Implementing Power BI: Best Practices

Once you’ve made the decision to streamline your business by implementing Power BI, you have some preparation to do. Learn more!

Sara Silver

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    Once you’ve made the decision to streamline your business by implementing Power BI, you have some preparation to do. As nice as it would be, Power BI isn’t an instant fix, but there are some things you can do to smooth the transition and end up with a better workflow that leads to more informed, data-driven business decisions.

    One of the first things you need to do is decide if you want to work with an implementation partner. The consultants at Velosio are experienced, knowledgeable, and know the right questions to ask to help you get what you want out of Power BI, but depending on what you need and the in-house expertise your team has, you may not need that level of support. If you’re unsure, we’re always happy to talk with you and help you walk through the decision-making process.  

    Regardless of whether you choose to work with an implementation partner or not, a little preparation is still in order to make sure the end result is what you wanted when you chose to make the investment in business intelligence.  

    Begin With the End in Mind 

    Before you do anything else, you need to know what you want at the end of the process. Why are you implementing Power BI? What specific report do you need? Who will it benefit, and what do they want to see? Although those questions may seem basic, they’re very important because having a clear understanding of your goals is the best way to create a path toward them efficiently.  

    Discuss the reports you want to generate with the stakeholders. The people who consume the report are the ones who can tell you what they need the most. For example, if you’re generating a report on labor for your human resources department, you may ask them to give you a list of the most important information to include. You may even want them to provide a sketch of how they’d like to see it presented, or you might provide them with a simplified sample layout to see if it’s what they need.  

    Assign Ownership 

    For each report you intend to generate in Power BI, one person should be designated as the owner. Giving one person the responsibility for the report helps to build a clear workflow and creates a central point of contact which is helpful.  Once someone has ownership of a given report, there needs to be a clear way to request changes, and a workflow that can be documented, so that if anything goes wrong in an iteration, you can figure out what and how.  

    Be Prepared to Connect the Dots 

    Power BI doesn’t instantly pull all of your sources together, although that’s the end result. When you’re in the implementation stage, you need to connect all of your information sources, whether they are software platforms, spreadsheets, or other data repositories, to the Power BI system. That takes a bit of technical work early on, but it should only be a one-time effort. Once you’ve connected your various sources, you don’t have to do it again. 

    Fact Check 

    In the beginning, you want to make sure your reports are factually correct. Errors can occur due to mistakes in connecting different information sources, or in how the reports are configured. You may have conflicting sources of information.  

    Spending some time fact-checking your report early on gives you and your team confidence in Power BI. You wouldn’t want to base business decisions on information you don’t trust, so double-checking is a crucial element in implementation.  

    Test, Test Again, Iterate and Test Some More 

    At first, you want to test with a small group. Release the report, get feedback, make changes, ensure those changes didn’t break anything else, and release the next report.

    This process gives all of the stakeholders an opportunity to voice opinions and make requests, which increases the value of your report.  

    Get in Touch

    If the process of implementation feels overwhelming, get in touch. We’re happy to talk with you about our implementation services, and help you decide if that is a good path for you, or to give you advice about going it alone. Power BI offers so many business benefits that getting past the hurdle of implementation is well worth the effort. 

    Sara Silver

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