How Much Power Can You Put in Power BI? 

By Jasmin Ahmetbasic, Lead Program Manager & Team Lead @ Authority Partners

With Microsoft’s off-the-shelf business intelligence software Power BI, Authority Partners has an invaluable tool that lets us mine for insights and generate forecasts. For program managers in particular, Power BI improves processes and the efficiency of our day-to-day activities. We use it to fine-tune the way we work so we can deliver better, cost-effective solutions to our clients. 

Power BI works by harvesting data from an array of available sources. It organizes that data into a series of analytics that are available to users through different dashboards, overviews and charts. At Authority Partners we have taken an organic approach: we start with a common understanding of the data resources that are valuable to us and then try to give that data more power by combining it with other available data assets.  

Within the Power BI system, we implement three large data pools. The first pool is linked to processes such as logging time and managing programs. The second is linked to the Excel software that we use for investment checking and tasks related to oversight. The third includes the data points linked to budget allocations and capacity management. 

Because Power BI’s utility extends far beyond simply serving as a tool for program managers and directors, our goal now is to get all the consultants at Authority Partners using Power BI as their go-to resource. To that end, we’re encouraging its use as an analytical tool that can help everyone in the company better assess the quality of their work. It also helps situate the work of individual consultants in relation to the other variables at play, making it easier to move projects, programs and the company forward.  

Using the Same Language 

Before we implemented Power BI at Authority Partners, important analytical resources were scattered and dispersed among different users. Program managers and directors in particular had to make sure that consultants filled in the necessary Excel spreadsheets and submitted the right reports, just so that they could access the data needed to assess project and program quality and effectiveness. 

Power BI doesn’t only automate many of these processes, it also harvests that information into a centralized location throughout the company. It is the key resource for the critical analytics we need to assess progress on a year-to-year, month-to-month and even day-to-day basis. The technology not only makes access much easier, it also helps ensure that everyone, manager or not, can access and see the same information in relation to a given program or project.  

Power in Power BI 

Since the initial deployment of the technology, we’ve been trying to give power to Power BI. What does that mean? We’ve been encouraging all our consultants to move away from traditional modes of reporting, such as preparing written reports and Excel spreadsheets manually, and instead use the automated systems available to them through Power BI. 

It is rarely easy to break from old habits (many of us still double up on the automated system by checking the numbers manually) but by integrating the Power BI analytics into our regular meetings, we are trying to encourage all our consultants to incorporate Power BI into their daily reporting and analysis procedures. 

Now during daily or weekly meetings with team members, managers and directors use Power BI to guide the discussions. Power BI gives them confidence that everyone is working from the same set of data when they look at their monitors. Integrating the technology into day-to-day activities encourages everyone in the company to use the tool as much as possible. 

As Power BI becomes an increasingly important part of our daily practice as consultants, it also becomes a more integral part of governance within Authority Partners. The technology makes it much easier for senior managers and those at the director level to get an overview of how things are moving forward. It gives intelligence to the entire business by providing a complex and thorough overview of KPIs and targets for each project. 

By helping identify issues that can be solved by reaching out to the client or contacting colleagues working on the project, program managers and directors can address client concerns and solve problems quickly. In turn, this helps program managers assess the quality of production and the overall performance of the work that we are doing. 

For 24 years, we at Authority Partners have been providing IT solutions that have helped our clients become leaders in their industries. We have been partners in their growth, creating software solutions that deliver a clear competitive advantage. 

Our technical excellence and our commitment to delivering on budget and on time is not only a value proposition but a part of a reputation we are extremely proud of. We are partners who help deliver business outcomes.  

We are Authority Partners.  

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