Empowering data analysis at Infrabel: The Power BI Journey

About Infrabel

Infrabel is a Belgian government-owned public limited company. It builds, owns, maintains and upgrades the Belgian railway network, makes its capacity available to railway companies, and handles train traffic control. It was established on January, 1 2005 from the split of the once unitary SNCB/NMBS. As of 2020, Infrabel employs over 11.000 people.

The challenge

Infrabel embraces a wide-ranging data architecture, which results in the availability of various data sources: SAS, SAP HANA, SAP BW, MS SQLS, Azure data lake storage and so on. Infrabel would like to make relevant data accessible to support decisions & to shift gears towards an innovative & robust reporting environment. This should lead to a sustainable environment which embraces self-service data analysis & interpretation, paving the way towards process optimalisation & automation.

The solution

Infrabel opted for Power BI in its journey towards enabling data analysis for everyone. Lytix has proved to be a reliable partner when it comes down to Power BI evangelization. The following approach was followed:

 

Establishment of a Power BI Center of Excellence (CoE)

A cross-functional team of dedicated Power BI experts facilitating end users to create & consume reports in a governed environment. The CoE has been branded the “Power BI Factory” and focuses on four different pillars being adoption, governance, training & support.

Delivery of Power BI reports

Lytix assisted Infrabel in the creation and consumption of both self-service and managed reports, requested by a various audience, including C-levels.

Setting up a well-oiled support organization

Next to creating reports, Lytix provided expertise, best practices & training resources. The existence of this well-oiled support organization eased team collaboration, lifted Power BI user adoption & reporting environment maturity.

Creation of a Power BI Information Portal

A to-go to channel for all hands reaching out for Power BI help. This channel carries out a set of guidelines & principles, which have been decided upon by the Power BI Factory, and are there to enable a future-proof, innovative reporting environment.

Process automation

Power BI user adoption stands or falls with the responsiveness of the Power BI Factory. Several processes have been automated & closely monitored to reduce the time to response to a minimum.

A well-oiled support organization facilitates customer adoption & contributes to rightfully managing your future-proof Power BI environment.

  • Establish a Power BI Center of Excellence (CoE)
  • Create support channels
  • Set up a Power BI Information Portal
  • Build a community
  • Use service management tools
  • Set up monitoring
  • Automate frequently recurring processes
  • Generate exposure

Technologies used

Power BI, Power Automate, SAP HANA, SAP SPRINT, SAP Fiori, SQL Server (on-prem), O365 stack (Sharepoint Online, Yammer, Teams, Excel, Powerpoint,..)

“Lytix helped us setting up a robust Power BI environment in terms of user adoption, governance, training & support.”

Steven Dauw

Infrabel Teamlead End User Products & Reporting