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This past week in Seattle, I presented at the Microsoft Data Insights Summit.  It was an intense week – I co-presented a full-day preconference session on Sunday, gave a talk on Monday, and then two more talks on Tuesday.  Then I taught a 2-day class over at Microsoft campus on Wednesday/Thursday, followed by a full day of biz meetings at Microsoft on Friday.  Phew!  Let’s just say that I’ve been catching up on sleep ever since.

One of those talks was a “live” version of my Ten Things Data Can Do For You article that I shared in January.  That article proved to be quite popular (in terms of page views), AND it happened to be one of MY personal favorites, so the opportunity to convert it into a talk was too much to resist.

The folks at Microsoft were good enough to record the talk and put it on YouTube, so if you want to see/hear it, it’s all yours…

Let me know what you think!

Original Article


Rob Collie

One of the original engineering leaders behind Power BI and Power Pivot during his 14-year career at Microsoft, Rob Collie founded a consulting company in 2013 that is 100% devoted to “the new way forward” made possible by Power BI and its related technologies. Since 2013, PowerPivotPro has rapidly grown to become the leading firm in the industry, pioneering an agile, results-first methodology never before seen in the Business Intelligence space. A sought-after public speaker and author of the #1-selling Power BI book, Rob and his team would like to help you revolutionize your business and your career.

This Post Has 12 Comments
  1. Dark matter & vulcans was a difficult act to follow but there’s good stuff here, the most important being to actually act and assist. In my case it’s been the only way to gain buy in, literally presenting finished tools to folk so in their mind they are thinking “why on earth wouldn’t I want this?!”. They don’t actually let on at times because that’s what monolithic IT has done to them but it’s written all over their faces, no going back. The pro licensing changes haven’t exactly helped my mission but I’m not letting that get in my way
    “Don’t talk about it, go build it and show it”, the best advice I could pass on to any would-be pioneer

  2. You asked for my thoughts on the talk. Well, I think the section on drilling down into the overall number was is perfectly said!


    “When it’s time to fix something… if you’re not subdividing, you’re wasting your time. You have to decompose into the components!

    It has to be easy… you can’t be like ‘Oh, it’s going to take us forever!’, that can’t be a tax it has to be something that’s like ‘Ready to rock!’ from the beginning. Sub dividing is built into (these tools).

    If you’re a company that runs most of its reporting on static reports that are coming out of SQL queries, you’re not doing this, I know your not doing this. You just ain’t. (insert chuckle). Organizationally you’re just lying to yourselves, you are not able to change”

  3. “Suffering, well suffering is a real thing, and it should be on the balance sheet but, it’s not.”

    Sooooo tempted to adjust the CoA

  4. This was a great presentation. After being in the trenches of Power BI and Power Pivot for a few months now this was a refreshing way to take a step back, recognize that the struggles are common, and reaffirm that that end state is worth the journey.

    1. Can you please send me the slide with the top 10 listed
    2. Can you point me to examples of exception / alert products or systems that have been built w/ Power BI. I am especially interested in how the data model is designed, and if you have found a way to combine 4 or 5 separate Power BI alert models into a single dashboard (Guided navigation for managers to the problems that they to need to address. . . without going through every report). For example, go look at report a for store 102, report c for store 105, report e, f, g for store 175.

    Thanks for the post.

  5. Rob, absolutely the best presentation I have heard you give. Thank you! Can your next book be an elaboration upon this presentation?!?

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