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Power BI Training Transforms Finance Team at Major UK Rail Network

10 November 2023

Power BI Training Transforms Finance Team at Major UK Rail Network

The finance division at one of the UK’s largest rail networks knew they needed to modernize their data analysis capabilities to unlock more value from their vast troves of operational and financial data. After assessing options, they decided to adopt Microsoft’s Power BI platform to empower self-service business intelligence across the organisation.

To launch this initiative, they enlisted the expertise of JBI Training, a renowned provider of IT and data analytics training programs. JBI collaborated with stakeholders at the rail network to understand their goals and customize a comprehensive 2-day Power BI training curriculum for the finance team’s 8 key analysts and managers.

Immersive 2-Day Hands-On Training

The virtual training sessions were led by a JBI instructor with decades of real-world experience designing Power BI artifacts to deliver actionable insights. Over two jam-packed days, the instructor introduced the team to key concepts and techniques for connecting to data sources, shaping and loading data models, developing reports and visualizations, and implementing security.

JBI’s hands-on training approach emphasized practical exercises and examples relevant to the rail industry to accelerate proficiency. The finance team was highly engaged with the material, asking thoughtful questions and appreciating the instructor’s deep knowledge and patient guidance.

Key Topics Covered:

Day 1
- Power BI Capabilities Overview
- Connecting to Data Sources
- Shape and Transform Data
- Data Modeling Concepts
- Developing Basic Reports
- Visualization Design Principles

Day 2
- Advanced Data Modeling Techniques
- Optimizing Query Performance
- Report Drill Down and Interactivity
- Dashboard Design Principles
- Creating and Managing Workspaces
- Row Level Security Setup
- Developing Premium Capacity Reports
- Best Practices for Solution Development

Well-Structured and Thoughtful Presentation

The consistent feedback from attendees was that the course content and structure were excellent:

“I’d give the overall training an 9 out of 10. The instructor was amazing and I scored him a 10. Presentation clarity was an 9 and structure was a 10 – very thoughtful and well-organized.”

“Overall impression was a 9.2. We covered a ton in 2 days which gave us a robust starting point. The instructor was perfect and the content was exactly what we needed.”

“I’d rate the training an 9.4 out of 10. It was a great introduction to Power BI and gave us what we need to get going.”

Equipped for Power BI Success

The intensive training from JBI succeeded in its goal of transforming the rail network’s finance division into capable Power BI users. They now have the knowledge to connect Power BI to essential data sources, model and prepare the data, and develop polished reports and dashboards that deliver actionable insights.

Ready for More Advanced Training

While the initial 2-day course provided a comprehensive introduction to get the team off the ground with Power BI, they are eager to build on this foundation with more targeted learning.

Some key areas they want to pursue next include:

  • Power BI - Beyond the Basics – A 3-day course to take their skills to the next level. Covers advanced data modeling, performance optimizations, advanced DAX and M code, templated dashboards, and more.
  • Power BI Embedded Analytics – How to securely embed interactive Power BI visualizations into custom web apps and portals to reach more business users.
  • Power BI Dataflows – Using dataflows to efficiently orchestrate data integration, shaping, and publishing. Critical for managing complex ETL at scale.
  • Mastering DAX – 2 days dedicated to truly mastering the DAX programming language for unmatched flexibility when shaping datasets.

Beyond Power BI

In addition to beefing up their Power BI skills, the finance team sees value in complementing it with other tools through additional JBI training:

  • Tableau – 4 days covering data visualization and dashboard creation using this popular alternative to Power BI
  • Power Automate – How to automate workflows and business processes by integrating Power Automate with Power BI, Office 365, and other apps.
  • Python for Data Analysis – Become proficient with Python to handle advanced analytics, machine learning, and AI applications.
  • Azure Data Engineering – Manage data of any size and shape using Azure services like Data Factory, Databricks, and SQL Data Warehouse.

Ongoing Partnership

The rail network’s finance division was thrilled with the high caliber of their initial Power BI training from JBI. They are excited to continue partnering with JBI to roll out additional training programs that will build a world-class data analytics competency empowered by the optimal technology stack. With the right skills and tools in place, they are poised to transform rail operations by tapping into the goldmine of data they collect each day.

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