The challenge of using Power BI in daily operations

May 12, 2022 by
The challenge of using Power BI in daily operations
EXIA inc., Patricia Bonnel

Real case - Analytical transformation and reality, a story too often heard

Organizations follow, the vast majority, a very similar journey when trying to scale up their analytical capacity. We meet every week with managers who contact us to tell us their stories and see what options would allow them to achieve their objectives. See how you can avoid challenges and accelerate your analytics transformation.

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Today I would like to talk to you about a recurring issue among the managers we meet to help them with their analytical needs. When we first talk to them, we often hear the same remarks:

  • I have data all over the place and I can't get an overview.

  • I have colleagues who spend hours finding information and formatting it in Microsoft Excel.

  • I have a really good ERP but its reports are terrible.

  • I have a tech geek in my team who created some really nice dashboards for us, but as soon as he's gone, things crash everywhere and no one knows how to fix it.

What if we compared the analytical system to a banana. The banana is therefore the analytical system you need to understand how your business is going, what decisions to make and adapt to your growth. At this stage, your banana is quite green with no apparent signs of ripeness. Either you have no analytical system, or it is managed partially or completely manually, or it rests on the shoulders of your techno “tripper” whose job it is not necessarily to put together dashboards.

It's time to make it digestible so you decide to invest time, energy and money. You question your colleagues to find out what is wrong and what they need to work well. You take the opportunity to identify your future ball carriers (those who demonstrate enthusiasm for making changes) and you set off in search of the organization that can help you. And this is where it gets complicated. People are starting to speak to you in technological language which doesn't tell you much apart from the few "buzz words" gleaned here and there during your bedside readings when sleep wants to take hold of you. Words like “Data Lake”, bzzzzz, “ELT”, bzzzzz, “data modeling”, bzzzzz, “Data Sources”, bzzzzz, etc, etc…

The promise of a better world

And all this slowly matures in your head and begins to take shape even if the contours are still quite vague. In everything that is offered to you, it can be difficult to navigate. Do we really need a data lake? Do we really have to abandon Microsoft Excel (it’s true that everyone likes that one)? Who will take care of maintaining the solution and making it evolve when it is developed? How will I convince my boss that we really need this (and no, Mr. McSween, it won't be a futile expense but rather an investment)?

Your wishes are granted, the project starts and you are so eager to discover the result that it gives you wings. Ah, when I have my reports, I can do this, ah, when I have my indicators, I can do this. It’s go-live day and you’re excited. Finally, the big day has arrived, your system is delivered. It's happiness. The banana is perfect, a beautiful sunny yellow. Over the next few weeks, you familiarize yourself with your new toolbox. It's good but there are little things that don't work to your liking. You try to get help from the designer but he is busy elsewhere with other clients and you are no longer really his priority. Your banana is starting to develop light brown spots. It becomes less appetizing. 

The real issues

You are acquiring a new business. A headache ahead... you will have to integrate their data with yours to properly follow how things are going. “Hello Mr. Designer, I need help. How do we put it all together? » Answer: “Do you know Excel? It's a wonderful tool. » Your banana is rotten and has become completely inedible. We'll have to make muffins with it.

Moral of the story, when you go looking for a supplier to build your analytical solution, think about scalability, flexibility, sustainability because it is in the duration of the business relationship that we can really measure the quality of the work rendered. Look more for a partner who would become an extension of your team and build a lasting relationship. Information systems are constantly evolving, so it is important to avoid their obsolescence at all costs so as not to find yourself cooking muffins too quickly.


We have explained the reality of several organizations trying to implement an analytical culture. There are several issues and the massive injection of technical skills is not in itself a guarantee of success. The good news is that you too can benefit from the advantage of the EXIA team as a catalyst to accelerate your analytical maturity, both at the technological, organizational, and change management levels.

 Ready to start your journey

The challenge of using Power BI in daily operations
EXIA inc., Patricia Bonnel May 12, 2022
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