Many enterprise leaders are eager to explore how BI tools foster better decision-making. However, even if some lead stakeholders are excited to embrace a data-driven culture, they may not consider the critical elements that go into maintaining a reliable single source of truth.

Increasing user adoption and taking advantage of everything Power BI has to offer calls for a strong Power BI Center of Excellence (CoE).

Even if people in your organization readily adopt BI tools, they may not be as excited about building the processes and policies that support your overall data vision. A Power BI CoE is essential to help teams stay aligned on reporting standards, maintain data governance, and provide training so teams can fully utilize Power BI’s capabilities.

Gaining buy-in across the enterprise isn’t easy. A strong CoE needs a championship team behind it to evangelize the power of good data governance, management, and Power BI reporting best practices. To build a rockstar CoE championship team and fully leverage Power BI, these are the three types of champions you’ll need.

1. Executive Sponsors

A vision will fade without someone to champion it. A highly engaged executive sponsor serves as the overarching leader of your Power BI CoE.

When encouraging stakeholders and end-users to embrace data governance and reporting best practices, executive-level support makes a huge difference. In fact, active executive sponsorship is the number one driver for project success.

By keeping the vision of your CoE front and center, your executive sponsor champion:

  • Creates shifts in company culture, like incentivizing users to attend training sessions.
  • Leverages their influence and experience to help drive strategy and execution.
  • Drives success from the top down to increase organizational business intelligence adoption and collaboration.

2. Execution Experts

Executive sponsors aren’t always clear on the nuts and bolts of designing and maintaining a Center of Excellence. To deliver on the overall vision, executive sponsors need Power BI champions with data knowledge and unique expertise—otherwise known as the execution experts.

Certain business units may need to report on different KPIs or require more robust data normalization for common data sources. The executive sponsors must bring various experts together to create dedicated policies and procedures that standardize reporting across the enterprise.

These team members have influence and insight into the needs of Power BI users in their individual business units. They use that knowledge to document processes, examine opportunities where their teams can better take advantage of the tool, and host trainings that are relevant for their users.

By allowing leaders from each functional team to collaborate, your execution champions create a streamlined BI CoE framework that aligns with enterprise goals and helps each business unit fully leverage Power BI.

3. Power Users

Once your team implements Power BI, there are always a few people on each team who love using and learning more about the tool. These power users play a fundamental role in encouraging teams to maintain best practices defined by the Center of Excellence.

After executive sponsors and execution experts design processes, procedures, and reporting standards for the CoE, power users are the first people you should train and inform. These enthusiastic users are looking for new ways to streamline their work and better leverage the tool, so they’ll be particularly eager to spread the word and show off new capabilities to anyone who will listen.

Offer these team members extra trainings and incentives to help members of their business units adopt the tool. Power users are ideal for over-the-shoulder support as they are able to engage with less tech-savvy users on day-to-day issues.

And since these power users are working alongside other people in their business unit every day, they often have unique insight into common challenges users are experiencing. By requesting insight from these team members, your CoE will continue to offer learning opportunities that turn reluctant adopters into champions—and perhaps—power users.

Achieve Your Vision with a CoE Championship Team

Once you’ve defined your Power BI vision, you must have champions who bring your vision to life.

A championship team combines on-the-ground support, execution, and influence to encourage users across the enterprise to adopt CoE standards. These three groups—executive sponsors, execution experts, and power users—work together to help your enterprise build and maintain a strong Center of Excellence.

Even with a robust CoE championship team, your team may need additional guidance. Led by our expert team, Collectiv’s Visioning Program is a great place to start building this important foundation.