Filip van den Heuvel – I have no datawarehouse/lake. When and how Power BI dataflows will help [EN]

My background is a Financial / business control background. About 10 years ago I started within KPMG Financial Due Diligence Amsterdam. From there I have always had the focus on data analytics with a pragmatical touch.

I would like to share a session about the usage of the Power BI dataflows within a Power BI implementation for SME firm. In my view these are usually firms that have a couple of transaction systems (Financial, CRM etc.) but don’t have datawarehouses (or similar) and don’t have the expertise inhouse to have these people on their payroll. Usually their annual turnover is between 50m EUR and 500m EUR, and max 500 employees on the payroll.

This year I am working on an assignment where my client has 4 separated transactional bookkeeping systems. The company imports home climate goods from Asia and distributes this in Europe. Their goal was to implement 1 new transactional system, but they failed. Main reasons were that the company has relatively separate entities in the different countries, and cultural aspects.

This is the moment were I came onboard. I have proposed a Power BI data architecture using dataflows as important intermediate step between the Transactional systems and the Power BI datamodel.
See this link for an overview:

This overview is anonymized. For example, in reality they don’t have Salesforce CRM for example, but I notice that other clients often ask for an example how such architecture may look like.
I am looking forward to your ideas about how this may fit within the Global summit.

The session that I would like to share primarily focuses on this overview. Key take aways for attendees are:

1. When (not) to use the Power BI dataflow as intermediate between transaction systems and Power BI.
2. How to append all those tables coming from different systems in one efficient Power BI datamodel.
3. Total cost of ownership of this solution vs other solutions

There are many other aspects about this assignment that I can share, but my idea is to focus on the usage of Power BI dataflows. Or in other words: I will not discuss any aspects of the datamodel relations, DAX etc.

Filip van den Heuvel