power Query.
You’ve got DAX, the data analytics expression language that people, how do people learn that the modelling of data and star schema, Kimble based data modelling. And then, of course, the administration of the service itself. And so, you’ve got this big, potentially, huge platform that has a lot of different potential components that you can use, and, and knowing which pieces are relevant to you, and which aren’t going to be really important.
The other reason is, of course, you want to save some money, right? We want to prevent that rework. We don’t want to be rolling things out and having problems with it. We want to lower the cost of changing over from one technology to another technology, and also thinking about licensing, and we’ll do a quick brief look at the licensing in Power BI today.
Power BI has license options that are some of the most expensive things inside the Microsoft environment, as well as some of the most cheap.
And so, understanding the types of licenses you need, and what you need to know, and who is going to use which license.
So, before we roll out, what are some of the things we need to consider, probably the most important thing is that we really need to think about, like, who in your organization is going to be using that.
And, particularly, it’s around executive buy it, right? So, executive buy in is going to be essential to ensuring that you’ve got support, to be able to roll out a platform. A caveat, it’s very difficult to just build a Power BI report, and send it out into the world. And hope that people will just adopt the platform that you’ll, you’ll need to have some kind of strategy around how to do that.
Identifying those end users, who are the people who are going to use that service, and then knowing those different personas and who they are, is going to be really important. Are they going to be develop? How are they going to create content inside the Power BI service? Are they skilled people, or are they just regular knowledge workers? Are they going to admin the service to train people? Do you have champions?
All that kind of stuff.
You also probably want to think about a pilot project, right?
Like, so, something that’s high value, low complexity, something that can be delivered easily, that is going to give you good adoption for people’s introduction to Power BI, and that ability to prioritize the projects. And you find that inside larger organizations, executives tend to jockey for position in terms of getting new technologies into their area. And you’ll need to ask them to provide the relative priority to you.
Sometimes that can be create a bit of tension between executives, right, if you’re in a very large organization, of who gets to go first, and so you’re really looking for that high value, low complexity project when you’re thinking about that.
And then, of course, the licensing, or what type of licenses do we need when do we need them, and who needs them?
So, let’s briefly look at the licenses for Power BI.
So, the first license that a lot of people, this is why a lot of people get started with Power BI, is with a free consumer license. This is people who can build content for themselves. They can’t really share anything. And so, they will share, either output it via PDF from desktop, or they might create a presentation in Power BI and share it, like I’m presenting to you now. But they don’t really have the ability to share the interactive piece.
And so, if that’s OK, if your organization and that might be, that’s all you need for Power BI and that’s fully functional. You know, you can do a lot of stuff with the Power BI free license.
Typically, though, most people are looking at the consumer or pro license.
So this is that idea of people creating content inside of the organization and sharing it to other people who consume it within the, within the organization.
Now, every consumer of a Power BI report needs to have a pro license, so there’s no pro, and then for a person can consume that shared report. If you’re sharing to somebody, that person also needs a pro license, so that’s something to consider.
There’s also this concept of a premium license. This is typically for larger organizations sharing via the Power BI Service.
If you need paginated reporting, like bank statements or invoices that is in as a part of your reporting environment then you might need to look at a premium license. Consumers in this environment don’t need that pro license, so you can have thousands of users, and they all come into the premium service. They don’t need. You don’t need to buy a license for every user if you like. And so that’s a, that’s a consideration for those sort of larger organizations.
But it’s a monthly service, it’s a dedicated service, and so there’s, there’s costs associated with that.
If you’re talking about people who are creating content, they’re going to typically need, like a pro license. So people who are building content in Power BI for sharing this, your analysts, your power BI users, your developers, anyone like that is also going to have a pro license as well as those consumers.
There’s also concept of a premium per user license, which is a fairly new thing.
So you can have a user license that has premium features like the paginated reporting and that kind of stuff. This is typically for your analysts, but where you’re in an organization that where you do need those extra features.
And so that’ll be in an analyst report.
But another thing that you need to consider here is that those consumers of that content also need to have that PPU, the premium per user license. So you can have a pro user consume premium content.
And so, again, you have to think about that extra that extra costs, potentially for your premium users to consume premium content. It’s not very expensive.
It’s only $20 a month, or something per user extra, but it is something you need to think about.
Then, of course, you’ve got your admin and support people, right? And so, they’re the people who are your IT operations are going to provide supports, your Power BI people. They might do the Administration in Office 365 or debug reports, and they’re going to need a Pro license as well.
So they’re kind of the main user cohorts that you have, usually inside organizations, and then the people, the licensing levels, that. They need that. You have a few edge cases, as well, like, web developers. Who might do embedded content and that kind of stuff? It’s pretty easy to lookup which type of license that and it’s the default really is the pro license.
Another consideration before we roll out is who’s going to manage the service. So consider the day-to-day operation of this service, who’s going to manage it, who runs it.
Who adds new users, for example, or assigns licenses who sets the standards for your development. Do you create a look and feel that is common across all of your reports? And who’s going to administer? This works all the workspaces because in Power BI, you, but all these content, it lives inside workspaces and you need somebody to set the standards of how those workspaces work.
Is somebody going to be monitoring the service?
And one thing to consider here is that maybe you want to create like a centre of excellence or a virtual team that are responsible for some of these tasks rather than just lumping it all onto IT. I think there’s that’s common to think around BI services where IT has, to manage services like this. Power BI, you can actually manage quite effectively without having to rely very much on IT services, necessarily. And so that’s something for consideration.
Then, of course, finally, before we get to the actual rollout, all of the Power BI Service do consider governance and security. It’s a data platform project. We need to consider that governance and security really.
It’s very important. Of course, you need to have those conversations, any workshops around governance and security, before you roll out, like those decisions with those, with those stakeholders. There’s a great webinar from Senturus on the web, on governance, on just enough data governance, which is a great introduction to this topic. I recommend that you go and check that out.
Things like data accuracy, data, quality, who owns the data, is a really important piece of the governance world.
And you’re going to have operational people interacting with your Power BI or your data teams, because those operational people are responsible for entering the data for creating that data inside your environment, and they might have ownership and quality issues around that.
You also have people who are going to provide stewardship of the data, so people who do, who ensure that the data has flows through correctly and has that data quality, just like a pipeline.
And so all of those things are things that we have to consider before we even start thinking about rolling out our Power BI environment. And as you can see, there’s lots of stuff there too, to get your teeth sunk into before you even consider rolling out desktop to people.
And so we can’t go into a lot of detail in that, because we really have to get to our rollout considerations.
So, when I say, what our rollout considerations are, we’re really talking about sort of six main areas.
One is our rollout approach than the actual rollout of Power BI Desktop itself.
So the technology, if you like, selecting that pilot project, the change management of, you know, managing that change, then communications, and, of course, training.
So, let’s talk a little bit about the rollout approach.
So there’s really, uh, two main ways of approaching your Power BI rollout. And the first way that I want to talk to you about is what we call a phased rollout. So phased rollout is really, it’s A, where corporate BI, that sort of this idea of corporate BI is either your BI team, or your IT team.
And so they’re specialized data people inside your organization, and they do the first piece, right, which is that they evaluate the product, they set those governance and security standards that we spoke about.
They do the infrastructure setup, they look at support structures, and how that’s going to work really is, becomes an IT led solution, if you like.
And they put together a training program, so then after that’s finished, and so, in the second phase, you have the business engage with the tool. So they build on that foundation that’s already been laid down by IT.
They will do the, identify those champions inside your Power BI environment, and then they roll it out at a team, or at a department level. So that’s kind of like a two phase sort of rollout. And you can do it in many phases as you roll it out team by team.
The second type of rollout is what we call an organization Murat wide rollout.
And sometimes people call this a big bang approach, and this is where, really, things happen.
At the same time, you, you roll desktop out to your business at the same time as corporate BI, or the people who are responsible for administering service, doing the evaluation, governance, and security standards.
You’re setting that managed service, your setting up the infrastructure, and that kind of stuff.
The benefit of doing this way is, you know, it’s sort of time to value is much shorter, So the business can start using the tool, getting used to, the Power BI desktop, how it kind of works. That can stop playing around.
Whilst IT and the BI teams are sort of understanding the service a bit more, so you get the benefits of the tool, almost immediately.
The downside is that you can, it can sort of, and it can be sprawl, before IT, quite ready to adopt the tool. And so, you might have to have a bit of a rollback of some of those considerations around what, what people use and, and, and how things like workspaces are organized. You might need to mess around with that later down the track. And so, some organizations like this approach, because at the time to value, and some prefer a phased approach.
OK, so, talking about rolling out Power BI Desktop, is a desktop based tool, so, you’ve got a Content Creation pace. It’s a, it’s a tablet. It’s called Power BI Desktop. That’s, like a part of the Office Suite. You can download it. Anyone can go to the power BI.com and download the Power BI Desktop tool.
We need to think about the rollout of this tool inside your organization.
So, why are we thinking about Power BI Desktop Roll Rollout?
Well, the first reason is because when you’re creating, authoring, creating, and authoring content inside Power BI, you’ll have to think about the governance of that content rotten, and … of people using templates. Or are they using, they just creating stuff in, in their Power BI environment.
You have to think about the capacity, not only the capacity to support people who are using Power BI Desktop. So, do you have enough Support structure around to have a team of 30 people using Power BI Desktop? Ultimately, Power BI is a self-service tool. And so, in the ideal world, Power BI Desktop would be rolled out to the end users in Microsoft’s vision of the tool. If you like, this, Power BI Desktop is going to be sent to everybody. And so, you know, that is something that you need to think about in terms of support.
Also, you need to think about update frequency, right? So, this is probably all gets updated every week, actually, in the service and every month in the desktop tool.
So, you’re going to have this constantly evolving tool, potentially that users will be discovering new features. And if your Desktop Rollout strategy is, you know, on a maybe a yearly cadence of your App Developer App, Deployment strategy for your enterprise is. Quite slow. Then, Power BI is always going to be ahead of you. And so you’ll be getting questions from users around, you know, how we can have this new feature. Oh, there’s this cool thing that caveat in Power BI that we’d like to use, and you might need to deal with that from a support perspective.
Another thing around capacity is, like the capacity of the desktops that you’re installing Power BI on itself, right?
So, if you’re deploying power BI out to people, and you’ve got, uh, your, your desktops are only say four gig of ram, fabulous, quite memory, hungry. You need to understand what the implications of that are.
In terms of when people are developing stuff, they might not get the experience that they want.
So how do we look at our Power BI Desktop rollout? Consider that phased rollout. Obviously, you want to deploy it to probably two internal BI and IT teams first. Get them to check that all the capacity things, like the desktops will support it, that you can build content, all that kind of thing.
Um, we obviously want to be planning for that as we roll that out.
We also want to align our desktop rollout, was our training, right? So, there’s lots to learn in the Power BI world, and so people are very hungry for training, you’ll find when you first adopt the tool.
And so, you need to ensure that there’s available training programs, approved training programs, people, too, to use Power BI. And then, when they get their desktop, they want to be able to find that training, or be able to participate in that training as quickly as possible.
Then, of course, ensure that you’re ready for audit and security questions around data. So this is the data platform. You’re going to be audited if you’re in the large enterprise. And so you need to ensure that you understand the implications of, OK. So when somebody builds an import model inside Power BI, what happens with the data that gets that’s gets saved inside the PBX file on their desktop? What are the implications of that, And so forth?
OK, and the next phase of our Power B I rollout, we have to look at the selection of our pilot project. So, we always recommend that we do a pilot project. It’s a really great way to introduce the tool to the organization.
It’s a great, high value, low complexity project is going to give you the best foot forward in terms of your deployment.
Why are we doing this? It helps with quicker development, so you can get something out there quickly. You get a high value, relatively quickly.
You can sort of get wider reach in terms of, you can sort of advertise it to the business.
The impact of the business should be much greater, because we want to, we where we’ve got a structured projects that we’re sending out into the world, rather than sort of a random people doing their own little thing and, you want to minimize the disruption to people as they change over it, right? And, so, you need to introduce this tool in a specific way.
How to do your pilot projects, probably, the best way to do it is with your existing semantic models. And, what I mean is, like, it may be existing Cognos or SSIS models that I already have a nice reporting structure.
You might have some reports inside your organization that are already based on these sort of mature data platforms, and some of those, really, really great for moving your Power BI project into, right? So you can create a fairly good because the data is already structured.
A lot of the work inside Power BI obviously, is in that ETL space and getting the data sheet, correct, Lisa that it works for the report.
So if you’ve already got data in that shape, then you can usually put power BI over the top and create reports really, really quickly. So that’s a fantastic way to start your Power BI sort of journey inside the organization. So if you’ve got an existing data warehouses, for example, or you’ve already got high level aggregate data, that’s ready to go.
And ready to report on.
one thing that I will say, if you’ve got things like Excel or access based Solutions, Trade Fair, carefully around those, the reason is, is because Power BI is a reporting tool, and Excel axis less so, but specifically Excel.
There’s that concept of being able to update data inside the tool.
And so, Excel Solutions, I find, don’t make great targets, necessarily, for Power BI.
Reporting, unless the purely Excel reports in that they’re consuming data only, and they’re analysing data only.
If there’s any kind of data entry, paste inside your Excel sheet that you’re trying to move over. And everybody calls them reports. But they actually sort of mini applications inside Excel, with macros, and that kind of stuff.
Stay clear those. You have to, they’re going to be complex. They’re going to have a lot of considerations around how that data gets entered. Where does it get stored? And Power BI doesn’t necessarily provide that for you, so you need to think about that.
And you also want to create this development process that you’re doing, right. So you’ve got this prototyping stage, and so this is where you’re building out those prototypes. And you can refine this while you’re doing this pilot project. How do we build a prototype? How do we sort of throw something together, so that people can see what it’s going to look like, and then create new reports?
So now the next consideration is change management, right?
And so we’ve rolled out our Power BI Desktop. We’ve had a look at that pilot project and selected that and had a look at how are we going to do that? And now we’re looking to manage the changeover from either our old tools to this new sort of environment.
So why do we want to do this? Well, we need to make that case for change with our users, right?
We want to ensure we get a smooth transition from the users who used to the old tool. Ed, you know, it’s, it’s almost impossible to get a person who really loves Excel of Excel.
And, so, in Power BI doesn’t really tried to do that. It’s a different tool in a lot of ways. But you do need to have that conversation with your users around what they’re using now and transition them to this new environment. Because Power BI is different to a lot of other tools like that. A lot of legacy reporting tools if you’re using Crystal Reports or Cognos or things like that, there’s a very different look and feel. The why the interactions work is different. Why you model data is different.
And so, those things need to be spoken.
You need to have that piece, that conversation with your, with your users.
What’s the best way to do this? Usually, organizations will have change management specialists to their larger.
If you swallow, you might consider getting a change management specialist in, you could reach out to senturus and they can help you with this change management into this new data platform.
There are chat, whole change management platforms. You might have a tool that helps you with your change management. Obviously, that’s something that you can do.
It’s really about managing the process of transition, right?
And, and, and you want to ensure that you have a process in place where you’ve thought about, OK, in Stage one, we’re going to be here, and then in Stage five, this is where everybody is using Power BI. And they’re all happy, you know?
And so what are those steps from, from the initial sort of, sort of, looking at Power BI all the way through to, OK, now, Power BI is here, inside the organization.
You want to be able to provide clarity to people on timelines and potentially run them in parallel. So you know your, you’ve got your two tools and, and so when that, when we switch from one to the other for this team?
And, and, and then, so you want to We want to think about the process, then, think about the staging of that process, the, the workflow of that process.
And then, how long do you run in parallel so that people can reconcile their data, which is really, really important for a lot of people?
OK, so we’ve thought about our change management process, and now we’re ready to communicate this with the rest of the organization, so why do we need to think about these communications?
Well, obviously, to avoid that confusion and uncertainty that comes with change, right? And so people need to know what’s happening.
And when it’s, you know, this idea of signposting, you’re traveling along the highway, and you can see how far away you are from the goal, you know, And so you want to create ensure that your communications are coming out to people at a cadence, where people can see where they’re up to and see how far they’ve got to go.
So, how to do this? We really need to, like, align the purpose of our values, as right, and so the first thing you want to be doing as a part of your communications is ensure that the structured in a way where you’re, they’ve got a particular purpose for that communication.
If that makes sense.
So, you’re, if you’re, if you’re rolling this Power BI Desktop out, you will need to have communications that align with that rollout of Desktop, OK, we’re going to be rolling out desktop.
You might be doing that through maybe an e-mail when the person first gets that desktop installed from IT. An e-mail also automatically goes out to them explaining what desktop is and here is how you get information about this and ensuring that those two things are in alignment.
You also need to align it with your licenses, right?
So when that person gets their license and they can login to the, to the service. We don’t want to just leave them out there on a raft by themselves. We want to give them those communications. Here’s how you log into the service. Here’s what it can do. Here’s what here’s our policies around it, and that kind of stuff.
Ensure that you’ve got that governance overview available for people so that they know who, what they can and can’t do with the Power BI service.
They have access to their key contacts, and I really know how to get started, right? And so they’re the key things around.
We’re getting caveats, that purpose alignment is we’re getting caveat because we because you know this is a strategic direction, the whole organizations decided to go down. We want to make sure that we create a data culture inside our organization, that kind of stuff. Here’s your license. Here’s what you can and can’t do.
Here’s the people and here’s how you get started are really the key things inside those communications A great way to We’re going backwards, excuse me a great way to do comms is to create videos.
So, you can create, you know, like all these modern tools, and a lot of us are working from home. You’ve got these. What the, the, the idea of creating, you know, videos around how to do certain things with your data, inside your organization, right?
And so why would we do this.
It’s a great way to get started, for people to first consume the Power BI Service.
They can see sort of the interactivity, they can consume it on demand, and it’s a format that most people prefer these days. You know, just like a webinar. People like to be able to consume this information in sort of a video form on demand.
So, a good way to do this is to create project videos like an introduction to a project. You’ll want to highlight those key capabilities of Power BI or the project that we’re building. And so, a demonstration of the, the report itself and how it interacts with each other.
How you would use this specific report, or set of reports, then, you know, next steps to go to.
So, what do you, what can you do from here? How do we, How do we get value out of this particular report inside Power BI? So you creating this video, that’s, like a demonstration of how to do these things. And you can embed that video back into the Power BI reporting platform via an app, and people can consume it as they’re consuming the report, so they can have one page where it shows the report. And the second page is the video of how to use the report. So, that’s a great way to do it.
OK, so we’ve got our carbons out there now, and then we’ve spoken a little bit about our trading platforms. So, now we need to get those people tried, right? We need to get the people who are using Power BI trained in how to use Power BI Desktop.
So why are we doing that? We want to make sure that we’re enabling our employees appropriately, right? We want to minimize fear and resistance inside the organization, and training helps to do that, right? So the more people know the list they get a resist, didn’t fear the changeover and to minimize risk of problems where they accidentally share data they shouldn’t have.
You know, there’s options inside Power BI to associate to the web and to share to people outside the organization, and people need to understand the implications of that. You can turn them off. But also a key piece of this is going to be training.
So, how to do that? Well, you need to do, you know, your training needs assessment.
There’s that establishment of training programs and leveraging those online resources, and we’ll talk a bit more about this in the Support area.
And really, the key thing is piloting that training and getting feedback. You can, of course, engage with partners like senturus, who can help you with your whole data platform training needs.
And so, these are the six main considerations for our Power BI rollout area.
So, we’ve really got, we spoke about our rollout approach, we spoke about that rollout of Power BI Desktop.
So getting desktop out there and thinking about what our PCs can handle, selecting that pilot project.
Talking about the change management pace and maybe some of those communications around the, the using videos and things like that to communicate these new projects and, of course, training.
So, after we’ve rolled it out, we’re really getting into the post rollout consideration. So, really, this is about support. How do we support this service going forward? Who’s responsible for it? What are the different types of support that we need to provide?
So, really, you can break down the support for pretty much any IT service into three different main types, right? The first one is what we call break fix, so people are broken down on the side of the road and they need someone to help them right now.
The second piece is called enhancements.
And so, that’s 80 or you’re monitoring enhancements. So, using the car analogy, that’s the pimp my ride style thing, where we want to add bullhorns to the front.
And sometimes they major enhancements typically When we talk about major enhancements, we are talking about big projects.
Then the third type is what we call enablement. And so that’s like a GPS, You know, so it’s an enhancement that helps you be better at what you do, you know? And so we really want to provide our users the three main, different types of support. So let’s have a quick look at some of those needs.
So break fix.
Sorry, I’ll use it as a broken down and they need support right now. Obviously, this is probably a mandamus, mandatory service for you inside your organization.
This is something that you’re going to have to think about in terms of, you know, it has to really have to be there.
When you will, deploying Power BI as a project, it’s probably your break fix needs to be included in that project budget.
How are you going to create this break fixed support for a particular project? You’ll need to make sure you’ve got budget for that.
People who understand your specific so your specific project is going to be potency knowledge of the project and what they tried to do, and also knowledge of the Power BI tool, right? So you really need to know the project well, and they started the tool. Well, And you’re off often in break fix. You’re working towards service level agreements. So you create agreements between the different teams to ensure that, if something breaks here, we got an hour to fix it. Because it’s critical. Well, we’ve got a couple of days to fix it.
And so, coming to those agreements early on when you’re thinking about the support is really important.
If you’ve got your day, so that’s a project break fix. If you like, your day-to-day break fix. So, what we call like business as usual, style, break fix, that’s also going to be a mandatory service. That typically comes from your IT budget. Right? So that’s your IT team is going to do your business as usual, sort of break fix support. But, they still need to have a good understanding of the Power BI Service. So that knowledge is going to be important for your support teams.
And as usual, they’re going to be working towards service level agreements as well. And quick turnaround is always the thing in IT support.
So ensuring that your, your support people have the appropriate training to be able to support this service.
When it comes to monitor enhancements, this is usually perceived as an essential service. It’s not necessarily mandatory, but a lot of people will want to make minor enhancements off. The projects finished, you know, there’s a concept of a warranty period. If you’re an external consultant that deals in power BI like me, then everything we build, it tends to come with some kind of warranty. After we finished building it, or something broke, or you want to make a monitor enhancement. There’s always a discussion about whether that’s a chargeable item or not a chargeable item when you’re external, and then the same sort of thing when you’re internal as well.
People generally will want to add little bits and pieces around the sides. And that idea of scope creep inside projects can be, can be a real problem. So you need to think about that.
How many minor enhancements that we prepared to do? And what is a minor enhancement versus, say, a project?
You want to put this inside that project budget. So you want to make sure that there’s capacity in the budget for it to be able to do this kind of stuff.
Obviously, people will need to know what happened before usually, so you, they need to have that knowledge of what happened in the project to be able to do these enhancements correctly and obviously you really need to have good knowledge of the tool, like Power BI, right?
So, they need to you need experts in Power BI to be able to provide these enhancements for people.
Usually, you want to agree the timescale for your monitor enhancements. So, OK, we got to have, say, three weeks of minor changes after the proposed end of the project. Something like that, you’ll want to agree that at the beginning during the scoping.
You definitely don’t want to be leaving this sort of conversation to the end where you can get yourself in trouble from a scope creep perspective.
What are our options for break fix and monitor enhancements? There’s lots of different options. We can look at Microsoft Power BI support. Microsoft have premier support system, you could look at your internal infrastructure or your internal BI. And of course, you could talk to partners, like Senturus to help you with your break fix annual monitoring enhancements areas, right?
So if you don’t have really the capacity inside your organization to, to, you know, have experts available on call all the time, because people are still sort of letting the service, then definitely, you want to be leveraging partners like Senturus who have people who really know these services. I understand data.
And they can bring that knowledge to the table, and then you can use them as you as you require them.
And so think about that from your break fix support, annual monitoring enhancement support.
In terms of enablement, usually enablement is more real time style enhancement for people, so that’s going to come out of your day to day team budget. So this is more operational, the people inside your organization who are in a team. And the enablement is often training, right?
They want to get more training. They want to get better at Power BI in some way or they want to build cooler reports.
Then usually that’s going to come out of your training team budget for that organization to be able to provide that. You need to have a really, really good knowledge of the tool, because you need to train people in the tool.
And a great way to do this is to create, like, a centre of excellence, or, like, a hub, where people can come together and share, and share knowledge around the tool, and how they’re using it, and tips and tricks, and that kind of stuff.
And so, that’s a great way to think about how you’re going to enable the broader user group of Power BI inside your organization.
So, let’s have a look at some of the options. Like I said, that Centre of Excellence has got to be really, really important. You can have a dedicated Power BI enablement team. So you could have might have a team inside your organization that’s specifically dedicated to helping people and training them, and that kind of stuff.
Lunch and learns and things like this webinar are a fantastic way to, you know, further enable people inside their Power BI.
You might want to publish it to your internal website.
I have ongoing training or provide an advisory service. There’s a few others.
There’s Power BI, Community websites, courses and YouTube videos.
YouTube guys, like Garda, CUBE-R is fantastic. You’ve got Power BI I user groups.
So I run the Power BI user group in Melbourne here in Australia. We’ve got like 2.5 thousand members of our user group. We get 100 people come and share knowledge and network and the old Power BI users. And it’s a great way for us to create a community.
Really, the Power BI community is fantastic. There’s a huge number of people that they love helping each other, community.powerBI.com. You can go there. I think there’s 700,000 questions already answered about Power BI on the service.
You can pretty much find the answer to anything you need, from a Power BI perspective through the community.
So, that’s a great one to keep in mind.
And it’s a bit of a whirlwind tour. I know. And it’s a lot of information. And, I appreciate that. And that’s why I’m glad that this is recorded. So you can take notes and you can maybe show this to your team, and you can have a conversation about all these different things, right? So, you really need to talk about why we need that rollout strategy. We need to come up with something. We need to have a strategy to rollout.
All those considerations before we roll out and each one of those could be their own webinar.
You know, there’s lots of things going on there, but then also those different rollout considerations that we spoke about, those six main rollout considerations and then, finally, that support, that break fix, the monitoring enhancements and the enablement support.
And that is just about it. So, there’s my contact details. Thank you very much for having me, and, I’ll be more than happy to connect with you if you want to talk about this. This is one of my favourite areas is talking about, how do we get Power BI in and how do we get people using it?
And so, please connect with me, and it’d be great to, to chat further.
With that, over to you, Mike.
Great, Thanks, Greg. That was definitely a whirlwind tour. Always a lot of great information in that presentation.
Stick around, everybody.
We have a couple of slides here before we get to the Q and A. Certainly enter your questions into the Q and A panel, and we’ll definitely get to those in just a few minutes here.
I spent a lot of time on this because Greg actually started peppered that in here throughout.
But, whatever it is, whether you’re dipping your toe in the water here, or you’re well down the path, and you’re looking to expand it to the enterprise, harden it, scale it and do all those great things.
Whether its strategy and governance architecture, pilot program development, enablement, and training, full spectrum capabilities, we can help you from everything from preplanning to your ongoing enablement.
Senturus. This is all we do. it is we focus our expertise on business intelligence.
All we do all day, every day, we have a depth of knowledge across the entire BI stack.
We are known by our clients for providing clarity from the chaos, complex business requirements, disparate data sources, and constantly moving targets, made a name for ourselves because of our strength in bridging the gap between IT and business users.
We deliver solutions that give you access to reliable analysis, ready data across your organization, so you can quickly and easily get answers at the point of impact in the form of the decisions you make and the actions you take.
In terms of that full spectrum of BI services, you can go to the next slide there, Greg. Senturus is leading experts in the field of analytics. You can read through the bullets here. We have years of pragmatic, real-world expertise, and experience advancing state-of-the-art.
We’re so confident in our team and the Senturus methodology that we back our projects with a 100% money back guarantee that’s unique in the industry.
And we’ve been doing this for quite a while, we’ve been doing it for over two decades at this point.
Over 1350 happy clients and 3000 plus successful projects, ranging from the Fortune 500 to the mid-market, no doubt you recognize most, if not all of those logos there We solve business problems across, just about every industry, and every functional area, including the office of finance, sales and marketing, manufacturing, operations, HR, and IT.
Our team is both large enough to address all of your business analytics needs, yet small enough to provide personalized attention.
If you’re reading some of this and you see what we bring to the table, and think you might be interested in joining the Senturus, his team, we are currently hiring.
We’re looking for modern analytics, solution, architect, a senior Microsoft BI architect, ETL developers and others.
You can look for those job descriptions at the Senturus website or submit your resume and or submit your resume to [email protected].
We have hundreds of free resources on our website, including webinars such as this one. We encourage you to visit Senturus.com and head over to the Resources tab at the URL you see there.
And, finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about all our great training in all the major platforms. We support Microsoft Power BI Tableau, and IBM Cognos Analytics.
We offer all the different modes from one to many tailor group sessions, or, sorry, one too many mentoring tailored group sessions, instructor led online courses, and self-paced eLearning were especially ideal for organizations who are running multiple platforms, or those who might be moving from one to another.
And, as you can see we provide hundreds of free resources on our website.
Again, that’s at the Resources tab, can find great webinars,
product demos, upcoming events. We don’t have any listed, right now, kind of a summer break.
We are always interesting and up to the minute, easily digestible blogs.
And with that, we are at the Q and A here and jump over to that.
It’s some good questions here.
One of them is, so what is the best approach for creating workspaces, and deploying content quickly, and be able to maintain that easily with, with less effort on IT, servicing, and they’re saying, I guess, coming from Dev, QA, and prod.
So, I think it sounds like more of a deployment question, and, and life cycle management.
That’s kind of a big question, I know.
Yeah, that’s a great question, though, that’s one way.
A lot of people have problems getting the head around, and like I said, you can do it in a couple of different ways. You can do that phased approach, where your IT is setting the standards in terms of, you know, what weights what workspaces can and can’t do.
Excuse me that my short tip for that is don’t let everybody create web workspaces.
That’s the first thing is probably the thing that that catches people out most is that when you have workspaces that, that the sort of workspace sprawl where people are sort of creating workspaces all over the place. You need to have some structure around that. If you want to minimize the impact on IT, then that concept of a centre of excellence and then, getting the people who are in the Centre of Excellence to manage the service is a fantastic way to reduce your IT impact for Power BI, Power BI, like, people want to use it in particular ways. And, and, keeping up with that can be can be a little bit awkward in terms of that Dev, test, Prod, Deployment Style stuff.
If you’re in a premiums.
If you’re a very large organization, and you’re in a premium space, there is deployment, actual deployment pipelines in Power BI, where you it creates a dev, test, and prod workspace for you. And then you publish to dev, and it automatically publishes to test and prod as you, as you sort of elevated up the deployment space, which you could look into for your organization.
Otherwise, it’s really comes down to that.
And yet, defining the structure of workspaces early on, and really, really thinking about how you’re going to structure those workspaces can be, like, that’s a whole conversation in itself with your end users, Because workspaces, if you think about Power BI content, it can be either functional, so you’ve got like, HR reporting, You know, and that’s all the reporting team, inside HR.
Like, oh, the reporting team inside HR, I might want to have access to a particular set of content, but then you have HR reporting, say across managers, right, So, that’s what all managers inside your organization.
Get access to a HR report, which is basically their team, or maybe their annual leave liability, or whatever that report might be.
And so, you’ve got functional and cross functional, workspace, and the way that you organize those, it can get a little bit. So they can melt your brain when you’re trying to organize this matrix of workspaces. It usually doesn’t fit a really specific pattern. Then you do need to have a little bit of flexibility there. And so, getting the business, people involve the people who actually want to use this content, you want to get them involved, like through that Centre of Excellence and then get them to manage it. You know, you’ve got the full capability from an IT perspective to assign a Power BI admin and give them specific rights in the Power BI Service without sort of giving up all of the, all of the access.
So, that’s how I usually approach that with, with people.
Yeah, there’s a lot there, and, again, that’s something that we help people with all the time.
There’s another question that’s another kind of a big one too around.
The question, is not 100% clear, so, I’m going to try to paraphrase it or clean it up a little bit.
So, it says, How to define complexity when you’re moving from Cognos to Power BI, knowing that some function that there will be functionality differences? It says, here that something that only exists in power doesn’t exist in power BI and only exists in Cognos.
I would say there are potentially functionality differences.
Both ways, right? You’re going to see things that are in power BI that aren’t in Cognos and vice versa.
So, then, how do you, how do you kind of make that more of an apples to apples comparison when you’re making that move.
Yeah, this is a consideration for not just any legacy, any legacy platform or any platform. From Tableau, to Power BI, making that change both ways. There are huge differences in the way Microsoft organized their data platform versus the way called loss and other technology companies organize that. They think differently. They have access to different technologies, in terms of IP, Microsoft have access to what they call the … engine, which is a pivot table engine, kind of, sits underneath Power BI, and Excel and Analysis Services.
And the structure of that engine means that, the way you interact with the data and the way that you shape the data and prepare, it is different to the way that you might do it for other tools.
And so, in terms of defining the complexity, I think that you do need to, if you’re in that situation, where you’re moving from a tool. Particularly one that has really high adoption, and that everybody loves. If you’re doing and, say, you’re moving Power BI for cost reason, right? Rather than a functionality reason, then that can be a very difficult transition. And you need, you need to be able to ensure, that’s where that training piece comes in, and that’s where yet you might want to do a phased approach. Where IT, you know, work with not a lot of centers who really know both tools.
Who can explain the differences and show them, show them how to do that, I guess.
Yeah, I think you hit the key point there was, somebody, you have to know, both tools, Right?
You’re going to learn Chinese, and you’re an English speaker, you need someone who knows both the languages, and there’s differences in terminology, differences in architecture.
Just differences in approaches, and that’s why, you know, we’ve really, we really only focused on those three major platforms.
So, we’re deepen those in, our experts, can kind of, give me the secret decoder ring, because that’s an important part of your of any project when you’re talking about, you know, rolling out Power BI, especially migrating are something like Cognos.
So, can your pilot project be the first phase of your rollout?
Or is the pilot project discarded in that instance?
Yeah, so we have, we have two concepts of pilot project when we’re doing like structured, Power BI, adoption, pace the first one we call the proof of concept.
And the second one we call the pilot project. So the proof of concept project is something that is usually very small, it’s often based on an existing cube or something. It’s really an introduction to the tool and you kind of want to make it as easy as possible.
That’s often discarded because that is just, can we deploy power BI. What are the considerations IT to sort of dip their toe in the water without committing too much? And, and you might sort of, here’s a report, and we just sort of throw something together to show it, show it working.
Your pilot project, which is sort of the next phase, that’s, that’s the first, actual project. So yeah. That’s one way you’re looking to build something that will be moot used ongoing inside the organization.
And, you know, with typically when you’re doing, you’re trying to get the person, like the team, people in the team, to build it themselves. And, so, that pilot project is a lot about holding their hand while they’re building that content, Ensuring that, you know, they don’t stray off into an area that is, you know, too complex or, and so that, the ID areas that, that continues on and then that same fix that project up and they continue to support that piece of reporting going forward.
Great. And, so, here’s another question: what are the Power BI development roles that are required for rollout?
Power BI development roles.
In terms of the actual developers, usually when you’re doing your initial rollout pace, you’re going to have you a full stack Power BI developer.
So, if you think in Power BI, you have to wear different hats to be a full stack Power BI person.
And so, that is the first hat, like a Power Query expert, somebody who understands ETL concepts, data, data pipeline concepts, data engineering.
And so that’s the first space, and then understands the Power Query language. So often, people are coming from an SQL background, and SQL and Power Query quite different in terms of the way that they approach things. So you need your SQL people to be trained up really well in Power Query, and understand what the differences are between the two things, so that’s your first row. The second role is somebody who understands star schema Kimball by star schema modelling to really understand how Power BI prefers to have their data models work. So that’s that data model, the tables, and the relationships between those tables. And then, of course, DAX data analytics, expression language. The big thing for Power BI that’s really where a lot of the power of Power BI is having someone who understands that that deeply as well. So, having a DAX developer is really important. And of course, this could be one person. It often is, they learn Power Query and X and data modelling. And then, of course, administration of the tenant.
If you’re going to be going down that rollout pace, depending on the size of your organization, you might need to have a few people that really understand those pieces pretty well. So that they can help other people sort of adopt the tool and get it going.
Great, well, it’s, it’s top of the hour here, just a little bit past.
I want to be respectful and mindful of our audience here, as well, Greg.
So, with there are few questions left, we will provide written answers to those and post them to the website. This is a strategic topic. So the questions tend to be a little more in depth and therefore might require a little more thought. So with that, I’ll close. And first of all, if you want to move to the last slide there, Greg. Thank you again, for a great presentation. Thank you, our audience for joining us. If we can help you with any of this stuff that we talked about on this topic, or anything else, business analytics related, please feel free to reach out to us. You can see our e-mail at [email protected]. Or we have an 888-601-6010 number if anyone still picks up the phone anymore.
And we look forward to hearing from you and seeing you on an upcoming Knowledge series event. Thank you very much, and have a great rest of your day.