The rate of adoption of business intelligence (BI) solutions has been continually on the rise…and for good reason. Organizations are swimming in data—and they need to make sense of it all to positively impact the business.

However, the mere deployment of a solution like Power BI doesn’t produce desired results on its own. The enterprise should have a Power BI center of excellence to aid in the fast delivery of insights on products, services, customers, and market initiatives.

You’re already familiar with a center of excellence (CoE) in other business areas. Let’s look at why you need a Power BI center of excellence and see if your organization is ready to implement one.

What is a Power BI Center of Excellence?

A Power BI center of excellence (CoE) is a shared platform within an enterprise that enables the design, development, and implementation of information management, BI, performance management, and data center analytics across the organization.

The concept of a BI center of excellence has been in existence for a while now. Gartner has indicated that organizations require a BI Competency Center approach (BICC) to grow, develop, and utilize resources to achieve success. The BICC approach has since evolved in the last couple of years through contributions and implementations from other experts.

A BI center of excellence helps users understand major BI terms and components in real data so that users can trust the system and make the right decisions. The CoE includes training and support so people know how to effectively use business intelligence tools, such as Microsoft Power BI.

The main objective of setting up a BI center of excellence is to create economies of scale. This happens through the gathering and sharing of information, people, processes and tools that are helpful to the user—instead of letting it become dedicated to departments or functional structures.

Is a Power BI Center of Excellence Right for You?

In today’s technologically-driven world, data generated from various sources every day is quite substantial. With this data, executives are able to make informed business decisions. Organizations leverage the power of BI tools to fulfill this initiative, along with many other business needs.

But only a proper utilization of business intelligence helps enterprises improve overall productivity, and consequently, increase revenue. So, how do you know if you need to implement a Power BI center of excellence? These red flags will tell you if a CoE is long overdue.

Lack of Data Integrity

Adopting new technology can be one of your organization’s best decisions…but not if the platform provides inaccurate information or data. This is the main reason enterprises prefer the business intelligence approach.

All dashboards and reports are owned and controlled by the business intelligence team. By offering and managing these reports, this team is responsible for getting people to use data in real-time to make data-driven decisions. But if the BI team is constantly creating reports that nobody is using, then the objective of the new platform is not being met.

Similarly, if the platform creates a reputation for providing incorrect information, no one trusts the data. Business units then revert to whatever process was being used previously.

Ensuring there is a high level of integrity in Power BI means the data and business process involved can be trusted. If Power BI builds a good reputation for providing accurate information, then people across your enterprise will turn to it when they need answers.

At the end of the day, each organization requires a single source of truth. A Power BI CoE helps facilitate and maintain the data truth. The goal is to turn your organization’s data into accurate, structured, analyzable insights—and foster a data-driven culture.

Disconnect Across the Organization

We’ve all heard the saying, “the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing.” This saying can most certainly be compared to an organization utilizing Power BI.

When deploying Power BI, it’s vital to maintain communication across the enterprise to ensure reporting and associated data models are in sync with each other. Lack of constant engagement and communication can result in the “wild west of reports”, redundant datasets and metrics, and lead to failure in Power BI adoption.

Implementing continuous Power BI learning opportunities and constant engagement with your Power BI team and its end users is vital to the success of your Power BI program. The CoE is responsible for managing items such as lunch and learns, team collaboration meetings, and training.

Above all, you need: Communication, communication, communication.

Overwhelming Report Requests

Organizations may opt for a Power BI center of excellence if end users aren’t getting the answers they want in their reports. As such, these end-users tend to overwhelm the BI team with continuous Power BI report requests (i.e. new reports, new measures, added visuals, etc.).

Although the BI team has the skills to facilitate these requests, issues such as prioritization and lack of a systematic approach to tackle said requests can result in an unhappy Power BI user audience.

With a Power BI CoE, your team and associated end-users will conform to a set of governed standards and policies. This allows you to easily handle requests and provide end-users a means to extract, analyze, and present data in a meaningful manner. From here, it’s much easier to understand the best course of action.

Implementing a Power BI Center of Excellence Program

Organizations are all very different from each other, but common challenges arise when Power BI is initially rolled out. The main difference from organization to organization is which issue is the highest priority.

Power BI can be challenging at the beginning of implementation, but the overall benefits make it worth the investment. You may encounter challenges such as:

  • Lack of a formal approach to document processes, create content, or facilitate ongoing maintenance, data governance, or usage.
  • Users distrust the data available.
  • Multiple uncoordinated Power BI development across the organization.
  • Training and continuous learning.
  • Too much reliance on IT or certain individuals for important tasks.

If any of these challenges sound familiar, then it may be time to consider Collectiv’s Power BI Center of Excellence Implementation program. This 4-week assessment will help you establish best practice-based policies, processes, and procedures wherever you are in your Power BI journey.

The success of any business intelligence program depends on how well departments within your organization communicate with one another. Without a centralized body that oversees everything, your team will struggle to reach their full potential.

Our Power BI Center of Excellence program brings effective communication across departments, while providing actionable plans to bridge the gaps for Power BI success.