Blog & Company Updates

National Sports Organization Transforms Reporting by Migrating to Power BI

3Cloud, formerly Pragmatic Works, was able to reduce the number of reports the customer had to produce from 20,000 down to 1,000, while saving the customer $40,000 a year in licensing costs through complete migrations away from Tableau, Qlik and Domo over to Microsoft Power BI.

Problem:

A national sports organization was paying for and using multiple platforms and products for analytics and reporting, including those competitive to Microsoft’s platform such as Tableau, Qlik and Domo. Each of these reporting platforms came with their own costs to acquire and high annual maintenance fees for continued use. As a result, the customer was paying redundant costs for the multiple reporting and analytics tools, with non-uniform development and reporting standards and practices. Their I.T. team enlisted Microsoft and 3Cloud to prove that a single platform, Power BI, could replace and expand upon the functionality of Qlik, Tableau and Domo, while reducing overall cost through rationalizing reporting and analytics technologies. The goal was to conduct a complete business transformation for the organization.

Solution:

3Cloud came on board and conducted a Proof of Concept (PoC) engagement to demonstrate the functionality of Power BI, and how it could meet and exceed the current Domo and Tableau reports for user’s needs. The sports organization report consumers, mainly from their media and marketing offices, selected a subset of dashboards and reports from these legacy platforms. 3CLoud and Microsoft worked with the internal I.T. team to create and validate equivalent and greater functionality and presentation using the Power BI platform.

To demonstrate the ease of use and functionality of Power BI, 3Cloud delivered live and personalized Power BI training workshops to multiple developer, power user, and report consumer audiences. With the Report Migration PoC initiatives deemed successful by the customer’s internal I.T. and business units, and both the report developer and consumer audiences confident in their abilities to create and gain insight from Power BI, the decision was made to go forward with complete migrations away from Tableau, Qlik and Domo over to Microsoft Power BI.

Benefits:

Through the initiatives brought forth by 3Cloud, the sports organization has further embraced a data driven culture with the development of data governance processes made possible through Power BI. Additionally, they were also able to empower greater end user accessibility and true self-service with the enhancements of reporting and analytics through dynamic report filtering and measures. This new optimized environment significantly reduces any delays in report requests that were traditionally made by the business users, and instead provides the most up to date analytics and insights for the business to take action while ensuring data integrity and access permissions are controlled. They also saw enhancement of reports through dynamic report filtering and measures that removed regular maintenance due to hard coded values that existed in Tableau prior to the new solution.

The cost savings from unifying all reporting platforms was hugely significant for the customer, resulting in a massive reduction in licensing costs as they already had Power BI. By eliminating their use of Tableau, Qlik, and Domo and migrating everything over to Power BI, they were able to successfully eliminate redundant spending, while gaining the ability to quickly scale as needed for a fraction of the cost they were paying before. The elimination of reporting waste by a reduction of manual copy/paste methods into automated database connections not only saved valuable time for their employees, but also provided a cost savings in terms of resource allocation. Most significantly, 3Cloud was able to reduce the number of reports the customer had to produce from 20,000 down to 1,000.

The new centralized analytics and reporting solutions are now able to support the customer’s entire enterprise, and their central I.T. department has gained such confidence in 3Cloud and Microsoft technologies, that they are preparing to work with us to move more workloads to Azure for increased Microsoft Cloud consumption. This next phase of the project will begin with an Azure Analysis Services cube containing a common data set hosted in the Microsoft cloud, which will be intended for use by each of the customer’s 32 member teams. The 32 teams will be encouraged to access and analyze this centralized data using Power BI for this next chapter as well.

By basing our solution in Power BI and Microsoft technologies, 3Cloud not only ensured our own seamless growth and transformation into the cloud and Azure, but that of our clients as well. With Azure services and Power BI, customers can turn their data processing efforts into analytics and reports that provide real-time insights into their business. Whether their data processing is cloud-based or on-premises, direct or complex, single-sourced or vastly scaled, warehoused or real-time, Azure and Power BI provide integrated connectivity to bring any business intelligence efforts to fruition.

Because of the easy connection between Power BI and Azure, and our efforts to become the premier authority helping customers establish these technologies, 3Cloud was able to not only help Microsoft win out over Tableau, Qlik, and Domo, but also show the customer the extreme benefits of moving existing workloads onto Azure, providing future cloud consumption as well.

Unfortunately, having multiple and redundant reporting and analytics systems is not a problem unique to this customer. Many organizations across a vast array of industries, including retail, insurance, public sector and more, are faced with the same issues. The solution we implemented has broad reaching capabilities for any company looking to improve performance, reduce cost and provide top-tier self-service options to their team. Power BI enables users to meet both their self-service and real-time analytics needs, and their enterprise data analytics needs on a single platform that can easily connect to the most powerful cloud service in the world.

The sports organization saw immediate results in time, cost, and performance savings after the Power BI PoC. With Power BI, the customer was able to gain real-time analytics and combine their disjointed reporting platforms into one powerful service. The solution we implemented immediately emboldened users with self-service reporting capabilities while simultaneously providing increased data quality. The reduction in spending on reporting platforms saved them $40,000 a year in licensing costs and at the same time ensured uniformed and consistent reporting.

3Cloud is continuing to partner with the customer and Microsoft to secure a full migration onto the Microsoft platform, including a new Azure initiative, ensuring continued consumed revenue for Microsoft. Jake Switzer, Cloud Solution Architect at Microsoft, stated “It was hard for Microsoft to get in with this customer and do anything with Azure because of their relationship with AWS. Now, because of the success of this project, the door has been opened and we are able to leverage Azure as the next step.” The fantastic working relationship between this organization, 3Cloud and Microsoft is a powerful tool in leveraging the future of the customer’s reporting on high level concerns, such as the draft and salary caps, with Power BI and Azure, ensuring a partnership for years to come.

 

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Author

  • 3Cloud is a “born in the cloud” Gold-certified Microsoft Azure technology consulting firm and Azure Expert Managed Services Provider that provides cloud strategy, design, implementation, and managed services to clients across multiple industries. Founded by former Microsoft technology leaders, 3Cloud combines a team of highly experienced cloud architects and technologists with a strong network of Microsoft sales and engineering relationships to deliver the ultimate Azure experience for clients. 3Cloud is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois with offices in Dallas, Texas and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and supports clients throughout North America and Europe. To learn more, visit www.3cloudsolutions.com.

3CloudNational Sports Organization Transforms Reporting by Migrating to Power BI