BME Power BI HE User Day – London, 29 November 2019
“Earth has not any thing to show more fair:
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty”
These words were composed by William Wordsworth as he stood on Westminster Bridge in 1802 and marvelled at the beauty of London. County Hall had not yet been built, but one feels its imposing elegance would not have detracted from the beauty of Wordsworth’s view if it were. The London Eye might provoke a bit more controversy! However, it was in the iconic County Hall that BME welcomed an impressive 90 delegates from 45 universities to our Power BI Higher Education User Day on Friday 29 November 2019.
The allure of Power BI was apparent as we hosted universities from all over the country, including a guest from Notre Dame University in Perth. That’s Perth, Australia, rather warmer than the Perth on the banks of the River Tay in Scotland!
After a Power breakfast (it’s just too tempting, isn’t it?) we settled down in the Lord Suite to hear the first presentation. Here’s a brief overview of what we were treated to during the day:
- The University of Edinburgh spoke about the university’s deployment of Power BI to measure student tutorial engagement in the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. It’s worth noting that this college is the largest of the 3 colleges at the university, comprising of 12 schools and over 26,000 students!
- The University of Leicester presented on their Power BI journey, using a case study of their personal tutor dashboard to illustrate how they identify struggling students and put measures in place to support those at risk of withdrawing from their courses.
- A fascinating insight into transforming the organisational culture around data and analytics was delivered by King’s College London – and reminded us to beware of the hippos in the room!
- The University of Dundee gave a visually impressive presentation on how to harness interactivity in Power BI to engage users and improve usability. It seems that ‘circles’ are popular in 2019!
- BME spoke about their Power BI Support Package offer which provides excellent value for money alongside a range of services specifically aimed at the HE community.
- The ‘wise old heads’ at the University of Leicester shared their transition to Power BI, the phased implementation process and the delivery of Power BI training through their Microsoft Teams. Special mention must be made of their ‘Tube Map’ – very ‘East London’!
- Microsoft’s presentation looking at the remarkable rise of Power BI and the road ahead reminded us all that even the most successful IT companies can fall victim to the foibles of technology!
- The closing presentation was delivered by the University of South Wales and took us through how Power BI contributed to a change programme to support an enhanced student experience at the university. More circles, it was noted!
The venue (etc.venues) kept us all well-fed and watered throughout the day. All the presentations were well-received, and we are enormously grateful to the presenters for putting so much time and effort into their talks – and for sharing their presentations after the event.
The feedback suggests that the conference was an excellent opportunity to meet others on their Power BI journey, share best practice and generate new ideas. It also seems that many of you would be keen to attend the next user day …. so watch this space!