10 Microsoft Power BI for Office 365 success stories

Organizations around the world are unlocking business intelligence with the cloud-based Microsoft Power BI for Office 365 service. Here are 10 examples of its success in the real-world.

10 Examples of Power BI for Office 365 in Action
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10 Examples of Power BI for Office 365 in Action

Since the release of Microsoft Power BI for Office 365 near the beginning of this year, organizations around the world have been turning to the cloud-based service for self-service business intelligence tools that allow users to analyze, visualize and share data using the familiar Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. Here are 10 success stories built on Microsoft Power BI for Office 365.

ABB Italy Accelerates Generation of Custom BI Reports
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ABB Italy Accelerates Generation of Custom BI Reports

ABB Italy, a subsidiary of manufacturer ABB, needed a state-of-the-art BI application to provide deeper market analyses and visual reporting for the region's manufacturing business. At first it built its own solution. Accessing available reports was easy, but generating new reports required going through an IT liaison to the company's external IT supplier. That process could take up to four weeks.

ABB adopted Power BI for Office 365 and freed up IT resources, reduced reliance on outside suppliers, and empowered marketing managers and business users to query internal and external data sets and develop more insightful reporting. ABB Italy can now generate custom reports in just a few hours.

Beth Deaconess Medical Center Cuts Query Times
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Beth Deaconess Medical Center Cuts Query Times

Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a leading teaching and healthcare organization, wanted to improve performance for mission-critical applications but struggled with a growing volume of data. With data warehouses that included multiple data sources and hundreds of millions of table rows, it could take up to 45 seconds to run a query.

Leveraging SQL Server 2014 (particularly the new in-memory columnstore feature), Azure HDInsight and Power BI for Office 365, the IT team was able to cut query time to 10 seconds, all while simplifying IT management and allowing them to implement new features without rewriting applications.

Carnegie Mellon University Slashes Energy Consumption
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Carnegie Mellon University Slashes Energy Consumption

Established in 1900, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) is a leading research institute with seven globally recognized schools and colleges. CMU sought to manage energy efficiently in large buildings and across multiple sites. CMU partner OSIsoft created a Power BI for Office 365-based solution called PI System that allowed them to track energy usage over time, by category, by building, etc. The solution uses Power Query, Q&A and Power Maps to ask questions of the data and get immediate answers and to display energy usage in a map-based format. CMU reduced energy consumption by 30 percent and has provided access to the data to a range of employees throughout the university.

Condé Nast Reduces Redundant Reporting Tasks
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Condé Nast Reduces Redundant Reporting Tasks

Condé Nast, a global media company, needed better insight into the performance of its 20 industry-leading print and digital media brands, but struggled with pulling data together from multiple sources. Additionally, it often fielded redundant requests from the sales and editorial teams. The company implemented a solution based on Power BI for Office 365, providing cross-platform insights into data from multiple sources and partners. The self-service nature of Power BI for Office 365 has decreased Condé's 'time-to-answer' by decentralizing the dissemination of centrally maintained information and increased the business's agility. The company cut its redundant reporting tasks by 30 percent.

Enlighten Designs Helps Customers Unlock Their Data
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Enlighten Designs Helps Customers Unlock Their Data

New Zealand application developer and systems integrator Enlighten Designs wanted to ensure that all of its customers — including small businesses and schools — could benefit from BI tools. To unlock data and provide customers with data discovery and analysis capabilities they can use with familiar tools, the company is helping customers implement Microsoft Power BI for Office 365 with Microsoft Excel 2013. This provides customers with a cloud-based solution that can be easily used by people at all levels of an organization.

One customer, Waikato Institute of Technology, is now using the tools to identify which students are struggling and in danger of dropping out.

Helse Vest Collects, Visualizes and Shares Medical Data
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Helse Vest Collects, Visualizes and Shares Medical Data

Norwegian regional health authority Helse Vest operates 50 healthcare facilities (including 10 hospitals). As part of a recent national patient safety program, Helse Vest hospitals were asked to collect, visualize and share medical data to identify quality measures and reporting requirements across all care teams and hospitals. That required each of the 10 hospitals to combine data from all facilities in its region for analysis — a daunting task because none had an easy method of combining and visualizing the data.

By implementing Power BI for Office 365 to combine the data and build analytical reports, Helse Vest reduced the time to build reports from 14 days to less than one day.

LC Waikkiki Extends BI to Mobile Employees
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LC Waikkiki Extends BI to Mobile Employees

Leading Turkish clothing manufacturer and retailer LC Waikiki Retail Company operates 460 stores in 17 countries and currently opens at least one store abroad each week. While its on-premises BI tools (based on SQL Server 2012 Enterprise) served employees in the office well, those on the road on requested spreadsheet reports via email rather than struggle with unreliable Internet connections. To support its expanding operations, it needed better reporting capabilities to handle a rapidly increasing volume of data.

The company extended its existing solution with cloud-based Power BI for Office 365, saving it $1 million a year in IT costs. Now its employees in virtually any location can benefit from Web-based reporting.

MediaCom Boosts Productivity and Optimizes Ad Campaigns
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MediaCom Boosts Productivity and Optimizes Ad Campaigns

Global advertising agency MediaCom needed to measure the health of ad campaigns it created to optimize performance and spending. It needed to pull together the results into a single, composite score within hours. But it was faced with isolated systems, a variety of third-party data sources and expensive and complicated BI software.

With Microsoft and Power BI for Office 365, MediaCom created a "health check" that quickly captured the many facets of a multi-platform media campaign: paid media effectiveness, earned media effectiveness, the ratio of earned media to paid media, realizing client value, and longitudinal performance. MediaCom was able to boost productivity by 10 percent and gain anywhere from thousands to millions of dollars per campaign.

North Tees Uses BI to Boost Clinical Outcomes
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North Tees Uses BI to Boost Clinical Outcomes

For years, the North Tees and Hartlepool National Health Services Foundation Trust used an on-premises Ascribe clinical intelligence system to track the clinical use of drugs, the costs associated and efficacy of treatment. But the system did not allow North Tees to include external data sets or explore the data in real-time.

Then North Tees become a test site for a self-service BI toolset based on Power BI. Developers took an extract of North Tees data and imported it into a Power Pivot model built in a day; previously, it would've taken five days. Now North Tees can incorporate external data sets into its analyses, deliver more intuitive and persuasive reports and reduce costs.

Oslo University Analyzes Healthcare Data in Hours Rather than Months
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Oslo University Analyzes Healthcare Data in Hours Rather than Months

Oslo University Hospital is Scandinavia's largest hospital, born from the merger of four smaller hospitals in 2010. They had separate databases that had to be merged for enterprisewide analyses. For instance, the two radiology departments used various types of medical imaging at different frequencies, making it difficult to determine things like what type of test was more commonly used at one facility. Analysis often required programming skills that researchers and administrators lacked and reports had to be run by the IT department.

By implementing Power BI for Office 365, radiology data that would have taken months to collect and analyze could now be analyzed and presented to executives and researchers within hours.