How to create your enterprise data strategy with Microsoft Power BI

Creating an enterprise data strategy can be time-consuming, and difficult. Often the decision of whether the data is the primary corporate asset must come from the top of management. Often the buy-in from higher-ups is difficult and cumbersome. However, it must be recognized that data is the asset from which we can make informed business decisions and thus needs to be protected.

Utilizing data as a corporate benefit requires several technical and analytical skills. The following few stages, point out some of the primary goals in building and utilizing a data strategy to manage, and ensure the delivery of consistent, high quality data.

Awareness

Without knowing the power of your data you’re left unaware and unable to make informed decisions. Today business’s use data to increase revenue, reduce costs, improve customer service, improve customer loyalty and overall customer satisfaction. A business that invests in the data will see the highest return. What I mean is – Investing in the people, processes, and technology required to manage data, as you would any other corporate asset, will be the key to unveiling the value behind the numbers.

Requirements

Local data requirements fit the bill for you. You know the names, you know the fields, you understand the terminology, but if anyone was to take over your job responsibilities it would take months for them to get up to speed and understand what you’ve put together.

Enterprise data requirements fit the bill for everyone. Self-Service Business Intelligence is going to be one of the top features demanded by the Intelligence users. Microsoft Power BI offers a platform for just that. Self-Service is so engrained in the Power BI platform, that by utilizing the UI features of Power Query, Power View, and Power Charts in Power BI, it’s rather simple to centralize, scrub, and distribute your data with little to no technical experience.

If we can create an interface for users of all shapes and sizes to access pertinent company data anytime-from anywhere, all the while maintaining high standards for data quality and data integrity; We can effectively de-fragment business units and allow collaboration by previously disjointed teams through

Data Governance

Data Governance fundamentals surround a program that the business designs and data management team executes. These processes and procedures are used to fulfill the obligations of the data governance team. A solid data governance team manages the change management of any updates to the data source and target systems or data structure, and implement new practices based on accelerating the adoption from users and remaining reliable, long term. Microsoft Power BI makes this possible by giving those rules and processes a place to live, while cohabitating with your data, relationship model, and reporting services.

Data governance must also manage a certain level of data integration. Silos of data sitting on separate servers in separate environments, perhaps even at separate locations, with no data centralization doesn’t exactly create the most collaborative environment for any BI, let alone self-service or governed BI. Data management and operations is key to the integration process yet is sometimes disassociated from processes that load and transform data until the warehousing stage. Power BI allows us to manipulate data using Power Query’s versatile built-in functions.

Power BI is becoming increasingly useful for collecting, sharing, and manipulating enterprise data in one place. Not only is Power BI’s interface refined and well thought out in terms of ergonomics, they have a large community of users like you or me, dedicated to requesting new features and functionality. One of Microsoft’s best qualities is their extremely efficient development lifecycles surrounding its monthly releases. For example, I’ve seen requests for functionality like report themes for your colors palette, making all your visuals follow the same color scheme. They recently adopted that functionality in their May 2017 release. Microsoft supports a very large community which provides an excellent foundation to consolidate ideas surrounding security, data, and sharing via the Power BI Community.

One of the latest user-driven-feature increases availability of data to users by allowing the use of a single dataset connected live to be distributed to across multiple departments of your organization. They’ve deployed this feature in a way that is simple to figure out. Connect to live datasets and create custom reports independent of others in the organization while sharing the same dataset with them. Combining this distributed approach with the row-level security features and Azure active directory is a no-brainer in terms of all in one secure reporting. With the April 2017 release, you can control report audiences from viewing confidential business data on live datasets from the Power BI Service.

This feature pushes Microsoft’s Power BI into a new realm of enterprise data integration, sharing, visualization and reporting. It satisfies most data needs, including security, row level data control, data scrubbing, and relationship maintenance. Looking at the big picture, how can you beat that?

When you can utilize one tool for integration of all your business operations surrounding data management; you’ve identified how you can implement an enterprise data strategy for your business. Leveraging the features of Power BI like multi-data source centralization, scheduled operational refreshes, and powerful interactive visuals, you are doing more than just implementing another tool, you’re enabling your enterprise users with an affordable, secure, all-in-one platform to begin asking the right questions, and finding out the right answers.

Want to learn more about our business intelligence offerings? Download an overview of our data analytics services:

Download our Data Analytics Overview[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

By | 2017-11-30T22:44:40+00:00 April 28th, 2017|Business Intelligence|34 Comments

About the Author:

Anthony is a Senior BI Consultant working out of Chicago. He has six years of experience in Business Intelligence (BI) with a focus on Power BI, Internet of Things (IoT), and Big Data. He possesses strong data warehousing and SQL skills, including SSIS and SSRS. He also has programming experience with power shell, C# and asp.net.

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