Microsoft’s Power BI makes manipulating and analyzing massive amounts of data to drive business insights easy and manageable. By applying powerful, advanced analytics to business challenges, business users can extract information for better data-driven decisions.
However, we have seen many situations of low adoption of any BI solution, let alone Power BI, at companies of different sizes and industries. The most common issues we see are inaccurate data, dashboards or data presentations that don’t give the end users what they need, and providing one BI presentation mechanism that is supposed to fit all end-users' needs, most of whom are not analytics savvy. We know from years of experience not everyone who uses data to do their job has technical and analytical skills.
In this eBook, we’ll discuss the common challenges associated with business intelligence adoption, strategies and solutions for leveraging data analytics, answer the most common questions about BI migration and adoption for all end-users, and explain how Power BI services are key to creating a culture of data-driven decisions.
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Big Data used to be reserved for the world’s largest companies with access to only the largest supercomputers. Today, the amount of data being collected, processed, stored, and analyzed is staggering and it’s impacting organizations of all sizes and industries.
Yet, many businesses struggle with data. Legacy systems can become overwhelmed with the volume and velocity of data streaming into the organization. Platform costs constantly seem to escalate. Data silos continue to proliferate.
At the same time, organizations want to expand their use of data. Economic pressures are forcing a rethinking or retooling of company data-driven initiatives. As such, businesses are looking for ways to reduce operating expenses to fund essential digital transformation projects to power future growth.
These are just a few of the reasons companies are adopting Microsoft Power BI.
More than 500,000 organizations and 97% of Fortune 500 companies are using Power BI
for data analytics.
The tight integration with the entire Microsoft ecosystem of applications also makes it an attractive solution for both ease of use and total cost of ownership (TCO).
Also, if companies already use Microsoft tools, the security requirements to protect data for business intelligence and analytics have already been addressed.
Common Challenges with Business Intelligence Adoption
Most organizations have built their tech stack over time, building new solutions on top of legacy platforms. Using multiple, disparate BI and reporting systems create integration problems, complicating the user experience and data integrity. While adopting Power BI can solve this, there are challenges to doing so effectively.
Here are some of the key challenges companies face with adopting business intelligence solutions, including Power BI.
Companies often attempt to implement business intelligence directly by accessing data sources to create dashboards without first building their data analytics strategy to ensure the analytics will be accurate, reliable, and sustainable over the long term.
Even if you are using Power BI to power your data analytics, there are still important steps that must be taken into consideration to create a robust end-to-end solution.
Often businesses use their BI tools to do all of their data cleansing and integration in the BI tool. This complicates the development process and delays the deployment of the solution to the business. Data management functions, however, should be done in the back end, where data is prepared and validated before leveraging it in the BI tools for reporting and analytics.
Failing to address these challenges can create significant problems, including:
- Continued cost increases due to the inability to utilize qualified IT resources to keep up with
- Decreasing end-users' dissatisfaction with business intelligence processing
- Poor decision-making due to inconsistencies in the results generated by the BI solution
Many organizations still look at these challenges as strictly IT problems. For example, when building out reports for business users, IT developers typically have a one-and-done mentality. While IT support plays a vital role in the solution, businesses today need to be agile and dynamic, which requires BI teams to understand user needs and quickly address evolving user demands. If IT teams are not set up properly to deliver on business needs, including access to accurate and consistent data, the adoption of the business intelligence solution will likely fail.
Potential BI Solutions and Alternatives
KASH Tech partners with businesses to create robust, seamless business intelligence and data analytics solutions to empower an analytics-driven company culture. We help organizations manage the complex digital transformation process to create efficient (and cost-efficient) solutions for better business intelligence.
However, there are other alternatives. For one, companies may choose to go it alone and handle all aspects of the transformation alone. This can be a risky strategy and the stats are not encouraging.
McKinsey says that 70% of digital transformations fail to achieve their goals. KMPG
reports that 73% of projects fail to deliver. Bain & Company’s assessment is even more
concerning, reporting that just 5% of total digital transformation projects achieve or
exceed company expectations.
Statistics like these lead many organizations to outsource their entire data analytics solution to another company or invest in an ERP-type solution that claims it has all the built-in analytics you need. This can be an extremely expensive (and risky) proposition. Most ERP solutions rarely have the data analytics tools and capacity that modern companies need. As a result, because the ERP system does not cover the full spectrum of data accumulated by a company, they often find they spend even more money and take longer to deliver insights, failing to realize the ROI benefits they anticipated.
In other cases, companies may turn to their legacy tool vendor to address their data and analytics needs. In the majority of cases, the legacy vendors will only recommend moving to ‘updated’ versions of their software or suggest they build another layer on top of legacy products. This leads to increased costs and complexities in delivering the analytics to the business users. These vendors want to solve problems with their tools rather than finding the “best of fit” solution to the problem, ignoring other potential solutions like Power BI that may be a better fit for your organization.
Too many businesses look at data analytics as a “technology-only” solution. In reality, it’s
so much more.
Companies need to stop blaming the tools for the lack of results from their BI/analytics tools and need to take internal accountability for their data accuracy and analytics solutions. Without taking ownership, the root problems will continue. You need a comprehensive and strategic data analytics plan organized around a user-centric information delivery service model.
Potential approaches could include:
- Investing in UI/UX research to identify why current BI tools are underperforming. They may help deliver enhancements to the current platform to improve the usability and performance of the current reporting tools.
- Interviewing stakeholders to find gaps and roadblocks that hinder widespread adoption and
engagement. This can often uncover user confidence levels (or lack of) in tools and data.
- Engage low-code solutions like Power BI to develop a self-service culture via self-initiated
While no-code and low-code solutions can improve the speed of delivery and improve the productivity of the development teams, self-taught IT resources can quickly plateau and become stale in light of constant business demands. You need an experienced solutions provider to help drive the people, processes, and technology to leverage sustainable business insights.
What Industry Experts Say About Business Intelligence Solutions
Industry experts recommend you get professional help from a consulting firm that has proven experience in data and analytics solutions and is technology-agnostic, like KASH Tech.
When you work with KASH Tech, we take a holistic approach to solving data analytics challenges, and you get a solution that addresses your BI strategy from execution through consumption that goes beyond just technology to addressing the long-term needs of the organization.
Many experts recommend migrating to low-code and no-code solutions like Power BI because of the ease of use and flexibility of the solution that can be deployed to business users for self-service analytics. As a cloud platform, it allows greater access for remote and distributed work teams.
Many experts, however, will only focus on one aspect of delivering a self-service solution, such as:
- Providing users with self-service data and data visualization tools.
- Developing self-service analytics applications.
- Creating self-service analytics solutions.
Many service providers will focus only on the third solution while, in reality, you need all three. This allows for greater levels of data democratization, enabling users with self-service data and robust data visualization tools, as well as the ability for your data scientists to build complex analytics solutions on top of the platform.
All of these reasons are why KASH Tech recommends our clients take a close look at the entire Microsoft Power Platform, which includes Power BI, as a foundation for all of your data analytics requirements. It continually ranks as the highest-rated analytics solution by data scientists and industry analysts, including Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Analytics and Business Intelligence Platforms.
Our Recommended Solutions
Organizations looking to improve their data analytics and business intelligence and reduce costs need to take a holistic approach. At KASH Tech, we start with the end objective of the analytics journey and work backward to find the best-of-fit solution and agile processes that can create the entire end-to-end solution. This helps companies create a single source of truth and be able to do more with less using the Power BI platform.
Our approach always focuses on the People, Processes, and Technology — not just the
tools needed to make it happen.
Our experience allows us to identify potential roadblocks to provide powerful solutions that deliver the results companies hope to achieve. We take an agile and rapid development approach. Power BI is one of the best tools for agile and rapid development and significantly outperforms other platforms.
Questions About Power BI Adoption
Q: How can I migrate from legacy BI and analytics tools to Power BI?
Select a proven and experienced partner to help you through the process. Start with assessing the current and future business needs that the existing platform is not addressing. Together, define the process and methods required to roll out the key deliverables of the solution as quickly as possible.
This will shape the migration plan and critical resources needed for a successful migration project.
Q: How long does it take to migrate from a legacy system to Power BI?
When you partner with an experienced solutions partner like KASH Tech, you get a plan with a high degree of confidence. This allows you to migrate systematically to ensure a seamless rollout.
For large companies, you will want to migrate business units at a time. Incremental delivery increases success and adoption across companies. In most cases, you can expect 90 days to start to realize the value of the newly deployed solution.
Q: What is the estimated total cost of ownership (TCO) impact of using Power BI?
Estimates show that Power BI lowers TCO by 25% on average, although a Forrester study shows that some companies see significantly greater results. Power BI’s economic benefits also help drive a data-driven culture by putting business intelligence into the hands of more users throughout the organization at a lower cost per user than other solutions.
Data analysis becomes less expensive and produces wider adoption by frontline workers.
Q: How does Power BI improve the time to value as compared to legacy BI tools?
On average, the time to value in adopting Power BI for data analytics is estimated to be 27% faster than legacy BI tools.7 For example, Power BI has built-in machine learning algorithms that make unlocking insights fast and meaningful by processing millions of records at speeds traditional BI tools could not achieve.
Once users see how easy it is to use and how quickly they can get access to the data, they instantly see the value, which in turn also increases user acceptance and adoption of the solution.
Q: What are the risks of moving from one data and analytics solution to another like Power BI?
You can expect to uncover data and process issues that are less than efficient. In some cases, they’re downright ugly. However, this becomes an opportunity to take a fresh look at operations to improve business processes and address data accuracy issues you have dealt with in the past.
The risk here is that you will have more to deal with than you previously anticipated with a simple ‘lift-and-shift’ approach. However, it is less costly to address them during the migration process to avoid simply replicating problems in a new system.
Another risk is end-user adoption. Part of your holistic data analytics strategy needs to promote user involvement early in the development process, encouraging collaboration and better communications amongst the teams, to drive higher acceptance.
Q: Is Power BI capable of handling all of our complex data analytics requirements?
Microsoft Power BI is an end-to-end business intelligence platform that simplifies data analysis, giving business users the tools they need for consolidating, analyzing, visualizing, and sharing insights. Power BI's user interface is intuitive for users familiar with spreadsheets. Its seamless integration with other Microsoft products requires less upfront training. It turns complex data analytics into easy-to-digest business insights to help democratize data across organizations.
Q: How does Power BI help companies make better decisions?
Power BI broadens data usage by letting users extract insights without having to acquire coding skills. This reduces the workload on data scientists and IT teams while allowing for greater adoption across the organization.
By presenting data visualizations that are easily consumed, dashboards bring together data across an enterprise in an interactive dashboard to provide easy access to crucial insights. Users can see important details and anomalies at a glance and drill down quickly to data points. This helps users find the stories behind the data to see what is happening and why.
This empowers organizations to incorporate data into their decision-making process.
Q: How does using Power BI increase the productivity of my business users?
Power BI enables end users to get access to critical information faster and easier. Rather than having to submit requests and wait for overworked IT teams to provide data, Power BI allows end-users to directly find the answers to their questions. This encourages faster — and deeper — analysis by making it simple for inquisitive team members to find the data they need.
Q: What resources does a company need
to switch from a legacy BI platform to Power BI?
Migrating to Power BI starts with an understanding of the data and the processes for their enterprise reporting and analytics needs. This requires access to business unit leads who can describe their goals for the solution and a strong executive sponsor to help champion the transition and drive adoption.
You need to select an experienced integration partner like KASH Tech that focuses on people, processes, and technology that can coach and guide your team for successful adoption.
Q: What is the methodology to deploy a Power BI solution successfully?
By assessing, coaching, and designing the solution, KASH Tech can help you execute the solution with a focus on user adoption before the development process begins. Secured deployment and a comprehensive roll-out plan enable you to sustain the solution once it is deployed.
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Why Choose KASH Tech for Power BI Services?
We understand that you may be skeptical about the actual costs and whether your team will adopt a different way of doing data analysis. Perhaps you’ve been burned before when you’ve spent money on consultants and did not get the results you expected. Maybe you think you can do it better yourself and would rather invest the money in your own team members rather than use an outside provider.
Those are valid concerns and thoughts, but when you work with an experienced solutions provider like KASH Tech, you get a team of professionals with deep experience with Power BI and the entire Microsoft ecosystem.
We can help you navigate the complexities and avoid the pitfalls of migrating your data analytics strategy by employing a unique approach to user-centric design that we call the “Art of the Possible.”
This requires a collaborative effort involving your users right from the beginning. This helps shorten development time and iterations by identifying the right components and delivering on user needs.
We employ a 5-step process as part of building a smart BI system for your business.
- Identify project requirements and definitions
- Engage in a user-centric design process
- Deploy an agile delivery model to allow for enhancement
- Encapsulate data and UI/UX standards before deployment
- Leverage DataOps to prepare relevant data for application
This process embodies a holistic approach to deliver faster time to value. By establishing standards at the beginning, it avoids rework. We quickly develop a working BI product to get immediate feedback from users, leading to greater enhancements and customizations.
Better Business Intelligence Solutions
Contact the business intelligence experts at KASH Tech today to learn more about how we use our unique methodology to create and build best-of-fit solutions for our clients. Our framework has helped launch successful deployments at companies of all sizes, creating custom solutions that adapt to individual needs.
This process inspires confidence, knowing that the process is systematic and predictable, from analysis to strategy to implementation.
To learn more, download the KASH Tech Advanced Analytic Playbook: How to Unlock Breakthrough Business Insights or request a Power BI data and analytics discovery call.