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Microsoft Power BI: 12 case studies that explain the success of this data analysis solution

Self-service BI is becoming increasingly popular among forward-thinking businesses, allowing users to receive up-to-date business information in graphical formats, on-demand, with little or no IT intervention.

Since the release of Microsoft Power BI, businesses around the world have turned to this cloud-based service for self-service business intelligence tools that allow users to analyze, visualize and share data at using the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.

Here are 12 Microsoft Power BI success stories.

Meijer increases profitability with data analysis

Meijer, one of the largest private companies in the United States, had become dependent on its IT group to learn from its data. There was a need to develop a more autonomous BI environment to increase agility.

“Wherever I go, the demand for BI is always greater than the supply,” says Marilyn Richards, head of business intelligence and collaboration at Meijer.

“And people don’t always have time to wait for IT to create each report.”

Additionally, they were unable to perform ad hoc analytics on the fly. We need to provide meaningful, timely reporting to enterprise customers so they can respond quickly and appropriately.” Meijer integrated Power BI with an on-premises SQL Server Analysis Services cube containing 20 billion rows of data refreshed in near real time with the help of Microsoft BI partner obviEnce.

“Teams can pull in the data they need and ask their own questions with Power BI and SQL Server Analysis Services, instead of me having to design a solution that meets each query,” says Joseph Openshaw, IT manager of business intelligence at Meijer.

Fort Worth teams track program success

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Fort Worth, Texas needed a way to monitor the success of their programs and their participants. However, the organization’s inability to gain a holistic perspective of data related to each child was hampered by old and separate data sources and systems. The majority of this information was contained in monthly reports in PDF format.

“We needed a more dynamic view, both to support our own decisions and to convey our results to our board and donors,” says Daphne Barlow Stigliano, CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Fort Worth.

“It is crucial for us to be able to assess participation patterns to predict future outcomes for these children and to know whether our programs are working well,” she adds.

“We needed to be able to ask more nuanced and compelling questions of our data and get more nuanced and compelling answers.”

Doyenne360, a systems integrator, helped the association develop a system that uses Azure Event Hubs to recognize new PDF files and convert them to comma-separated values ​​(CSV) format, which Azure Stream Analytics then feeds into tables dynamic dashboards built with Power BI.

Data and individuals can now be cross-referenced by the non-profit organization.

Dallas Zoo uses data to better care for elephants

Not so long ago, closely tracking the behavior and positioning of elephants in the Dallas Zoo’s five-acre “Giants of the Savanna” exhibit was a difficult undertaking. Zoo employees used video cameras as well as direct observation. In 2013, the zoo installed RFID “ankle bracelets” for the elephants, which provided data on each elephant’s location – to within a meter – as well as the distance and speed each elephant was moving. This new data was beneficial, but its management remained difficult. The zoo’s software could only process 15 days of data at a time, and most of the data was in spreadsheets.

Long-term data, such as changes in elephant behavior with age, could not be analyzed. Integrating other data, such as weather variations and fluctuations in zoo attendance, was particularly difficult. The zoo’s RFID technology was then enhanced in 2015 by Microsoft Solutions Partner US Medical IT, which provided a data warehouse based on Microsoft SQL Server 2016 and hosted on Microsoft Azure.

The data warehouse synchronizes daily data from RFID and connects it to five other data sources, which are then made available to Power BI analysis and reporting services. The zoo can now collect and analyze data over many years, and display kiosks can show visitors the specific location of each elephant. The zoo is now interested in how these methods can be applied to other animals, and other institutions are asking Nancy Scott, coordinator of elephant behavior science at the Dallas Zoo, how they can be adapted to their organizations.

“The RFID and Microsoft solution has the potential to significantly improve the quality of life and care we can provide to animals around the world,” says Nancy Scott.

“It’s also a fantastic tool for telling the story of the elephants that humans care for today.”

Real Madrid analyzes social media data to personalize its marketing campaigns

Real Madrid is the most popular sports franchise in the world, with 450 million fans worldwide. Most of the club’s fans live outside of Spain and cannot attend matches at the stadium. Real Madrid needed a system that would allow them to collect and analyze data on their fans while taking into account supports digital services.

“We wanted to interact with all the individuals who support Real Madrid around the world,” explains José ngel Sánchez, CEO of Real Madrid.

“It is essential that we understand them and learn from them, because the club ultimately belongs to them.”

Real Madrid collaborated with Microsoft Services to develop a platform-as-a-service solution based on Microsoft Cloud and Office 365.

It includes a fan engagement platform, an extensive video platform, and a consumer app, all of which generate telemetry data that can be accessed using Power BI.

“With the Microsoft solution, we can develop one-on-one interaction with fans around the world, connecting this large community of people and making the experience of being a Real Madrid supporter much better,” explains Sánchez.

ABB Italy accelerates the creation of personalized BI reports

ABB Italy, a subsidiary of ABB, needed a cutting-edge BI application to provide in-depth market analysis and visual reporting for the region’s manufacturing industry. She first devised her own response. It was simple to access existing reports, but creating new reports required going through an IT liaison with the company’s external IT provider. This procedure could take up to four weeks.

“Our users are more comfortable with technology than a few years ago,” explains Massimiliano Cimnaghi, IT manager of ABB Italy.

“They use mobile phones and shop on websites – and they expect the tools they use at work, including BI, to be as easy to understand and use as their personal technologies.”

ABB implemented Power BI, freeing up IT resources, reducing reliance on external vendors, and empowering marketers and business users to query internal data sets and external and create more insightful reports. ABB Italy can now provide customized reports in just a few hours.

“Previously, you would think twice before buying a custom report, and you might not do it,” says Alessandra Gilberti, BI manager for ABB Italy.

“If you have a question, you can now use Power BI to get an answer.”

There are no obstacles between you and the analysis you want to do.”

Carnegie Mellon reduces its energy consumption

Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), founded in 1900, is a leading research institution with seven internationally recognized schools and colleges. CMU aimed to manage energy more efficiently in huge buildings and across multiple sites.

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The Robert L. Preger Intelligent Workplace at the Center for Building Performance and Diagnostics in CMU’s School of Architecture, for example, is a 7,000-square-foot laboratory equipped with more than ten data collection and control systems, as well as hundreds of sensors and actuators that control functions such as heating and cooling, lighting, ventilation, outlet charging and security. Data from each system was collected independently for analysis, which was time-consuming and provided limited insight into system performance.

OSIsoft, a CMU partner, developed the PI system, a Power BI-based solution that allowed them to track energy consumption over time, by category, by building, and more. Power Query, Q&A and Power Maps are used in the solution to ask questions about data and receive instant answers, as well as to present energy consumption in the form of maps. CMU granted access to the data to various university staff. By making data more accessible, the institution was able to discover faulty equipment and reduce energy consumption in its own laboratory by a third.

Condé Nast reduces redundant reporting tasks

Condé Nast, a global media company, needed better visibility into the performance of its 20 industry-leading print and digital media brands, but struggled to bring together data from disparate sources. Additionally, she frequently fielded redundant requests from the sales and editorial teams.

“Because we have multiple brands, we get a lot of requests for the same data,” says Cara Weiss, Condé Nast’s senior director of marketing analytics.

“There’s also a lot of back and forth with a single request, because it might take four or five revisions before they realize the story they want to tell.”

The organization built a Power BI-based solution that provides cross-platform insights into data from numerous sources and partners. Power BI’s self-service approach reduced Condé Nast’s “response time” by decentralizing the delivery of centrally managed information and increased business agility. The company reduced its unnecessary reporting responsibilities by 30%.

“Power BI is a solution to the ‘second question’ problem we’re increasingly seeing,” says Justin Glatz, head of business and management systems at Condé Nast.

“While many other BI systems do a good job of answering the first query, it’s almost impossible to follow up.”

Power BI, on the other hand, seems to have been designed from the ground up to quickly respond to the chain of requests that arise after the initial query.”

Enlighten Designs helps customers unlock their data

Enlighten Designs, an application developer and systems integrator based in New Zealand, wants to ensure that all its customers, including small businesses and schools, can benefit from BI tools.

“Our customers want to make organizational decisions from their data, not just gain insights from it,” says Damon Kelly, CEO of Enlighten Designs.

“Our customers want to unlock information in a way that allows business users to ask questions and get answers without having to wait for IT to prepare a report.”

The company helps customers implement Microsoft Power BI with Microsoft Excel 2013 to unlock data and give customers data exploration and analysis capabilities they can use with familiar tools. This gives customers a cloud-based solution that people at all levels of the business can easily use. The Waikato Institute of Technology (Wintec) is already using these technologies to detect students who are failing and about to drop out. It can track trends across the entire student population while seeking to locate and support specific students.

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The Helse vest collects, visualizes and shares medical data.

Helse Vest, the Norwegian regional health authority, operates 50 healthcare facilities (including 10 hospitals). Helse Vest hospitals ordered to gather, visualize and share medical data as part of recent national patient safety effort to develop quality measures and reporting requirements for all care teams and all hospitals.

To do this, each of the ten hospitals had to integrate data from all facilities in its region for analysis – a considerable effort given that none provided an easy technique for combining and visualizing the data. Helse Vest reduced reporting time from 14 days to less than a day by deploying Power BI to aggregate data and build analytics. Employees can now review and view data from many area hospitals using this service.

“Our medical data can now be viewed much more quickly and easily than before.”

“Our reporting is more active and more comprehensive than anything we have seen before,” says Anund Rannestad, head of innovation at Stavanger University Hospital, the second largest hospital in the system.

For example, Helse Vest can now access integrated operations statistics, allowing it to analyze trends in operations checklists from multiple facilities in the region.

“We now have real-time data, which means we have up-to-date metric data for employees at each hospital,” says Rannestad.

“We believe this will have a substantial beneficial influence on patient safety measures, as it will allow us to respond on these metrics much earlier, while the measures are still valid for staff.”

MediaCom increases productivity and optimizes advertising campaigns

To improve its performance and spending, international advertising agency MediaCom sought to monitor the health of the advertising campaigns it generated. She had to compile the results into a single composite score within a few hours. However, it was faced with separate systems, a plethora of third-party data sources, and expensive and complex BI tools. MediaCom used Microsoft and Power BI to build a “health check” that quickly captured the many elements of a cross-platform marketing campaign, increasing productivity by 10% and earning hundreds of millions of dollars on each campaign.

“Power BI will have a significant impact on how we manage campaign performance,” says Lowell Simpson, CIO of MediaCom.

“With digital campaigns evolving significantly faster than traditional advertising, having the ability to optimize across all channels on a daily basis is a huge advantage.”

North Tees uses business intelligence to improve clinical outcomes

For many years, the North Tees and Hartlepool National Health Services Foundation Trust has relied on an on-site Ascribe clinical intelligence system to track clinical use of medicines, spending and treatment effectiveness. However, North Tees was unable to integrate external data sets or study the data in real time due to technology limitations.

North Tees was then appointed as a testing location for a set of self-service BI tools based on Power BI. The developers took a data extract from North Tees and imported it into a Power Pivot model in one day, which previously would have taken five days. North Tees can now include external data sets in its analytics, provide more intuitive and engaging presentations, and reduce costs.

“We could understand which bacteria are resistant to which antibiotics in different areas at different times using Microsoft Power BI and Ascribe,” says Professor Philip Dean, head of the Department of Pharmacy and Quality Control Laboratory Services at North Tees and Hartlepool National Health Services Trust.

“We could learn how socioeconomic status influences the health of our population and the medications they consume.”

“With that, there’s almost nothing we can’t understand better.”

University of Oslo analyzes healthcare data in hours rather than months

Instead of months, the University of Oslo looks at healthcare data in hours. Oslo University Hospital is the largest hospital in Scandinavia, formed in 2010 by the merger of four smaller hospitals.

For enterprise-wide studies, disparate hospital databases must be integrated. For example, the two radiology departments used different types of medical imaging at different frequencies, making it difficult to establish which test was most typically used in a hospital. Analysis often required the use of programming skills that researchers and administrators did not have, and reports had to be processed by the IT department.

The hospital created a solution that collected radiology data from the department’s systems using Power Query. The data was loaded into a cloud database before being prepared and organized in an Excel Power Query workbook placed on a Power BI website which can be used as a collaboration site for academics to share queries. Radiology data that would have taken months to collect and analyze can now be reviewed and delivered to executives and researchers in hours with the use of Power BI.

“It’s a dream,” says Eli Marie Sager, MD, CEO of the Diagnostic and Intervention Clinic at Oslo University Hospital.

“With Power BI, we can capture what’s happening across departments in hours rather than months.”