Posts on Business Intelligence & Analytics


How to get started with Power BI in your organisation - 5 recent lessons

By Mike • In Business Intelligence & Analytics

We’ve done a couple of Power BI projects recently and have some insights about implementation that are worth sharing. Both client organisations are in the education and training world but the lessons could apply to organisations in other sectors.

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STEM Learning - Data Warehouse and Microsoft Power BI Reporting Solution

By Mike • In Business Intelligence & Analytics

STEM Learning in York is a leading provider of training and other support to teachers in the UK. They deliver high quality continuing professional development courses to STEM teachers - training that empowers teachers to improve the outcomes of young people studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics. They also provide free online resources for teachers and they manage the STEM Ambassadors programme - a national network of experienced volunteers from industry who go into schools to work directly with young people.

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Power BI - Dashboards vs. Reports

By Mike • In Business Intelligence & Analytics

Dashboards and reports both appear in the Power BI online service. At first glance they seem to be very similar and anyone coming to the Power BI service for the first time from the Power BI Desktop application will wonder why we need dashboards when we've already got interactive reports that seem to do almost the same job. The are some important differences though and dashboards will make a lot more sense when you think about how they might be used.

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Improving Performance in Higher Education with Microsoft Power BI

By Mike • In Business Intelligence & Analytics

Many organisations would make smarter decisions if they could make better use of data they hold in different management information systems . They struggle because much of their data is hard to access, hard to join up with data from other systems and even harder to share across the organisation before it becomes out of date.

Universities are no different - data they hold about course enquiries, enrolments and student performance is often seriously underutilized. Opportunities to use data to boost enrolments, improve student retention rates and raise teaching quality are missed because it’s technically difficult (and time consuming) to extract data, analyse it and then present insights in ways that make sense to busy colleagues.

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Power BI - DAX Functions - CALCULATE and ALL

By Mike • In Business Intelligence & Analytics

This example shows you how to CALCULATE and ALL in Power BI to create a simple measure that returns the start date for each unique run or instance of a course.

We have a client that provides careers support and training to teachers. One of the things they've asked us to do is build Power BI reports on top of data from their course booking system. They want to know more about the popularity of their courses across different types of organisations and different groups of teachers.

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Power BI - How to show rows excluded by slicer

By Mike • In Business Intelligence & Analytics

This was a problem that took me a little bit longer to solve than I expected.

We’ve developed a business intelligence solution for a training organisation that works with schools and teachers. The back end data warehouse is built in SQL Server and hosted in Azure. The front end is a Power BI reporting solution - a set of management information reports for drilling into data about course enrolments, website registrations and other kinds of engagement with teachers.

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Cumulative Total Sales Forecast in Power BI

By Mike • In Business Intelligence & Analytics

I wanted to build a sales pipeline dashboard in Power BI that shows the cumulative or running sales forecast over time. It also needs to show the running total of 'wins' and 'losses'.

The data comes from Excel. It's a simple flat list - each row is either a latest forecast, a win or a loss. Existing rows are never edited, instead a new row gets added every time a forecast changes. Related rows share the same Prospect_id.

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Learning Analytics - Build an FE College Business Intelligence Dashboard with Microsoft Power BI

By Mike • In Business Intelligence & Analytics

Microsoft Power BI is a great solution for colleges (and other training organisations) that want to build and share business intelligence dashboards.

It’s free to get started, there are good online support materials and it's very accessible to anyone familiar with the Microsoft technology stack. With Power BI you can connect to in-house data sources, design rich interactive data dashboards and then share them with colleagues - ease of use, flexibility and price are key advantages over other dashboard solutions aimed at the FE sector.

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Microsoft Power BI Tutorial - A simple timesheet dashboard Part 2, calculated columns and measures

By Mike • In Business Intelligence & Analytics

Extending my simple timesheeting dashboard so that I could report on staff utilisation by month was a good way to start to use measures in Power BI Desktop. What I wanted to get to was a chart that showed the percentage of each person's time being spent on chargeable work each month.

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Microsoft Power BI Tutorial - A simple timesheet dashboard Part 1

By Mike • In Business Intelligence & Analytics

Power BI is Microsoft's powerful new data analytics and visualisation solution. Power BI comes in two parts - a cloud based service that makes it easy to share dashboards and Power BI Desktop, a free desktop application for building more sophisticated interactive reports and dashboards. Power BI is low cost - there's a completely free version and the Pro version costs $9.99 per user per month.

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