Five Questions You Need To Answer To Get The Most Out Of Power BI

You bought Power BI. Now what?

Several organizations that we’ve spoken to focus their time and efforts on developing Power BI assets and content.  They seem to only think about their deployment and governance approach as an afterthought. This approach leads to a number of unintended consequences that ultimately impact the organizations adoption and value they get out of a leading analytics and business intelligence tool such as Power BI.

Deploying Power BI without the appropriate planning and preparation sets the organization up for several challenges down the road.  Power BI is a suite of tools and services which enables the acquisition of data, data transformation, data modeling, data visualizations, reports, and dashboard that can be distributed throughout and organization.  When deployed properly the organization can modernize the way it operates. 

1. What’s your plan to deploy the following components? 

Power BI Desktop, Power BI Service, Power BI App Workspace, Power BI App, Power BI Mobile Apps, On-Premises Data Gateway, Power BI Premium, Power BI Report Server, Power BI Embedded.

2. What’s your licensing model and how does that impact deployment?

Your Power BI licensing model significantly impacts your deployment options and scalability possibilities.  The Power BI licensing model provides a number of options to simplify deployment for the varying needs of individuals, small groups, large department, large organizations, and external users.

3. What’s your intended governance model?

Corporate BI – a centralized IT team responsible for producing all assets throughout the organization. Hybrid BI – the IT team produces the data transformations and data models and the business users cre develop content (reports / dashboards).  Self-Service BI – the business users have full capability to build end to end solutions.

4. What types of users will be using Power BI, where do they sit in the organization, and how many?

Consumers - who utilize the existing content, Power Users - who are creating reports and dashboards, Super Users – who can also create data transformations and data models, and BI Developers – who can do all of the above while building enterprise level content.

5. What are your data sources and what type are they?

Do your data sources sit On-Prem or in the cloud?  Are they structured or unstructured? Is data decentralized or centralized?  How are these data sources modeled and will there be numerous integrations and transformation that will need to occur in Power BI?  

The Results

The result of not properly planning out an organization deployment and governance approach leads to a variety of unintended consequences.   Reports scattered throughout, duplicate efforts, poor performance, data quality challenges, and a variety of other challenges that will drive to an inefficient 

A successful Power BI deployment

When Power BI is properly deployed business users are enabled with fast, accurate, and easy to understand data which ultimately drives adoption and organization enablement. Success enables business users to spend less time collecting and manipulating data and more time analyzing data to deliver business value. Blending enterprise data and BI investments with self-service and ad-hoc analytics delivers the agility your business needs to keep up with the pace of change.

Written by Mike Sargo
Mike Sargo is Chief Data and Analytics Officer and Co-Founder of Data Ideology with over 18 years of experience leading, architecting, implementing, and delivering enterprise analytics, business intelligence, and enterprise data management solutions.