Large Retail Company Empowered with Enterprise-Wide Power BI Solution
Established in 1968 as a general store, this retailer now operates convenience stores in 16 states with 2,500 locations and a workforce of over 43,000. Seeking enhanced cost-efficiency and capabilities, the client was looking to transition from MicroStrategy to Power BI. With around 8,000 MicroStrategy reports, the focus was not merely on replicating old reports but on reimagining reporting content to be more accessible to field leadership. The objective was to empower them with key insights for informed decision making, aiming to alleviate the time spent on data consumption. The organization pursued an enterprise-wide implementation of Power BI to streamline reporting and facilitate governed self-service analytics. The tight deadline for deployment was driven by the goal to launch Power BI officially at an internal conference, presenting the solution to executives and users.
The client initially engaged for the 3Cloud’s Modern Business Intelligence Jumpstart solution to define a comprehensive strategy to build a solid, scalable enterprise foundation for Power BI. The focus was not just on report development, but we also established an architecture to drive quick insights and scalable reporting for the large organization. 3Cloud established a robust Power BI enterprise foundation and developed key content for the client and also equipped them to govern and manage the new architecture across their large organization. We showcased the full potential of Power BI, including native content sharing from mobile devices and the ability to produce higher-quality content compared to MicroStrategy. Additionally, we demonstrated how to use the same report for reporting at different organizational levels.
Recognizing delays and heavy data structure loads caused by direct data source access in most reports, 3Cloud implemented reusable core data sets for key business areas. This allowed the client to iterate on data sets, adding new metrics and data points as the business grows. The transition to import mode eliminated the direct query method used by MicroStrategy. Instead of a replicating existing reports, 3Cloud enhanced them with increased interactivity and usefulness. New high-priority reports in Power BI offered self-service analytics capabilities. 3Cloud also demonstrated the ‘art of the possible’ and gathered valuable user feedback for refinement.
Collaborating closely, 3Cloud partnered with the organization to develop a Store Operations solution, establish an enterprise-wide Power BI governance strategy and migrate high-priority reports. The collaborative development model included working with the client’s internal BI and Data Engineering teams, stakeholders and field leadership. The approach involved setting up an analytics Center of Excellence (CoE), implementing governance processes for report development, and providing education on building visuals, writing DAX, and managing the new architecture and environment.
3Cloud established a robust Power BI enterprise foundation and developed key content for the client but more importantly, we equipped them to govern and manage the new architecture across their large organization. We showcased the full potential of Power BI, including native content sharing from mobile devices and the ability to produce higher-quality content compared to MicroStrategy. Additionally, we demonstrated how to use the same report for reporting at different organizational levels.
Throughout our partnership, 3Cloud’s agility in responding to feedback and implementing changes impressed the client’s teams. Now, empowered to be self-sufficient, the client is on track to fully exit MicroStrategy, avoiding high licensing costs. They continue to advance their Power BI implementation, create improved reports, and establish a Power BI Center of Excellence. Store operators are actively utilizing Power BI and the Store Operations solution, contributing to the modernization of the business and reinforcing the retail giant’s leadership position in the industry.
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