Power BI Support for a Construction and Facilities Services Company

The Client

Our client provides construction cost data and technology services for construction planning and facilities operations across North America. Their industry-leading solutions provide tools for facilities planning, reporting, benchmarking, and analysis.

INDUSTRY: Construction/Facility Services
FOUNDED: 1990s

The Problem

The client had wanted a business intelligence tool, so their IT department purchased 400 Pro Microsoft Power BI licenses. Dashboard development started growing fast and soon become “out of control” within the organization as departments outside of IT began creating them. Over time , 30+ dashboards were developed with hundreds of business consumers and data sources which included localized excel files.

Other issues were affecting the company such as the inability of dashboards to auto refresh when laptops are in sleep mode or off. The client had no internal Power BI support to help the hundreds of users and numerous dashboards, nor anyone to handle advanced functions.

The Solution – Power BI  Issue Resolution, Support & Recommendations

Smartbridge was able to offer our expertise in Power BI and understanding of people, processes, and technology in order to help our client tackle their growing issue. The steps for remediation were as follows:

  • The first step was to assist our client in forming a Power BI user group to improve business engagement/relationship and tease out primary support issues.

  • Next, we needed to “get arms around” just how deep and broad the Power BI deployment/use had grown, so we created a Power BI dashboard catalog that included sources, refresh frequency, user count, business purpose, KPI’s, etc.

  • We assessed the manual data refresh issues/failures to see if there was a need for a Power BI Gateway. After reviewing, we determined an enterprise gateway was not needed as the data refresh scheduling issues were able to be resolved by moving certain local files to the cloud.

  • In addition to addressing the current challenges, our team also assessed the future state needs of the client given the rapid expansion of analytics. We assessed several areas including Power BI licensing needs (Pro vs Premium), BI capabilities and architecture, as well as the data architecture to support the Power BI/analytics environment. We made several recommendations that would allow them to scale out as demand grows based on certain trigger points.

  • Our final recommendation for their future state was to add dedicated internal support staff or managed services support capabilities to assist Power BI users.

The Right Sized Results for Effective Power BI Usage

After providing our assessments, recommendations, and support, our client received outstanding results that will enable them to become a successful Power BI organization. Results achieved included:

  • Improved Power BI relationship between IT and the rest of the business.

  • Failing data refreshes for existing business Power BI dashboards were alleviated.

  • No need for a Gateway nor Premium upgrade at this time. Local data sources were simply migrated to the cloud and a personal gateway was sufficient.

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