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DI, Power BI and advanced analytics - where can your data take you?

It’s awesome to be reminded of NZ organisations around us achieving great outcomes. Especially when those outcomes involve transformational technology.

Last week a few bright folk from Intergen (self-praise is no praise, right?) attended the BI Summit in a sponsor capacity and we were reminded of just how cool and ambitious some of our NZ organisations really are and - in this particular forum - how they are achieving leading edge outcomes with DI, Power BI and advanced analytics.

As we further immerse into the digital era it is impossible to ignore the importance of technology as a fundamental for business growth (and increasingly survival). But anyone who has been through an organisational technology shift will attest it is not an easy process or one to be taken lightly. Creating a vision of where you want to be and the journey to get there are generally on the opposite ends of the ‘fun’ spectrum.

In the past few years Intergen has really started to see some of our clients really take things to the next level with Power BI and advanced analytics. And with clients such as JUCY Group transforming their business with Power BI it is not hard to understand why. Tristin King, Head of Technology for JUCY Group, was one of the speakers (and as a side note has rated in the top three speakers at the conference over the last two years).

JUCY’s story is an incredible one and one I won’t be able to do justice in a few sentences but I’d like to highlight some of what is possible and let your imagination take your own organisational goals where you want to go – after all creating the vision is the fun part…

It has been 16 years since JUCY entered the vehicle rental scene, using a whiteboard (remember those?) in the parking lot to track its rentals. A LOT has happened since that time to enable JUCY’s iconic brand to grow from a fleet of 35 – 3000 vehicles and one of the key drivers (yep, pun intended) has been the advancements in technology and more specifically the introduction of Power BI and advanced analytics.

Tristin explains “Microsoft Power BI was a “no brainer” for JUCY. As early adopters of Microsoft Exchange Online and Office 365, Power BI easily clicked in for us. And it’s proving to be a fantastic tool for the business. We can store our data and deliver our dashboards, and we have lots of power users trained across the business,” Tristin says.

“We’ve taken a mobile-first approach to BI, so that our people can access their dashboards, gauges and targets wherever they are. And if they need more information they can head to their desktops to delve deeper,” he explains.

JUCY rentals saw the opportunity to use Microsoft’s Power BI and Office 365 to create an easy to use Business Intelligence platform to derive greater and faster insights through graphical dashboard reporting. And a journey to data driven decision making began. One year in and return on investment has been quickly realised, although there’s plenty more benefit in store as JUCY continues to mature and evolve their data analytics tools at their disposal. You can read the full JUCY case study here.

We heard from other organisations achieving great outcomes through DI which included Auckland University of Technology (AUT) who are using new technologies offered by Azure big data, driving innovation with machine learning studio and BOT framework to create modern applications that utilise different data sources in an easy chat interface. They also covered some important topics on innovation using different and dynamic data sources and how to approach governance in a challenging environment and the challenges tackled along the journey enabling teams to BI to the centre of their operations. Going back to an earlier point – technology implementations are never easy and hearing about the challenges faced by others are an important information gathering exercise. 

Dina Hay, Head of Customer Analytics, Sovereign highlighted another common challenge – the lack of data scientist skills available in NZ comparatively to the rest of the world. Dina also discussed how complimenting BI with advanced analytics has taken their business to the next level and their successful implementation was due in part to the common sense approach they adopted. She also touched on the use of machine learning to identify insights to put analytics into action.

We can’t mention the BI summit without mentioning the Microsoft HoloLens. And to put it in context, if you have ever been a sponsor at an event you will be familiar that to attract people to your sponsor area to network (or simply to not actively avoid you – we have all done it!) you need something of interest. We are very fortunate at Intergen to be the owner of a Microsoft HoloLens, which brings holograms into your real world for a unique mixed reality experience, and we brought this along to the summit to help engage attendees. We integrated some Power BI dashboards to keep it relevant but truthfully it is a very cool interactive device we love to use whenever we can at Intergen. If you have an interest in interacting with some live Power BI dashboards you can check out our Power BI demo here, from the comfort of your desk.

DI, Power BI and advanced analytics - where can your data take you?

In finishing we chose to sponsor the BI summit as we believe it is an area of rapidly growing importance and opportunity for organisations to transform and we have worked with some remarkable clients helping them to achieve great outcomes and outputs. If you have any questions on anything I covered in this blog feel free to contact me directly. And on a final note I can’t finish without mentioning what an awesome place Intergen is to work if you are on the lookout for a passionate and talented organisation in the tech industry. :)

Posted by: Linda McConnell, Marketing Communications Specialist | 22 February 2017

Tags: Power BI, Data Intelligence, Analytics

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