The magic of Power BI has taken the business world by storm, and, no wonder, enterprises are making a beeline for this incredible and powerful tool. If you’re planning to start with Power BI, it’s essential to be aware of the challenges involved. Getting on top of these challenges can help you accelerate your time to insights and get the most out of your power BI investments. This blog lists out the things you must be aware of to make Power BI adoption a success.

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Know Before You Jump the Bandwagon

An uncalculated implementation of this tool stops executives from understanding and leveraging its functionality to its true potential. To be more specific, enterprises need to define their particular needs before they subscribe to this tool.

Things to do to address this challenge:

It is essential to assess the nature of a user’s need at all the levels of an enterprise for a prudent application of Power BI. For instance, while a CEO will need robust Power BI visualizations to accelerate decision-making, employees at managerial levels will require microscopic insights into every data point.

It is recommended that executives conduct a thorough business assessment that furnishes insights to devise a Proof of Concept (POC) to put forward a business case to apply the Power BI tool. It provides a profound understanding of different user needs and helps overcome Power BI challenges that restrict harnessing the actual value of the Power BI tool across an enterprise.

Did you know?

The lack of features such as graphical representation, options to filter out specific information in an excel sheet was causing major hindrances for UPS to analyze customer feedback on their services across regions. They used a Power BI dashboard with multiple filters that helped them access data at a granular level and got correct insights. Enabled the tool with features such as easy sharing, file backup, anytime access which boosted user productivity for UPS.

Expenses Overriding True Business Value

It is again a side effect of the one-size-fits-all concept. There will be a specific set of users who will need access to all the advanced features of Power BI to design reports from scratch, while users will leverage only limited features of this tool.

How to overcome this challenge?

Executives must determine this tool’s thorough value proposition, keeping various user needs in context. Bringing the cost perspective into the actual business need will aid in extracting the true value out of this tool.

Cloud-based Power BI solution is an answer to small businesses in particular, as it does not entail significant expenses for deployment. They can partner with vendors that provide scalable Power BI solutions and do not require extensive IT support.

Did you know?

Technology-oriented Metro Bank replaced Oracle’s costly business intelligence tools with Power BI as the latter easily integrated with the financial enterprise’s data sources. The Power BI tools business and IT staffs to quickly develop insightful reports that render the business more adaptive and agile. The combination of Azure and Power BI has proven critical for Metro Bank to track and manage its project costs.

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Breaking the Departmental Siloes

A proper assessment of user needs becomes a daunting task if not impossible with the department working in silos in an organization. Such isolation can also hurt the true potential of this tool.

What can you do to overcome this challenge?

Teams coming together can better plan the future initiatives to be taken, capitalizing on the functionality of a Power BI dashboard. For instance, the sales generation and marketing teams can closely collaborate on business initiatives based on the insights gained from a standard dashboard reflecting the marketing statistics.

The standard data model is a widely leveraged data storage convention that enables data ingestion generated by Power BI and used by Azure. Similarly, Azure-generated data can be redirected to CDM folders and shared with Power BI.

Did you know?

Heathrow airport had successfully broken this department silo to access data from baggage and cargo tracking, flight schedules departments and convey the same to air traffic controllers and baggage handling department. They used Power BI to convert the data into comprehensive and insightful reports to streamline baggage movement for 80 million passengers.

Vices of Self-service Deployments

While self-service Power BI implementation has enabled more accessible and quicker access to data, an unrestrained usage of the same across siloed departments led to a confusing data mesh. Such a data scenario is tough to be deciphered to gain insights of any value. Such Power BI implementation challenges also led to conflicting results causing enormous confusion among decision-makers.

Things to do to address this challenge:

Treat such self-service tools with specific data for the users to create better data charts. Enterprises are advised to develop a standard Power BI dashboard and metrics to design their data chart. Ideally, self-service Power BI dashboards should have KPIs that distinguish one from the other dashboard.

Leverage Power BI tool’s robust data security architecture to store and secure the user-generated analytics. Data management teams must curate and store data in warehouses upfront to act as a central repository to help avoid any confusion.

Did you know?

Cummins has struck the right balance between dependence on IT departments to get the report and allowing self-service with minimal governance to departments to access and generate reports. The users of this organization can now develop reports using Power BI and create their custom analytics with minimal training while working with trusted data obtained from a single source.

Fueling the Tool with the Wrong Data

Your Power BI tool may be packed with features, but filling it with unorganized or wrong data, defeats the purpose of using it. Inserting incorrect data can be caused either by rummaging through irrelevant data to get insights or by an in-depth comprehension of the underlying statement exhibited by the data. Inaccurate data poses one of the biggest challenges faced in Power BI implementations today.

Things to do to overcome this challenge:

A user has to fully understand the intricacies of data to fully utilize the Power BI toolbox’s functionality.

We can achieve the above by designing a data collection process involving a data management strategy and accurately entering data.

Did you know?

Cerner faced the challenge of data scattered across multiple sources that were often unreliable and were not pertinent to immediate causes in hand. They used the Microsoft Azure data platform to centralize the data storage system to make determining data quality easier. Power BI replaced Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition as a visualization tool as it easily integrates with Data lake storage.

Measuring the Right Metrics at the Right Time

We can use the Power BI Dashboard to measure the performance of any department at any point in time. However, enterprises make the mistake of measuring the metrics at the end of the year. It denies them the chance of an early evaluation of their performance, thereby defeating the purpose of using a Power BI tool.

Things to do to overcome this challenge:

  • Ideally, the performance of a department must be tracked through a wide range of metrics at regular intervals, with the SMEs staying on top of the data. The data insights generated by robust Power BI visualizations should be used as performance benchmarks for internal evaluations.
  • Enterprises can leverage online KPI dashboard software that takes away the burden of regular performance tracking of SMEs. This software aids departments to view and conveying their numbers according to their requirements.

Did you know?

Lawrence Township leveraged the abilities of Power BI and Smartsheet Technology to create an integrated system termed Attendance, Behavior, Academics, and Incidents (ABAI). This system helps teachers and other education officials to track student performance by gathering data that include students’ grades and attendance records.

Integrating data from different source systems

The growth in diverse data sources implies that organizations have to derive data for analysis from discrete databases, systems, and business apps. BI data relies on a centralized information repository through a data warehouse. Some use data virtualization software or BI tools to integrate data without loading the same into a data warehouse. 

But the integration demands a team with technical skills and data knowledge, limited scalability, and increased time to analyze data. Then there are technical tradeoffs involved as teams frequently run into issues when refreshing BI reports that consist of data from a cloud data warehouse. There are hardware constraints involved too.

Things to do to overcome this challenge

To help speed the integration of data, experts recommend creating a data catalog with complete information of data sources and the underlying lineage for users. The team could also refresh reports in memory instead with some investment focused on enhanced hardware.

Did you know?

Sameer Dixit, general manager in data, analytics, and AI/machine learning at Persistent Systems, revealed that his team faced challenges blending data from different file formats used in other source systems. The team then found a solution by creating a distinctly separate ETL mapping for every file. They wrote a Java application to save time and bring all the files into a standard format for efficient processing within a single ETL job.

Low adoption across the enterprise of BI tools

Most new tools in the enterprise reveal low adoption from users. End users often rely on familiar tools to continue doing their job instead of migrating to a better and more efficient tool that could complete the job instantly. They take the path of least resistance, embracing their present plight and performing analyses elsewhere after exporting the data.

Hence, unexpected and hugely different usage patterns showcase less than optimal and low rates of adoption of these otherwise efficient BI tools. This situation poses one of the biggest challenges faced in Power BI projects.

Things to do to overcome this challenge

Experts recommend that managers continuously monitor user activity and logs to weed out issues related to potential adoption problems. They should be upfront about the change and give their employees leeway with adequate time to learn and grasp the process with BI tools.

BI teams could also resort to continuous enhancements in functions to aid the employees with multiple tasks and thus increase user adoption.

Did you know?

When starting a deployment, it makes sense to push for user adoption of a new BI tool, with a bright and ideal use case demonstrating tangible business benefits of using the tool. The use case could encourage the users to embrace a new BI tool faster. 

Parting note

While the emerging challenges can be more, these should not be deterrents against making the most of this digital disruption. Enabling an internal and proactive determination of these Power BI challenges starts a beneficial utilization of the Power BI toolbox. As discussed above, a proper strategy and external guidance answer enterprises’ quest for deriving maximum value from the Power BI tool.

Who We Are and What Makes Us an Expert?

Flatworld EDGE specializes in the implementation and support of business intelligence solutions. Our outcome-driven BI services have enabled businesses across the US to implement Power BI solutions and streamline operations as per their specific needs. We have a successful track record of tailoring business intelligence solutions to business workflows for maximum gains.