The Evolution of Power BI Dashboard in a Day (DIAD) During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Power BI

by Ian Stuart, Principal Consultant – Altis UK

Last year I wrote a blog that described the Power BI Dashboard In A Day (DIAD) programme and how organisations and individuals can benefit from attending this free training. The Coronavirus pandemic has brought about some changes to how the course is delivered, but the broad features remain the same.

DIAD Overview
  • The Power BI DIAD event is delivered online by selected Microsoft partners (such as Altis) who have the necessary Power BI certifications and expertise.
  • The workshop is aimed at those with some reporting expertise (e.g. Excel) but prior knowledge of Power BI is not required.
  • The workshop will provide a newcomer to Power BI a good overview of many of the capabilities of Power BI and give them hands-on experience. This newfound knowledge may help an organisation to, for example, embark on a proof of concept with Power BI or help shape their data and analytics strategy.
  • The day consists of a brief introduction to Power BI and a walkthrough of some of the lab material and then delegates get straight into working through the DIAD material.
  • The exercises use a pre-prepared dataset and provide step-by-step instructions on how to import, analyse, transform and visualise data and then how to bring it all together in a dashboard for sharing with others.
  • Our Power BI experts are on-hand to answer questions that arise and to assist students with problems.
  • We take the opportunity throughout the day to show examples of dashboards that we have built to solve (or have been inspired by) real-life scenarios. These demonstrations have proven to be very popular with the delegates, providing inspiration for how similar scenarios in their own organisations may be addressed by using Power BI and data visualisation best practice principles.
Impact of Coronavirus

The main impact of the Coronavirus is that DIAD events are now delivered online. This provides several benefits including:

  • No travel costs or travel time for students.
  • Microsoft has split the DIAD materials into 5 manageable chunks that students can complete in 30-45 minutes on average. The shorter duration labs suit those who might be working at home and managing family members. Any work not completed during the DIAD can be completed by the student in their own time.

Altis UK was one of the first partners to deliver a DIAD online after lockdown commenced and we have provided feedback to Microsoft to help refine the content and delivery approach. We now receive Presenter Satisfaction scores as high as any in-person DIAD that we have hosted as the chart below shows.

The Presenter Satisfaction score for the first online DIAD we delivered during lockdown was lower than previous scores. We’ve learnt a lot about online training delivery since then and you can see the scores are now consistently higher than before. Factors contributing to the improved scores include:

    • Encouraging students to engage more by turning on their video.
    • Using polls and other interactions.
    • Creating breakout rooms for students to ask specific questions to one of our Power BI experts.
    • Asking for immediate feedback if something was wrong.

Recent student feedback from DIAD events delivered online:

    • “Good interaction! The breakout room was very useful to resolve issues if needed. Also, the in-between demo’s contained good lessons learned by experience.”
    • “The day was interactive, engaging and informative. I liked the format of the day and that we had time to do the labs on the day on our own and ask questions if needed. I really appreciated Ian and Roger sharing real-life scenarios and examples to bring the content to life. Additionally, they were knowledgeable and passionate about Power BI (and data analytics in general) and helpful at answering questions. They kept the group of approximately 50 engaged all day which is quite the achievement considering it was hosted remotely.”
    • “Having the feel of the classroom and clear guide to build reports. Definitely a brilliant session for anyone to build any reports from scratch!”

The screenshot below is from a recent DIAD delivered by Altis UK and shows our trainers demonstrating an Altis-built Power BI dashboard.

Follow-on training & consulting

We can deliver the Power BI DIAD described above directly to your organisation. We also have a number of more advanced Power BI and related training courses available that are suitable for online delivery, details on our Altis UK training page.

    • All our courses are 1 day in length but can also be delivered as 2 x half days if required to manage the challenges of working from home as well as video call fatigue.
    • Capped to 15 students to maximise personal attention.
    • Delivered online.
    • We can customise training to your needs.

We also provide consulting services across all aspects of Data & Analytics.

    • We can help you with specific Power BI problems/challenges or help with building Power BI reports according to data visualisation best practices, etc.
    • We can provide one-on-one coaching as a follow-on service for students that attend our training. E.g. have two days per week scheduled in where students can book time with our trainer to tackle specific Power BI challenges they are facing. This will help students transition from the classroom to the real world.

Please get in touch if you’d like to learn more about our training and/or consulting services.

Summary

Online delivery has not impacted the popularity of DIAD events. Altis UK has delivered 6 DIAD events to over 200 students in the last month alone.

When lockdown restrictions are lifted, In-person DIAD events will be possible again but I suspect that many will continue to opt for online training.

We pride ourselves on our adaptability and our ability to engage with our clients and we have quickly learned how to deliver training online to the same high standards that our clients have become accustomed to.

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