Chapter 1

The Challenges of Rapid Success

One of Power BI's strengths is its rapid adoption by organizations

Power BI is part of Office 365, and with a pay-per-use model, it's easy to get started. With Power BI Desktop, you can create a dataset and reports within a few hours. Sharing with colleagues is a matter of a few clicks in the Power BI environment. As a result, Power BI quickly spreads throughout the organization like wildfire.

In this initial phase, the focus is on developing datasets, building reports, and rapidly sharing information ad-hoc among users. This is a great development that aligns perfectly with the current era's demand for quick access to information. Soon, there are hundreds of reports and dozens of workspaces where colleagues exchange insights.

The change is driven from the bottom-up, and in this phase, there is little emphasis on management and organizational aspects. Users quickly face challenges in finding the right reports, uncertainty about the reliability of information, and doubts about who should have access to the data. The speed of adoption proves to be both a strength and a weakness.

For organizations taking the next step towards Power BI Premium, the pressure on management only increases. While having your own capacity provides better performance and more capabilities, incorrect usage leads to longer loading times, higher costs, and frustrated users.

Power BI Premium: More Consumers than Creators

Power BI Pro has limited scalability for organizations with hundreds or thousands of Power BI enthusiasts, especially when a significant portion of these users are primarily content consumers. The costs of pay-per-use licensing can quickly add up in such cases. 

Additionally, Power BI's computational power and storage are not suitable for handling large datasets. Microsoft has addressed these issues with Power BI Premium. With Power BI Premium Dedicated Capacity, the computational power and storage are not shared with other organizations, allowing each organization to determine how much of that capacity is needed.

Power BI Management: A Blind Spot

"So, by upgrading to Power BI Premium, everything becomes better, and we're all set?" Not quite. Dedicated Capacity is not unlimited and requires active management and governance. For many companies, the activities involved in managing and governing the Power BI environment are often a blind spot.

Power BI enables self-service data analysis, which is the primary reason for its rapid adoption and great success. The end-user is in control. In most cases, this also means that users can do as they please. They can create collaboration groups (workspaces), publish their own datasets, and share insights with whomever they wish.

The sudden success of Power BI in organizations, combined with a long list of monthly-changing and updated features, places a burden on the administrator responsible for managing and maintaining the platform. In most organizations, Power BI management is either at a low level or nonexistent. There simply isn't an administrator with sufficient knowledge and experience of the Power BI platform. Even if there is an administrator, they quickly become overwhelmed with administrative tasks, user support inquiries, and the need to keep up with updated or new functionalities. In short, Power BI management and governance can be overwhelming.

Customer stories

How these customers use Power BI