Tag Archives: Scale

Teradata Delivers Cloud-based Analytics at Scale to Office Depot

CustomerSuccess social share smallest Teradata Delivers Cloud based Analytics at Scale to Office Depot

Leading provider of business services and supplies migrates to Teradata IntelliCloud; benefits have already included better performance, faster insights and cost savings

Teradata (NYSE: TDC), the leading cloud-based data and analytics company, announced today that Office Depot, Inc., a leading omni-channel provider of business services, products and technology solutions, is now using Teradata IntelliCloud to run more than 800,000 queries a day on a secure and scalable analytics platform in the cloud. By delivering a balance of highly competitive pricing and advanced analytic performance, Teradata is ensuring Office Depot has the insight to achieve its goal of becoming a business services platform with end-to-end solutions for organizations of all sizes.
The migration began with a desire by Office Depot to begin leveraging the public cloud as a cost-effective and scalable solution for managing the company’s complex data and analytics workloads. With years of reliable performance from a Teradata on-premises system, and the promise of Teradata Everywhere to deploy its analytics ecosystem anywhere, Office Depot had complete freedom to determine which of many cloud deployment options to use. They also had the flexibility to choose when the move to the cloud should begin, how fast that migration should proceed, and how long to keep any on-premises infrastructure operating in tandem. These are options only Teradata could provide. Further de-risking the buying decision was the software consistency offered by Teradata Everywhere, which allowed Office Depot to migrate to Teradata IntelliCloud with zero code changes to existing applications.
Office Depot is a leading provider of business services and supplies, products and technology solutions through its fully integrated omni-channel platform of approximately 1,400 stores, online presence, and dedicated sales professionals and technicians to small, medium and enterprise businesses.
“We chose to pursue the use of a cloud-based data and analytics platform to drive scalability, enable speed of delivery and to deliver cost savings,” said Todd Hale, Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Office Depot. “That said, because we consider our Teradata platform to be central to our operations, we wanted to proceed with caution. Now that the implementation is complete, we can share that we’ve been extremely pleased with the outcome: it’s cost-effective, the performance is significantly improved over our previous on-premises system, and the cutover was non-disruptive to our business analysts and data scientists. This has been a significant win for our company and a very important step in our transformational strategy.”
Today, Office Depot is running its mainstream production and test/development environments in Teradata IntelliCloud. Office Depot is also leveraging Teradata Managed Services – consultants who are highly trained in advanced tools and process improvements – to ensure its entire analytics environment is managed, optimized and productive. Together, the move to Teradata IntelliCloud and the use of Teradata Managed Services allow Office Depot to secure full value from its analytics investments while focusing internal resources on business value and transformational insights.
Teradata IntelliCloud – Analyze Anything, Anywhere, at Scale
With an innovative product portfolio and licensing structures designed to de-risk buying decisions, Teradata gives its customers the most scalable, secure and proven path to the cloud at the speed and in the deployment environment that is right for them. A key component of this portfolio is Teradata IntelliCloud, a comprehensive as-a-service offering that provides the best performing analytics platform in the cloud.
Teradata is in the advanced tier of AWS partners for both technology and consulting. The company holds more than 5,100 AWS accreditations and certifications, and was recently awarded the AWS Big Data Competency distinction. 
Teradata IntelliCloud and Teradata Managed Services are available today.

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How Bigmate is Leveraging TIBCO Jaspersoft and AWS to Quickly Scale and Deliver

Bigmate How Bigmate is Leveraging TIBCO Jaspersoft and AWS to Quickly Scale and Deliver

Bigmate is a leading innovator in the global field of Vehicle Telematics and Internet of Assets (GPS monitoring and asset management technology). With over 15 years of experience in the field, they are one of the brightest telematics and Internet of Assets (IoA) solution providers, offering cutting-edge GPS monitoring and productivity solutions to a broad range of industries and markets. Bigmate empowers businesses with capabilities that maximize the performance of their assets, creating a better-connected world.

Bigmate has two platforms that deliver IoA solutions: Bigmate Telematics and Internet of Things (IoT).

The Bigmate telematics platform — which has been developed over more than 10 years — provides real-time vehicle tracking and related features. It is also coupled with XML-based APIs for integration. New and emerging telematics applications, such as vehicle engine monitoring, are driving the need for complex dashboards and reporting for customers to access.  With data generated as frequently as once a second, delivering visualizations that bring clarity to the data was vital.

Bigmate’s IoT platform was developed within the last two years from the ground up and was designed for large numbers of devices that generate small data messages.  Very different from telematics, IoT needed a platform that could be customized to deliver data to their clients in the way their clients would like to see it.

Bigmate uses Amazon Web Services (AWS) for all of its provisioning and services. Deeply integrated into the unique AWS products and services, their IoT platform is developed to take advantage of a serverless architecture and enable complex RESTful API services. The telematics platform is in the process of migrating to AWS.

Bigmate examined many IoT dashboard and reporting solutions, spending considerable time to see whether there was a solution that could be used to enhance our telematics business while being able to deliver expandability and extensibility needed for the rapidly growing IoT solution.

Bigmate chose TIBCO Jaspersoft based on these key reasons:

  • Ability to deliver a single solution for both their existing telematics solution and meet the rapidly evolving needs of the IoT solution.
  • Ability to scale with the growth of the IoT business.
  • Multi-tenancy that can enable secure “containerization” of client solutions.
  • Ability to Handle complex APIs.
  • Ability to integrate within their web services framework.
  • Flexibility to add new data sources as their platforms evolve.
  • Ability to process large data volumes reliably and efficiently to deliver complex analytics.

Today, Bigmate is leveraging TIBCO Jaspersoft as their IoT and reporting solution to enhance the telematics business, while also delivering expandability and extensibility for their rapidly growing IoA solution. By being heavily integrated into the unique AWS products and services, their IoT platform has been developed to take advantage of a serverless architecture. In turn, Bigmate has gained efficiencies from greater scalability, improved ability to share real-time data across stakeholders, and greater flexibility to add new data sources as the Bigmate IoA platform evolves. The opportunity to expand its platform with TIBCO Spotfire is underway to leverage real-time data presentation within seconds of the data being received and processed by AWS.

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The TIBCO Blog

Smart Data Discovery: Simplify and Scale

iStock 841278644 e1519166526449 Smart Data Discovery: Simplify and Scale

Companies in every industry are awash in siloed structured and unstructured data from multiple sources that are difficult to blend for analysis. But now, new data discovery techniques, fueled by AI and machine learning methods, are solving this problem and taking business insights to an entirely new level.

Enter the TIBCO Spotfire® Smart Data Catalog, which allows you to search data as easily as a simple web search while also recommending related data to include in your analysis. Thanks to the Smart Data Catalog, you can easily access enterprise data, find new data, and experience the benefits of automatic mashup. All of this allows you to discover relationships among tables and documents, concepts and sentiment, as well as spot opportunities and risks without having to rely on your IT department.

Once the Smart Data Catalog searches through data across multiple unstructured and disjointed data sources — including customer support tickets, warranty claims, social media feeds, maintenance history, and more — it can apply text-mining algorithms to find relationships. The results are then displayed visually to create a one-stop-shop for discovering, unifying, and modeling data that makes sense.

You may be wondering just how accurate these text-mining algorithms could be. By using AI and Machine Learning methods, the Smart Data Catalog can use natural language process, synonyms, and customer-specific taxonomies to increase accuracy. Navigating data has never been easier, especially when Spotfire provides a visual representation so you can easily interact with the data and find insights to solve business problems and establish your business as a digital leader.

To learn how to navigate the TIBCO Spotfire Smart Data Catalog and see real-life examples, including how biopharmaceutical companies have used Smart Data Discovery to unlock valuable information and discover insights, click here. Our three part webinar series with Attivio is sure to help you simplify and scale your smart data discovery. Complete with a live demo and Q&A session, you won’t want to miss this series.

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The TIBCO Blog

LinkedIn open-sources Dynamometer for Hadoop performance testing at scale

 LinkedIn open sources Dynamometer for Hadoop performance testing at scale

LinkedIn today released an open source project called Dynamometer to help businesses stress-test large-scale Hadoop big data processing systems without using a massive amount of infrastructure.

The tool is designed to prevent an issue that the enterprise social network encountered in early 2015 when the company added 500 machines to its Hadoop Distributed Filesystem (HDFS) cluster in an attempt to improve performance. Instead, the team ran into a bug that only showed up at large scale and that caused jobs targeting the cluster to time out.

Dynamometer, which is named after a tool used to test cars, simulates large-scale clusters while only requiring roughly 5 percent of the actual underlying infrastructure. That helps developers get around one of the key issues with testing software at scale: Actually provisioning all of the machines can be costly, even in a public cloud environment.

Instead, customers can use Dynamometer to test the same sorts of workloads they see in production and ensure that the system will stand up to software changes. LinkedIn used the tool to analyze migration of the company’s HDFS clusters from Hadoop 2.3 to 2.6, a change that required adjusting certain parameters of the clusters in order to avoid performance issues.

Erik Krogen, a lead engineer on Dynamometer, told VentureBeat in an email that the tool is meant both for companies working with Hadoop at large scale, like LinkedIn, and smaller shops that are proposing changes to the HDFS open source project and want to make sure they won’t affect performance at scale.

In the long run, Krogen hopes that Dynamometer will become part of release testing for HDFS, as well as regular continuous integration of new code changes between releases. That’s why LinkedIn released it to the public as an open source project. The company already used Dynamometer to help with the release of Hadoop 2.7.4, which allowed it to verify that the maintenance release didn’t negatively impact performance.

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Big Data – VentureBeat

ScienceLogic Picks NetSuite to Help Scale Rapidly Growing Business

By Kelly Scott, Software Industry Marketing Lead

Starting his career as a CPA at one of the big four public accounting firms – which included two years spent in auditing — Jonathan Cochrane learned a simple truth.

“Rapidly growing businesses operating on spreadsheets for complex accounting issues are a nightmare to audit,” he said.

When Cochrane, now the assistant controller at Reston, Va.-based ScienceLogic, joined the Hybrid IT Infrastructure Management firm in 2015, he realized something immediately. Even though the company had managed their financials effectively to that point, the Excel-based system was poised to break. Managing more than eight currencies, five subsidiaries, and multiple sources of subscription-based revenue was beginning to wear the team down.

As the company eyed a potential IPO, “I knew we were going to run into some significant issues down the road,” he said. “We needed to implement a system that would scale with our business and hold up to the strict requirements of Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX).

brand sciencelogic badge rgb ScienceLogic Picks NetSuite to Help Scale Rapidly Growing BusinessScienceLogic built its wildly successful business on the premise of easing complexity for its customers across so-called hybrid infrastructures that span data centers to the cloud. It delivers services and technology that help its customers – enterprises, service providers, and government agencies – gain contextual insights from modern IT operations. These solutions are used by thousands of customers globally to manage their IT infrastructures. ScienceLogic grew out of bootstrapped beginnings and is currently backed by three private equity firms.

As it developed a business case and choose a vendor for its ERP implementation, ensuring that technology didn’t introduce complexity into its internal operations was top of mind. Simplicity that spanned the implementation, to day-to-day use, to ongoing maintenance and upgrades was paramount. But the software also had to provide robust functionality that would prepare ScienceLogic for life as a public company.

Cochrane said the breadth of the NetSuite platform was exactly what they needed. NetSuite offered unique functionality that aligned with ScienceLogic’s global business, and aspirations to go public, including Advanced Revenue Management and Multi-Book Accounting functionality.

In fact, as part of its vetting process, ScienceLogic looked at what companies like them who had launched IPOs were using.

“Based on our research, nine out of ten companies going public were doing so on the NetSuite platform,” Cochrane said. “System implementations are complicated, time-consuming, and we needed to do it once and do it right. Our worst-case scenario would be to implement a platform and repeat the process again three years later.”

The business went live with NetSuite OneWorld in April of 2017, leveraging a combination of the NetSuite SuiteSuccess industry solution and business consulting from McLean, Va.-based MorganFranklin to supplement NetSuite’s technical expertise.

ScienceLogic Streamlines Financial Processes, Increases Cash Flow

In just a few months, the business has already seen huge improvements in managing financial and accounting processes for a global business. Management of subsidiaries in the UK, Singapore, Australia, Canada and Ireland has been streamlined with NetSuite’s robust multicurrency functionality, which has been a “game changer” for the finance team, according to Cochrane. The business can easily conduct transactions in British Pounds, Euros and US, Singapore, Australian and Canadian Dollars. ScienceLogic completes its month-end close faster than it did before it implemented NetSuite – already shortening the time to five days.

“Because our team is able to close the books in five days we can spend the rest of the month helping our leaders be strategic,” he said. “When you don’t have to spend the entire month closing last month’s results, you can stop and think clearly. It takes a lot of pressure off our team.”

Additionally, days sales outstanding has been cut by 33 percent. “Our visibility into accounts receivable is the best it’s ever been. Our sales team doesn’t need to worry about having to chase customers for payments and can focus on closing the next sale.”

This year, the company is leveraging the NetSuite’s capabilities to roll out individual budgets 11 different departments. “We’ve had overwhelmingly positive feedback from our department heads. We’re able to deliver actionable insights to our leaders allowing them to make very impactful decisions for ScienceLogic.”

Everyone from Finance to Sales Empowered by Financials

In turn, for a business in which some 90 percent of the licenses are sold on a subscription basis, NetSuite’s Advanced Revenue Management (ARM) enables the finance team to more easily get a full picture of the customer contract, and forecast what the revenue is going to be and when it will be recognized.

“We know, with incredible accuracy, what our revenue from existing customers are going to be next year. This gives our finance team and executives incredible insight into the next 12 months.” Cochrane said.

By enabling real-time visibility into the impact, say, a potential contract win will have on revenue, ARM functionality could even empower sales representatives to close deals.

“We are able to show a clear cause-and-effect relationship to our sales team and leadership. If a sales rep offers a particular discount or extended payment terms, we can project the effect on company goals. This is powerful information at the fingertips of our executives.” Cochrane said.

In turn, the business has a strong foundation to meet current regulatory requirements that apply to private companies, such as the upcoming deadline for implementing new revenue recognition standards required through ASC 606. And it is poised for a potential IPO.

“Our entire finance team sleeps a bit easier at night following the Netsuite implementation,” he said.

Learn more about NetSuite’s solution for software companies.

Posted on Fri, February 2, 2018
by Barney Beal filed under

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The NetSuite Blog

Power BI at Ignite 2017: announcing enterprise-ready capabilities for establishing data culture at scale

Since we released it over two years ago, Power BI has redefined what is possible with a truly modern BI tool. Delivered as a cloud service that anyone can sign up for and experience in minutes, it has made our ambitions of delivering BI to everyone a reality.

Power BI has quickly become the platform of choice for enterprises that want to establish a “data culture” to run their organizations on data-driven decisions. This week at Microsoft Ignite we will showcase how organizations from across the globe have used Power BI to get the most of their data. We are also really excited to announce a wealth of new features and capabilities that will help enterprises to achieve even more with their data. It’s going to be a great fall season!

Enterprise-grade scalability and performance with Power BI Premium

With a capacity-based pricing model, coupled with dedicated hardware, Power BI Premium is the right choice for a variety of critical analytics workloads in the enterprise. Businesses around the world are continuing to experience the impact of delivering intelligence to users throughout the organization with Power BI Premium, including many that have adopted the offering since its general availability in June – for example:

ASOS is a UK-based online retailer, whose mission is to become the world’s number one fashion destination for 20-somethings. Josie Williams, Data Services Architect at ASOS, said, “As we grow, Power BI apps together with Premium capacity provide scalable operational reporting, helping us to maintain a best-in-class Customer Care function.”

Slalom is a purpose-driven consulting firm with 25 locations across the U.S., U.K., and Canada helping companies build for the future. Mike Heffernan, CFO, says, “In addition to a highly efficient licensing model, Power BI Premium has empowered Slalom to share business insights across our core platforms with a broad global audience, taking Slalom one step closer to realizing a vision of BI for everyone.”

Since launch, we’ve been working on major new capabilities for Power BI Premium, geared towards further realizing our vision of enabling truly massive deployments and demanding workloads in cost-effective fashion.

  • One-click scale-up [available this week] of Premium capacities, meaning that organizations can easily increase the resources brought to bear on their critical data, without the need to move content around or set up new capacities.
  • Larger Premium capacity nodes [coming October] featuring the new P4 and P5 SKUs, which give organizations even more room to grow as they scale their data infrastructure to new heights
  • Support for large models [coming October] in Premium, allowing organizations to leverage dedicated capacity to host datasets 10x larger than what was previously possible
  • Power BI Premium available for US government and US Department of Defense users [coming October], building on Power BI Pro’s availability announced earlier this year. Visit the Azure Government Cloud blog for more information.

Enterprise-scale distribution and compliance features for Power BI Pro and Power BI Premium

Additionally, we’ll be building on existing distribution and compliance features to help you keep tabs on your enterprise data and meet security, governance and regulatory requirements.

  • External distribution of Power BI apps[coming October] to suppliers, customers, or business partners to improve decision making across the value chain. Built on Azure Active Directory, external users don’t need to remember extra passwords and can sign on using their own organization’s security credentials.
  • Push Power BI apps to end users automatically [coming October] so that everyone in your organization can find the reports and dashboards they need, on their first day, and across all their devices. Governance controls are built in to ensure data quality and control standards are met.
  • In-region auditing [coming October] with auditing data generated by Power BI now stored in the same region as your Power BI tenant. Along with our global data center footprint and industry-leading national cloud strategy, Power BI uniquely enables you to meet your organization’s compliance requirements.
  • Data lineagetools [coming October] to understand the downstream use of sensitive data sources to plan changes, manage compliance, or understand performance and load. The data lineage solution template is fully extensible to your needs and can be integrated as part of your organization’s monitoring or adoption reporting.

Enterprise-wide deployment of Power BI Desktop

Power BI Desktop is the most powerful tool in the market for shaping data into rich, interactive reports. In hundreds of thousands of organizations, Power BI Desktop has helped kindle a powerful data culture by empowering end users to make the most of their data.

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Above: Power BI Desktop can now be widely deployed through the Windows Store

We want to help supercharge this movement, and to empower millions more to achieve the same. To that end, we are excited to announce that Power BI Desktop will now also be available in the Windows Store. Enterprises will now be able to easily push the latest version of Power BI Desktop to their end users, ensuring access to the latest and greatest features. And, as we continue to improve Power BI Desktop, any existing installations will automatically be updated, without the need for end user Windows administrator rights. It’s never been so easy to empower your entire organization with cutting-edge data analytics capabilities. Learn more in the Windows Store

Enterprise-ready partner network

Power BI works with a rich network of partners to create solutions tailored to every need. Today, we are excited to announce exciting updates to our partner ecosystem.

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Above: new Plus subscription for ArcGIS in Power BI

Last June, in collaboration with Esri, a global leader in Geospatial Information Systems, we announced the general availability of ArcGIS Maps for Power BI. The integration of Power BI with ArcGIS has allowed us to redefine how business users experience their data using maps and advanced GIS techniques previously available only in specialized tooling.  We are excited to announce that the new Plus subscription for ArcGIS Maps for Power BI will enable users to further advance that experience. The Plus subscription allows users to access more maps, global demographics, verified ready-to-use data, and plot even more locations on their maps for compelling visualizations that give perspective and impact decisions. Esri will make this new subscription available later in Q4. Learn more

Powerful ISV ecosystem with Power BI Embedded in Azure

Power BI empowers ISVs looking to embed rich data visualization and analysis into their custom-built applications and solutions. Today, we are excited to announce that new Power BI Embedded SKUs will be available in Azure beginning Oct. 1. These capacity-based SKUs simplify how ISVs and developers use Power BI capabilities, helping them quickly add stunning visuals, reports and dashboards into their apps. Read more here

We look forward to seeing you in Orlando. Stop by our booth and attend our sessions. If you’re unable to attend, be sure to watch online.

See you in person or online!

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Microsoft Power BI Blog | Microsoft Power BI

WEBINAR SERIES: Simplify and Scale Your Smart Data Discovery

Attivio Webinar Series 2 Blog 620x360 WEBINAR SERIES: Simplify and Scale Your Smart Data Discovery

Join TIBCO for this 3-part webinar series where we help you simplify and scale your smart data discovery. We’ll walk you through the concepts, then do a live example using the technique and conclude with a live Q&A session. All webinars will be recorded, so bookmark this page to return for the on-demand content.

Register today.

AI-Driven Data Discovery and Cognitive Search to Accelerate Big Data Insights with TIBCO Spotfire Smart Data Catalog
Live Date: July 26, 2017   

Looking for the right data across departmental silos is not a great use of analysis time. The TIBCO Spotfire® Smart Data Catalog, a new data connectivity and management solution makes it dramatically easy to search and automatically blend related data across multiple disparate data sources, including databases, data lakes and files. Once found and blended the catalog makes it easy to provision data to Spotfire for analysis. Learn more.

Unlocking the Value from Unstructured Data Goldmine with TIBCO Spotfire Data Catalog
Live Date: September 7, 2017  

Historically it has been very difficult to unlock the value of information trapped in unstructured data. Tune in to this webcast to see how the Smart Spotfire Data Catalog can extract meaning and sentiment from millions of documents and make the results available to analyze in an easy to use visual analysis environment. Learn more.

AI & Machine Learning Powered Data Discovery with TIBCO Spotfire Data Catalog
Live Date: October 11, 2017   

The TIBCO Spotfire Smart Data Catalog, uses artificial intelligence and machine learning methods to make it easy to search and find the right data. It uses natural language processing, synonyms and customer specific taxonomies to increase the accuracy of search results. Machine learning is used to auto-join data sources leveraging a patent-pending technology. Learn more.

Register today.

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how to hardcode Z axis scale on 3D surface

I am trying to plot a paraboloid in Mathematica. Here is my code:

Plot3D[x^2+y^2, {x, -4, 4}, {y, -4, 4}]

The output is a 3D plot but with the vertical axis completely off scale:

W5sLa how to hardcode Z axis scale on 3D surface

I tried several different functions namely BoxRatio, AspectRatio and PlotRange. None of these work. How do I hardcode the z-axis scale to be the same as the x and y scales and not exagerated like the above figure?

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Recent Questions – Mathematica Stack Exchange

Driving Power BI adoption in your organization – Learn how Microsoft does this at scale

At Microsoft leaders across the company have committed to fostering a data culture and are often asked how to drive this type of change. An internal program designed to drive adoption of Power BI internally has been at the center of this cultural shift.  

Through a combination of training, a comprehensive communication strategy, and user-centric features and design, BI@Microsoft drives adoption of our data culture with Power BI. This program enables our employees to use data visualization, business intelligence and statistical analysis in their day-today jobs. Employees were previously limited by a mindset that they didn’t have the technical skills or time necessary to model data. Or they thought the data was not available or accessible. The BI@Microsoft program has proven that data driven decisions are possible at every level of the organization, while also creating loyal fans that influence their teams to use data to make informed decisions.  

As Microsoft’s “First and Best” customer, Microsoft employees have the responsibility and privilege to be the first people in the world to use Microsoft products in production. With Power BI, we are not only the first customer, but because of the reach and scale of our company, we are a great example of an active and engaged global Power BI user bases.   

BI@Microsoft is a program inside Microsoft IT which is responsible for the BI tools Microsoft employees use. We are responsible for two key things, driving rapid internal adoption of Power BI and influencing the Power BI product group so that it builds a product that meets the needs of large enterprise customers like Microsoft. This virtuous feedback cycle ensures we build better products for our external customers.

clip image0029 thumb Driving Power BI adoption in your organization – Learn how Microsoft does this at scale    

The purpose of this blog post is to explain how we drive adoption of Power BI at scale so that you can learn from our best practices and implement a similar method. That way you too can get the most value out of your Power BI licenses. Like you, we are always striving do more with less.  For that reason, our program is focused on reaching and influencing the behavior of employees at scale.

The BI@Microsoft program uses basic principles of change management to enable change inside the company. We focus on different activities based on the product lifecycle and recent updates. We might start the cycle over again when promoting a big new feature. The principles drive the following behaviors:

  1. Awareness—Employees are aware of the product and its features
  2. Understanding—Employees understand the benefits of the product and its features
  3. Enablement—Employees learn or know how to use the product and its features
  4. Adoption—Employees usethe product regularly

clip image0049 thumb Driving Power BI adoption in your organization – Learn how Microsoft does this at scale

We manage our program in what we call workstreams.  We’ve found this way of structuring the work very effective, and I think it will be easy for you to see what applies to your situation.  We will briefly explain each of the workstreams, and you can determine which of them are most appropriate for your company to help you get the most value out of Power BI.

Here is a list of all our workstreams, a description of each, and examples of tasks and goals that may apply to an external company.   We will limit this discussion only to the activities that a company outside of Microsoft would benefit from.

  • Strategy and Program Management
  • Power BI Subject Matter Expert (SME)
  • Website
  • Training
  • Service & Support
  • Social & Community
  • Reporting & Telemetry
  • Advisors
  • Suppliers

This illustration summarizes all the worktracks and prioritizes which to focus on first.

clip image0069 thumb Driving Power BI adoption in your organization – Learn how Microsoft does this at scale

Strategy and Program Management:  Our leadership team determines the strategy of the program and provides overall program management. This workstream aligns the program strategy to drive adoption of Power BI to your corporate BI and data strategy.  If you don’t have a corporate BI or data strategy, this is a great opportunity to determine one. At Microsoft, we were fortunate that the launch of Power BI aligned with our CIO’s drive to foster a Microsoft data-driven culture within Microsoft. Activities include but are not limited to:

  •          Obtaining executive sponsorship and communicating it
  •          Aligning program goals to corporate goals
  •          Planning strategy and execution, and measuring the program
  •          Obtaining program resources and budget
  •          Managing all the other workstreams

Power BI Subject Matter Expert (SME):   For the program to succeed, at least one person in the program must be a Power BI subject matter expert (SME).  This person (or persons) is a BI professional with deep experience and knowledge of how the company uses BI, and helps the program make all decisions related to Power BI usage inside the company. Activities include but are not limited to:

  • Understanding Power BI and how your company will use it
  • Continually learning and keeping current with the Power BI roadmap and features
  • Sharing knowledge about Power BI roadmap and features with the program and the company
  • Power BI content and timing for all other workstreams
  • Liaising with Power BI product group and Microsoft on behalf of your company
  • Advising the program and employees on features, timing, training
  • Vetting or creating content to publish through all workstreams
  • Planning and executing any early adoption and testing programs for employees

Website:  We created and manage an internal website for Microsoft employees to help them easily find all the information they need to adopt Power BI.  Our internal website is a critical component of our program and we use it as a platform for communicating the information employees need to adopt Power BI at scale. The internal website is a combination of curated public information about Power BI and company-specific content.   We use it as an anchor to publish and centralize the content we think employees need to use Power BI, which includes but is not limited to:

  •          Home page for announcements, easy-to-find links, the latest news
  •          Internal blog for Microsoft company specific content or confidential news
  •          Curated content from public Power BI sources
  •          Best practices for using Power BI
  •          Company-specific guidance (e.g., Microsoft IT security guidance for using Power BI with confidential data)
  •          How to get support on Power BI
  •          How to participate in our internal community
  •          How to meet with our advisory services
  •          List of preferred suppliers to hire for Power BI projects
  •          All training options—public and internal

A view of the internal Microsoft BI website.  We update this weekly with the news from not only Power BI, but all Microsoft BI related products like the recently announced Azure Analytics Services.

clip image0089 thumb Driving Power BI adoption in your organization – Learn how Microsoft does this at scale

Marketing:  A essential element of our program is our marketing.  Marketing the resources we make available to employees is critical to driving adoption at scale.   We use our marketing channels to communicate everything from how to make the best use of new features, to examples of how other teams are using Power BI, to corporate guidance on data security. We use standard marketing techniques like segmentation to target the right message to the right people at the right time.  We also promote the adoption and use of other BI backend tools like Cortana Intelligence Suite and Azure Analysis Services. Activities include but are not limited to:

  •          Segmenting users via telemetry and existing email distribution lists in the company
  •          Sending monthly newsletters to our three user segments: business users, analysts and developers
  •          Sending weekly training summary
  •          Planning and managing targeted marketing campaigns. For example, we are planning a marketing campaign in support of new security features that shipped recently that now make it possible to use Power BI to analyze our most confidential corporate data.

Training:  Another important component is ensuring that employees have the training they need to learn how to use Power BI. Because we started using Power BI before there was a formal public training program; we built a lot of our own training. You are lucky, there now is a wealth of publicly available Power BI training that you can use for your company!  Now that there is great public training is available, we have scaled back our custom training resources significantly and now leverage the public Power BI training as much as possible. Here are the activities we still do with regard to training:

  •          Identify and curate the best training and provide links to that from our website
  •          Host “Applied BI” 30-minute presentations in which internal users explain how they used Power BI to solve their business problems
  •          Host internal Dashboard in a Day training classes. This class content is available to partners for external delivery.
  •          Host monthly Office Hours where users can ask questions of the Power BI SME(s) and experts in the company
  •          Publish a weekly training summary with the best training published that week and upcoming live sessions
  •          Enable users to subscribe to internal training communications through a distribution list to receive all notices about upcoming training opportunities

Here’s a glance at the training page on our website where employees can find the best curated public training information, internal-only training opportunities and a link to sign up to our training newsletter:

clip image0109 thumb Driving Power BI adoption in your organization – Learn how Microsoft does this at scale

Support:  Microsoft has an internal HelpDesk for employees to find solutions to technical problems.   We use the Microsoft IT HelpDesk for all major applications used in the company including Office, Skype, and Windows. BI@Microsoft worked with the Power BI team and the IT HelpDesk team to streamline support for Power BI through the formal IT HelpDesk processes. To adopt Power BI, you will also want to determine what is the best support mechanism for your users and how you will integrate that with the standard help facilities or help desk you have for your users. Activities in this worktrack for you may include:

  •          Understanding your corporate technical support processes
  •          Determining how you want to provide technical support for Power BI for your users:
    •    Use the free support
    •    Use your company’s or corporate technical support processes to streamline support
  •          (Optionally) Purchasing a support contract for Power BI through Microsoft
  •          (Optionally) Establish a process for your internal technical support to escalate to Power BI through your support contract
  •          Communications to your employees about how to get support for Power BI through your company

Social & Community:  A workstream that we believe is very important to the success of adoption of a viral product like Power BI is the social & community workstream. We heavily leverage this workstream to increase employee awareness of Power BI, amplify our internal marketing campaigns , and give users a safe place to ask each other questions and get answers. You can use the Power BI public community or build your own community using your own internal social tools. We have an extensive Yammer community with many active members helping each other with Power BI questions. Tips for success for an internal Power BI community include the following:

  •          Provide a safe place to ask questions and get answers
  •          Identify experts in the company to help others
  •          Run contests to increase adoption through competition and fun—see the Annik custom visual contest as an example of a great community activity
  •          Host regular meeting to increase the number and expertise of your champions
  •          Plan and execute community activities that match your corporate culture to encourage users to engage and help each other

Strategic Advisors:  We have a small team of BI advisors who engage with key internal BI teams creating Power BI solutions for large internal teams.  These advisors work with the BI teams to ensure they are aware of and using all the resources available to help them adopt Power BI and facilitate their progress.    In your company, you could take a similar approach to ensure large internal Power BI projects are successful.

Reporting:   Finally, in alignment with our data-driven culture, we continually measure our program’s impact.  We analyze Power BI user activity and combine it with user surveys, interviews and focus groups to help make decisions on how to run and improve our program.   For example, we track employees Power BI usage and correlate it to delivery of internal training to see if the training was effective in helping employees use Power BI.   User activity is available to the Power BI admin settings which takes you to the Power BI audit logs.

We measure and report on nearly every aspect of our program to inform our decisions, including but not limited to:

  •          Power BI usage by division, team, and manager (MAU, WAU, DAU)
  •          Training attendance and activity
  •          Usage of our website
  •          Social activity

You can pick and choose which of these workstreams are most appropriate for your company and would likely yield the best results based on your corporate culture. Use them as examples and tailor them or similar activities to your company.

To help you understand more about how we did this:

Finally, I’ve made some Power BI feature requests that will make the effort to drive adoption at scale easier for others.  I hope you will take a look at these requests and vote for the features you believe your company would benefit from using and even make your own requests.   https://ideas.powerbi.com/forums/265200-power-bi-ideas/category/180799-adoption

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How to Build and Scale Your Brand [VIDEO]

What happens when your company outgrows your brand – do you update, totally rebrand or just refresh? And how do you do it without spending way more than you can afford?

Eric Mason, the director of strategic marketing and communications at Wix.com, tackles just those questions on this week’s episode of Ignition

Eric small business owners to think of their brand in terms of how it makes people feel instead of as a brochure or website. And he had three main suggestions for a rebrand:

  • Employees are critical brand ambassadors
  • Build a relationship with loyal users
  • Focus your message

Check out all of Eric’s suggestions in the full video!


Don’t have time to watch the full video? Check out our summary below.

ultimate guide maximize value of leads How to Build and Scale Your Brand [VIDEO]

This week’s questions was from Rob:

Our web development business has really taken off and now that there are six people here, with more to come soon, our branding is feeling both out-of-date and too small for where we’re going. Do we need to update our brand? And if so, how can we redefine and refine our brand story and overall branding without spending way more than we can afford?

Eric Mason, the director of strategic marketing and communications at Wix.com started out by congratulating Rob for growing the business, because he’s clearly doing something right. Too often small business owners don’t pat themselves on the back when they’ve got that kind of growth.

Most people think that brand is their logo or website or a fancy brochure they put together. So Eric suggested Rob take a step back and think about his brand as how his company makes people feel, how it resonates with people when they think of you. Eric had three suggestions for small business owners to rebrand themselves or build their brand and deepen their engagement with their users.

The first thing is to take a look to your left and right to your employees. Your employees are your number one brand advocates. If you’re building a brand, your best sellers, marketers, people that can go out and spread the news are sitting right in your own office. So everything from how you’re doing billing to how you’re greeting new clients to your follow-up, those people around you are critical in building your brand and really deepening the engagement that you have with your users. 

Next, look to your existing users. They’re the second level of building a great brand. Find out where those users live and what they’re doing and engage with them. Maybe it’s putting together an email newsletter so that you’re building that brand relationship with your users. It’s not just about your website. It’s about building that thing with loyal users first, and then spreading out from there. 

Existing customers can be amazing tools. Eric shared some Nielsen numbers that show that 92 percent of people trust earned media or something that’s said from someone else more than any other type of advertising. More than 80 percent of people actually decide on what they’re going to do with their dollars based on what someone says on social media. So these are really powerful data points that really speak to the fact that if you’re going to build your brand, support your customers. Build that relationship with your existing user base. It doesn’t cost you a penny.

Once you’ve concentrated on employees and customers, Eric suggests only then do you look at your visual identity online or offline. He says maybe it’s time for a website refresh, but said something a bit more contrary: Great brands have laser focus on what they’re doing. When people start a business, they have a lot of energy and stuff happening, they want to put all the design tools and skill they have into their website, and they probably put all their products and features and design right onto their home page.

When it comes to rebranding, you want to focus on the message. It’s time to start thinking about how people feel when they come to you. So maybe it’s time to throw those features back to the second page. Maybe it’s time to take a case study and to put that onto your home page. Get more visual but focus down. 

It’s not about completely redesigning your website – Eric thinks it’s actually a bad idea. He suggests first testing your website by honing your messages and streamlining your messages. Maybe you’re on five social channels and only one of them is working. Put your energy into the one that’s working. Once you’ve got some clients and you’ve got some users, you can start to tell amazing case studies. 

You can start telling the stories of why people came to you, not just what they needed to get don and what it was about that experience that was so impactful for them. That’s your brand. 

This is what’s happening in the offline world. It’s what you want to portray in the online world. And frequently, what that takes for a website is focusing and streamlining and being brief and concise. Remember that if you’re going to rebrand, if you’re going to build your brand, it’s about thinking about every touch point with a potential customer. 

It’s how a customer is engaging with your whatever it is. That is your brand. And people often misunderstand that. They think, “I need a new brand so I’ve got to get a new logo.” Well actually, that’s not it. Your brand is something much deeper.


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