Manufacturing / Modern BI

BlueGranite Catalyst: Expert Guidance Ensures Seamless Power BI Deployment



A large chemical manufacturer wanted to offer its business users an alternative to what some here saw as the limited capabilities of its historical business intelligence platform. The company chose Microsoft’s user-friendly Power BI for its rapid, rich data insights – on-premise and in the cloud – as well as its speed and ease of use and integration with existing tools.


The Challenges

Implementing a new technology across any sized organization can be challenging; whether it’s to engage users, maintain governance and security, provide data structure and integrity, integrate new technologies with existing ones, or to ensure users only see information suitable to their roles, getting it right at the outset is crucial to success.

While the corporation recognized Power BI’s strategic advantage potential, it also knew expert collaboration could harness, unleash, and maximize that potential. Making the most of the Power BI toolset requires planning and forethought. To that end, the petrochemical manufacturer brought in BlueGranite’s experienced, innovative data pros.

When considering implementing Power BI, a forward-thinking global petrochemical producer, with 2014 revenues well over $10 billion, allied with BlueGranite. Our data experts collaborated to:

  • Foster the successful ongoing deployment and adoption of Microsoft’s visually rich Power BI business analytics toolset.
  • Facilitate user adoption, engaging and empowering IT, Power BI champions, and users, of whom there are expected to eventually be 600.
  • Build out techniques to monitor and optimize Power BI Gateway health and Power BI Service usage, asset inventory and management.

As with any deployment of this magnitude, good IT governance – a strategic scaffold aimed at meeting business needs in alliance with enterprise goals – is key to good corporate governance. Too often, companies with the best intentions apply technology without a strategic alliance plan, only to later abandon it. But not without first having invested significant time and resources.


The Solution

Using BlueGranite's Catalyst Framework for Modern BI, the client sought to gain the most of out their Power BI investment, accelerating the deployment and adoption timeline with a well-architected, proven approach.

In collaboration with key stakeholders, BlueGranite helped the client work across the organization, making sure departments and teams where on board and in sync with Power BI to enable self-service analytics as a long-term, strategic program.
bluegranite-catalyst-framework-modern-bi-v2BlueGranite began with requirements gathering – studying where the client stood in its self-service analytics journey and exploring where it wanted to go. Working together, we used a phased rollout approach to:

  • Uncover key use cases and scenarios that would dive value, create enthusiasm, and minimize friction.
  • Create a tailored, best-practices Power BI guidance framework.
  • Design key performance indicators to measure deployment success, including those rating user engagement, adoption, empowerment, and experience.
  • Optimize integration of the company’s SAP HANA database management system.
  • Document standards and train IT and administrative users.
  • Deploy infrastructure, data models, and reporting across business lines.

The Results

Inaugural report authors and users here are excited about Power BI’s ease of use and functionality, as well as the capability to build a dashboard once, and forever deploy it. A supply chain manager who oversees rail cars and their inventory now has up-to-date insights into the location of every car, its contents, customer inventory levels, and other critical information; all of which will help build and inform key performance indicators and drive data-centric logistics decisions, rather than reactionary ones.

Our experts trained and supported power users and report consumers, then ensured ease of adoption. We also built out scripts and procedures to capture, store, audit, and visualize data related to the Power BI Gateway health, Power BI Service usage, and Power BI Service asset inventory and management. This will aid IT in gauging system health, and help inform potential expansion. Creation and auditing of Power BI user adoption metrics will ensure this petrochemical producer continues gaining value from the analytics tool suite; it will also help inform whether corrective measures are needed if user behavior doesn’t correspond with expectations.

We’re also working with IT to design domain kits, predesigned Power BI starting points allowing business users to quickly tackle their problems, and we’re implementing a Power BI Center of Excellence – a centralized resource that grows with Power BI champions here, providing users with updated access to best practices, tips, tricks, and tools while freeing the IT team to focus on other necessary tasks.

Deploying Power BI across your organization? Take advantage of BlueGranite’s expert advisory services and tailored Catalyst framework to maximize your success while minimizing risk.  

If you have questions or would like to learn more, please contact us today!


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