December 16, 2021

Microsoft Power BI: Key considerations for better deployment and adoption

Peter Heydon
Solution Lead – Data & Analytics at Data#3
What if you could know exactly what would make your business more efficient, and more profitable? Business intelligence applies software and solutions to transform data into actionable insights. This drives an organisation forward by empowering teams to make smarter decisions. Leading business intelligence tools such as Microsoft’s Power BI help organisations track performance, improve operations and identify market trends. In-built interactive visualisations and advanced AI capabilities make it one of the fastest growing business intelligence services.

Data#3 has partnered with thousands of businesses who use Power BI to modernise their data estate and transform business performance.

But is Power BI right for your business? To find out, there are a few things you should consider.

Microsoft Power BI is easy to use but requires extra focus on governance.

One of Microsoft Power BI’s many strengths is that it empowers employees with self-service features. Entire teams can now rely on Power BI for data analysis thanks to an easy to learn, ‘drag and drop’ interface. This reduces friction when integrating Power BI with existing technology and can be a great incentive to encourage usage from non-technical employees. However, when employees become self-sufficient in handling and analysing data, they can unintentionally increase the risk of critical business information being misused or misinterpreted.

Many organisations fail to outline a set of policies that define secure and efficient usage of data and analytics tools. A strong data governance strategy can maximise the potential of Microsoft Power BI while minimising the prevalence of incomplete or incorrect data.

The evolution of Microsoft Power BI has led to significant improvements that set the foundations of effective governance. Azure Purview and Power BI integration now provides enhanced governance services to categorise and catalogue data. Power BI also provides administrators with a centralised location to enforce governance. Admins can audit user activities, gain visibility into how data sources are used, and understand how reports were concluded.

Plan to introduce your team to ‘best practices’ to encourage adoption of Power BI

‘Self-service’ dashboards have become a significant trend in business intelligence. IT teams now have the tools to build a platform that will allow non-technical teams to analyse and visualise data. Such self-service capabilities empower self-sufficiency, relieving pressure on IT teams.

But Power BI does require a change to internal processes, technology, and team responsibilities. Businesses may need to train employees in how to correctly use Power BI, and most importantly, how to interpret the data and derive meaning from visualisations. Resistance may occur without an effective change management program. Many may prefer to depend on IT for data analytics or fall back to more familiar processes such as Excel pivot tables. This resistance to change can prevent the widespread adoption of Power BI.

Fortunately, Azure Analytics and Power BI integration make it easier for employers to overcome these challenges and facilitate a data-driven internal culture. When Power BI and Azure work together, visualisation and reporting insights are automatically delivered to those who need them. Business and IT teams are now able to collaborate more seamlessly and rely on a single source of data truth.

Understand how flexible licensing of Power BI can deliver powerful outcomes without budgetary pressures

Power BI licensing determines which features and capabilities will be available to users. Power BI licensing is flexible and offers a range of options that should be carefully considered to match the budget and changing needs of your business.

There are three pricing plans for Power BI available:

  • Power BI Pro – a per user, per month subscription that provides core Power BI functionality. This is included with Microsoft 365 E5.
  • Power BI Premium Per User – a per user per month subscription that provides enhanced Power BI functionality such as paginated reports, larger data models, and more frequent data refreshes. It is available as an add-on to Microsoft 365 E5
  • Power BI Premium Capacity – a per capacity per month subscription that provides enhanced Power BI features for the whole organisation. Different capacities and autoscaling options are available depending on business requirements.

These Power BI pricing plans will meet the needs of most organisations. Additional licensing options include Power BI Embedded, designed to include reporting capabilities in your own customer facing applications, and Power BI Report Server, for those needing Power BI capabilities within their own data centre.

Is Microsoft Power BI right for your business?

To achieve a competitive advantage, modern businesses have to be smarter and more efficient in how they handle data. Microsoft Power BI, together with Azure, gives businesses a way to extract maximum value from their data and technology investments.

Start with an Online Data & Analytics Client Assessment today.

Data#3’s Online Data & Analytics Client Assessment is a simple way to determine how and when your business could best deploy Microsoft Power BI to rapidly improve business outcomes. After you complete your Data & Analytics Client Assessment, a data specialist will contact you for a free evaluation of your data needs, and outline recommended next steps.

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