I trust that you are all keeping well. Another 2 weeks seem 2 have flown by and we are only 57 days away from Christmas!! The summertime ended last week for the UK and the weather has signalled that winter is here.
On these cold winter nights there is one thing that can be sure to keep you warm and provide some epic learning opportunities, THE ENTERPRISE DNA CHALLENGE.
The challenge has just finished its 8th instalment!!
As I was thinking about the write up and challenges in general, I decided to do a bit of a history check and just review the challenges to date and boy have we covered some material in these 8 challenges.
The ideas on display across, DAX Patterns, Design, Power Query, Visualisation, R, Statistics, Custom Visualisation, Book recommendations, Websites, Scenarios and so much more has just been immense.
Don’t even get me started on the write ups absolute gold dust and I know many of you are realising the nuggets packed away into these.
The ability to understand and read the thought process of individuals who are breaking down these problems and coming up with truly insightful analysis is priceless.
The years of combined experience, the different views and interpretations that are made from the same data! Truly provide you with an amazing learning opportunity.
I know I keep mentioning this every week, but I just can’t emphasise this enough there is no better way to develop your skills in Power BI than getting your hands dirty. We at Enterprise DNA are massive believers of getting stuck in and doing the do. We have always tried getting you as hands on as possible and believe that the skills we implement and use we will retain.
I know there are loads of you out there thinking “yeah but I could never do that”, “The standard is to high”, “I will look silly”, for all of you out there with these thoughts and maybe others on the fence about getting involved in the challenge, I have one simple ask.
Please take some time out and go back to challenge number 1 and take a look at the standard of entries and go through each of the subsequent challenges.
What would you notice?
A remarkable improvement in the standards week on week. Better analysis, better design, better DAX. My point is everybody must start somewhere. Now I know we have a little bit of a competitive edge in picking a winner, however I want reiterate that this is not the primary purpose of the challenge but rather to create a platform where we can learn, get hands on with data and scenarios that are challenges in the industry. Every challenge brings its own nuances and learning opportunities and its really there for you to make of it what you want.
Not interested in building a complete report, focus on creating the data model, pick DAX, get involved in the conversation there are just so many angles that you can come at from and I want to encourage you all to pick a task that you will work on over the course of the next challenge and get involved.
Take the opportunity to learn from one of the most active and forward-thinking communities out there. The support available is just unbelievable we have so many resources available to suit whatever your learning style is.
We are always open to listening and improving the experience for everyone so if there is anything at all that you want us to consider do not be afraid to reach out to me personally on firstname.lastname@example.org we really want to get as many of you involved as possible in these challenges so if you have any reservations or ideas don’t be afraid to reach out
I think that leads me nicely into announcing this week’s winner.
Challenge 8 did not fail to disappoint. When we were looking at the dataset there were some reservations as to what the outputs might be but boy there were some amazing entries that presented some powerful analysis on data taken from a live JIRA system and the only change applied being the anonymisation of PI data.
The standard of work produced was absolutely impeccable there were just so many great reports where every participant had managed to stamp their mark in their own unique way. I mentioned above that I recommend you go back and do the review of challenges and its something I had to do for this challenge. It was super difficult to pick a winner, while reviewing I was seriously thinking there were a number of entries that on other challenges would have been winning entries such was the standard.
I want to firstly applaud all participants for taking part in these challenges. We at Enterprise DNA understand the investment in time and energy it takes to pull together a good report and just want to say a big thank you to all of you who have participated.
I always try to put myself in the driver’s shoes, if I was in a management position looking after this particular process or team what would I be looking for in a report.
This week I had to “drive” a number of reports on several occasions before coming to a decision after liaising with the team.
I felt this weeks deserved winner was @Greg.
Congratulations @Greg !!!
A true master piece a report that covered all aspects of the brief and wouldn’t look out of place on a 72 inch screen in service desk environment. The attention to detail in the report was exceptional the visual aspects all fitted together perfectly, and it really was a great data story from the first page through to the last it painted a holistic picture and great insight into the service desk. Congratulations @Greg a well-deserved win and thank you for a great write up.
There were some highly commended efforts from @alexbadiu another masterpiece. A great UX what looks so simple to the eye takes hours behind the scenes so kudos to you. There were also great entries from @datazoe and @Hideo both combining substance and style a massive well don’t you all.
I also want to recognise two super submissions that came in over the course of the challenge and that is @MudassirAli entry.
An excellent venture into Charticulator and the art of possible. Really looking forward to learning more about it in your chat with @sam.mckay! Great work
A great submission thank you for sharing.
There was also a mic drop entrance from one @bradsmith.
Some excellent incorporation of machine learning and advanced analytics a real testament to the possibilities within power bi, welcome to the challenge and we look forward to seeing some more great entries in the future.
A massive well done to all participants there were elements in every submission that I liked and that’s the beauty of Power BI there are 101 way to interpret the data and provide a solution so massive well done to all challenge 8 participants.
As I mentioned in passing this dataset was taken from a live system with no changes aside from the PI information. Rightly so there were questions being raised around data quality and how to handle certain scenarios and it was brilliant to see that so many of you presented these findings in your report.
It’s very rare to be given a perfect dataset many applications and systems are designed with functionality in mind and data has been an afterthought. While we are now moving to data driven architectures the problems of data quality are not so straight forward, and users will always look to take the path of least resistance. So if I don’t need to enter something I’m not going to. Therefore rubbish in = rubbish out.
Sometimes you as an analyst need to paint this picture to your business users that you can’t measure and report on what you don’t capture.
Presenting such findings can help businesses identify issues within current processes and implementation of certain technologies.
Helping the business identify these issues adds massive credibility to your projects in the data space as not only are you helping them get the insights but also helping them mend process issues the value this adds in certain circumstances will be massive.
I think all of you met the brief and some in terms of presenting back the key metrics around durations and the splits across the different categories and there were some great visuals displaying certain peaks and troughs and showing some great patterns that the business can focus in on.
I think data wise there have probably been tougher challenges however learning how to handle certain elements of logic or missing data are a necessary tool in the armoury of any analyst.
I know I’ve probably waffled on a little bit here, but just want to reiterate that these challenges are all to help our users become confident in Power BI.
We continue to encourage every single person to get involved no matter what your current level is you will only improve. The biggest competition for every individual should be to improve their own skill set if you keep this in mind the challenges will become less daunting and provide a great opportunity for you to hone your skillset.
The second thing I ask of you is that you take some time out and read some of the writeups that accompany these reports I can’t reiterate enough how much value this can add to your development.
I look forward to welcoming more of you in the next challenge.
A massive well done again to @Greg and all other participants.
Remember any questions queries do not hesitate to get in touch.
Keep your eyes peeled for challenge 9 which will be released soon.