Interviews

Mary Fealty on the power of Microsoft Power BI training

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  • Every company relies on business data analytics in some way to help make important business decisions, and many waste time and money producing reports by hand or using old and inefficient systems. Microsoft Power BI Desktop is a powerful business data analytics solution for business development executives with the training to use it, with the potential to save companies money.

    Mary Fealty from Broadtree solutions will be running a two-day workshop next week on Microsoft Power BI Desktop to help get other companies up to speed. The workshop runs on the 27th and 28th of March from 9:30AM to 4:30PM, costs £595 per person, and is limited to a maximum of six places to ensure good learning outcomes. Anyone interested in booking a place or enquiring about future courses should contact info@apslearning.co.uk

    Sync NI caught up with Mary Fealty this week ahead of the course to find out why Power BI is such as useful tool for her and why companies should consider sending their people to this course.


    Sync NI: For those who don’t know your background, could you tell us a bit about your experience and the work you do at Broadtree Solutions?

    Mary Fealty: I worked as an insurance broker with a local company for 18 years and it was during this time that I discovered my love for data. I began analysing and using our data to help drive performance within my team where we saw some outstanding results. This led to me being promoted to Manager of Information for the entire company.

    I decided to make the leap into self-employment in August 2012 when I launched Broadtree Solutions. My aim was to take my knowledge to help inspire others to understand and access the information that they needed to do the same within their own businesses, which is why I am such an advocate for the Power BI software, offering development, training and consultancy services to a range of clients and businesses.

    Some businesses may not be aware of analytics tools like Microsoft Power BI Desktop and how powerful they can be in helping their business make decisions. What would you say are the key benefits to using a tool like Power BI?

    For those who aren’t familiar with Power BI, it is a business analytics service developed by Microsoft that provides interactive visualisations and business intelligence capabilities using a simple, intuitive and customer focused interface allowing end users to create their own reports and dashboards.

    I first used Power BI in 2014 and it was love at first sight! I felt that I had finally discovered this amazing, customer focused tool that really simplified the whole data analytics process, making it much more accessible, user friendly and fast.

    There are two things that I think are fantastic about this tool. Firstly, it doesn’t require a huge commitment from IT teams, which means that they are free to monitor and improve the IT landscape, allowing the business development team the opportunity to develop the insights they need to drive positive change within their organisation.

    Secondly, it allows you to easily collect data from many different areas within the business. What might start with transactional reporting, can then be extended to incorporate telephony data, Google analytics, Sales Force, Mailchimp and any other data silos the company uses.

    What kind of impact have you personally seen in people’s businesses when they started preparing business analytics reports with Power BI? How has it helped the businesses and people you’ve trained?

    When I develop a solution for clients using Power BI, I really enjoy watching them begin to see their data in a way that allows them to better understand how their business operates.  It can highlight areas of strength and areas of concern, each of which may allow the company to do things differently or better, mitigating risks and capitalising on opportunities.

    Clients learn to view performance at micro and macro levels within their business in a huge number of ways. When it comes to training and consulting, what’s really rewarding is seeing folks come away with a real enthusiasm and excitement and are keen to start working some Power BI magic into their organisation!

    You’ve put together a workshop on Power BI Desktop for the 27th and 28th March, can you tell us a bit about the focus for this event and the learning outcomes?

    The workshop has been developed to empower people to use Power BI within their own business, helping them make the most of the data that they hold to deliver better results for them, and their customers. I am delighted to be collaborating with Pauline Thompson from APS Learning, who shares this vision of training people to become more effective and efficient in individual organisations.

    It is open to those who work with and understand the data within their organisation. Over the course of the two days we will utilise a lot of the features of Power BI, from connecting to various data sources through to building out a complete interactive, automated dashboard that shows performance, and of course, we would expect to have a fair bit of fun along the way!

    The course is organised in a relaxed, informal environment and each attendee will leave with an in-depth understanding of the Power BI tool and how to utilise the data available to them to make informed decision making, leading to increased productivity and opportunities for their businesses.

    Thanks so much for your time, Mary. Is there anything else you’d like to get across about the workshop you’ll be running next week?

    Thank you for chatting with me Brendan, it has been a pleasure! I’ll just add that it is a fantastic workshop and a fantastic opportunity; there are very few Power BI training courses in NI, in fact this brings the number of NI companies offering training up to 2. So I am really delighted to be able to help lead Northern Ireland businesses in this workshop.

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