When considering replacing Excel or your current reporting & dashboarding package with Power BI, it is important to plan for a smooth transition. As we help customers to implement Power BI, we decided to give a voice to small business owners and tech experts and ask them about the obstacles they encountered.
Shifting to Power BI requires significant upfront work and investment but on top of that, there are several operational challenges. Their impact depends on individual analytics & reporting landscapes, but they are usually worth overcoming.
Here are five challenges that come with implementing Power BI:
Ensure the Constant Accuracy of all Used Data
One of the most difficult challenges is ensuring that all of the data used is accurate and up-to-date. Data is constantly changing, and it can be challenging to keep track of all the changes and ensure that Power BI uses the most current data. Another challenge is getting buy-in from all stakeholders using Power BI. It can be difficult to convince people to use a new tool or change how they work, so it's essential to have a good plan for training and adoption.
Natalia Brzezinska, PhotoAiD
Master the Program Before You Can Train Your Employees
To be frank, making the transition to Power BI is not easy. People have been conditioned for years to use Excel, and most know it like the back of their hands. To make a successful pitch you’ll need to be prepared to convince them. That is why I would recommend mastering Power BI yourself before selling employees on it. If you’re struggling through the program trying to show people the benefits, they’ll never believe you. But if you’re already a wizard and can show them some awesome visuals that Power BI can produce, you’ll be golden.
John Ross, Test Prep Insight
Fund the Initial Cost
In the beginning, incorporating Power BI technology seemed like a larger project than I wanted to take on because it carried a seemingly high price tag. For a long time, I was unable to make a confident business decision. However, now that we are leveraging it full force, I realize that it saves us more than it costs us. I’ve learned that adopting cutting-edge tools into my company tech stack is well worth the investment.
Stephanie Venn-Watson, fatty15
Work With Limited Visual Configuration
Power BI’s slightly limiting formulas made visual configuration challenging. With the paid version of Power BI, we could upload large amounts of data, but we found we were stuck with the visual presentation Power BI offered. However, it’s still a beneficial tool. It’s relatively easy to use if you’re familiar with the DAX language, it’s inexpensive, and you can upload its data to Excel.
Ankur Goyal, Coterie
Expect a Slow Transition Period
When many employees have been using Microsoft Excel for years, there is sometimes a slow transition to using Power BI for similar tasks. I’ve found it’s important not only to teach employees how to use Power BI but why they should use Power BI. As we continue to scale up as a company, Power BI will increasingly be the program that best suits our analysis, and even if a particular analysis can be done in Excel, it doesn’t mean it will always be able to be done on Excel. When employees properly understand that, they tend to transition more willingly.
John Jacob, Hoist