Customer Success Story: Marketing Intelligence with Power BI
"Last night, we had a happy hour to celebrate burning Joe's Excel spreadsheet."
Those were the exact words out of the mouth of the Director of Marketing at a global med-tech company based in Minneapolis. Just a few months earlier, Beyond Impact helped deploy a Marketing Intelligence Solution leveraging Power BI to migrate an Excel spreadsheet that essentially ran the entire Retail Marketing division. This Excel spreadsheet was held together with duct-tape and elbow grease, leading the client to say, "there has to be a better way to work with our marketing reports."
This Minneapolis-based med-tech company approached us through our Microsoft Gold Partner channel. They were desperate for an intelligent solution to streamline their retail analytics and address these core challenges:
- Eliminate hours of manual Excel data prep and data manipulation
- Real-time analytics from a single tool with the ability to stream sixteen unique sources
- Modern data visualizations, data drill-down, and mobile capabilities
- Intuitive self-service business intelligence tool for marketing and sales users
In the beginning, the client wasn't convinced this solution was possible. With a company-wide trade show just weeks away, it was critical to start fast and build a prototype solution in Power BI - for the client to showcase to hundreds of stakeholders.
"I can't thank Beyond Impact enough for helping us
put a solution in place to "wow" our customers
and make our employees' jobs that much easier!"
The client's current situation was to distribute a monthly Excel report that required hours of manual data entry and calculation across the sales and marketing teams. We quickly realized that the need to automate this cumbersome process was just as critical as the need to obtain advanced insights. We explored more robust Azure Cloud solutions but everyone agreed it was better to start fast and light.
Was it even possible for a single solution to seamlessly model sixteen unique marketing sources? Would a comprehensive Power BI solution be within budget? What new intelligence could be discovered? We took up the challenge to prove, with Power BI, the client could accomplish these things and access greater intelligence into their buyer's behavior, successful campaigns, and individual rep's performance.
As we launched the engagement, it was critical to show value in the first two weeks. We dove right in and leveraged our 4-D data modeling approach, which enabled us to ingest the primary sources into a SQL Server database. Within two weeks Retail Marketing had deployed a working prototype & functioning Power BI dashboard.
Over the next six weeks, our prototype transformed into a fully-functioning marketing intelligence solution that the client rolled out to 30+ marketing and sales users. Consumer Marketing and Global Finance reached out to ask, "how can we deploy a similar solution across other departments." Interest in Power BI Intelligence gained momentum across the organization as we delivered a solution that:
- Eliminated manual excel data processing & improved overall data quality
- Automated ingesting of data into a single data model
- Enabled end-users to create interactive data-visualizations
- Allowed the client to uncover new intelligence to share across the organization
As the Director of Marketing was boarding her plane for a trade show, this message landed in my inbox, "I can't thank you enough for helping us put a solution in place to "wow" our customers and make our employees' jobs that much easier!" In a matter of a few weeks - our custom Power BI solution managed to transform an entire marketing department and was the catalyst to spark a data-driven movement within our client.
Robert Gerads is Director of Business Development at Beyond Impact,
a Microsoft Gold Partner and consulting firm focused on Cloud, Data, and Analytics.
He is also the founder of the local Power BI Meetup, that meets monthly.