Energy company Eneco is one of the largest investors in renewable energy. Back in 2007, it was the first of the major energy companies to opt for sustainability. This has enabled Eneco to become a leader in the energy transition. The organization is constantly changing: Eneco has fully embraced the digital transformation and wants to implement it throughout the business. This attitude has an impact on the way in which the organization collaborates and accesses, interprets, shares and uses data internally and externally.
The challenge: to become a data-driven organization
Information and data are present throughout Eneco and are used in various ways. As a result, different forms of reporting and dashboarding existed within the organization, yielding different insights that were difficult to compare with each other. Eneco was convinced that there was a better, more sustainable and more structural way of doing things. In order to give its employees optimal support in finding and using the right data, the energy company wanted to set up a Competence Center focusing entirely on data and functioning as a center of excellence. It chose Microsoft Power BI as its tool for reports and dashboards. Eneco operates according to the ‘Microsoft unless’ principle, and was therefore already working with Microsoft technology.
An additional goal was to get data-driven working into every employee’s DNA. If data were generated by a project, the question of what to do with them was often only considered afterwards. Eneco wanted to turn that around: it wanted the business to think better about data and consider what value could be extracted from them – without forcing employees into a straitjacket, but by letting them do as much as possible themselves, freely, but within certain frameworks. Because of its vision of, first, relinquishing control and, second, applying ‘managed BI’ and sorting out privacy and legal/regulatory questions properly, Macaw was chosen as a partner. Eneco was already working with Macaw on the implementation and optimization of Microsoft 365.
The approach: a competence center for reporting and dashboarding questions
‘Eneco wants to work in a data-driven manner and to interpret and use data better.’ With this key request in mind, Macaw got down to work. The starting-point was to set up a Power BI Competence Centre, a team of Macaw employees that helped Eneco organize processes better, develop templates and provide training. The Competence Centre guided, coordinated and facilitated the transition to Power BI. Power BI has now been widely rolled out within the organization and has completely replaced QlikView.
In addition to the Macaw team that was at Eneco’s disposal on site, a large body of knowledge, skills and other competencies was available within Macaw, such as expertise in Microsoft 365 and from support engineers, UX designers and integration specialists.
Power BI enables Eneco to connect data, map trends through analyses and obtain meaningful insights. Employees can generate these insights themselves through self-service reporting. This gives them a sense of responsibility for the reports and dashboards, so that requests for a report no longer have to go through the Power BI Competence Centre.
Due in part to the numerous enthusiastically run training courses, many employees have really started working with self-service reporting.
The result: an independently operating organizational unit
The Competence Centre is a BI competence center for reporting and dashboarding within Eneco where a portion of the data and information requests are handled. It also has an important advisory and implementing role within Eneco’s strategic programs.
The degree of adoption is very high and increasing further within Eneco all the time. Employees turn to the Competence Centre on their own initiative for help with preparing reports using Power BI. Because of this, the Competence Centre is becoming increasingly strategic and adding more and more value within Eneco. In addition, a large group of users has been extensively trained in Power BI, resulting in some twenty Power BI champions (ambassadors) and a multitude of heavy users.
What did Eneco think?
Christine de Ling, Data Management & Insights Manager at Eneco: “I’m definitely enthusiastic about the end result. The adoption went brilliantly because of the existing templates and best practices from Macaw. The team members were professional, enthusiastic and critical. They were happy to join in the thinking process about new developments with us. We’ve now also given Eneco Belgium a hand with using Power BI as a tool for reports and dashboards. Now we want to encourage employees to get even more out of self-service reporting and to become more self-reliant. My goal is for the power users from the community to deal with operational questions from their colleagues themselves. Macaw will carry on working at Eneco for a while, among other things developing a customer journey dashboard that should make the customer more central. Macaw has an important role to play in this.”
Ferry Bouwman, Product Owner Competence Center: “In my opinion, the most important result is that the use of Power BI has gone through the roof. Due in part to the numerous enthusiastically run training courses, many employees have really started working with self-service reporting. Because we provided very effective training courses that took little time, take-up was high. We immediately deployed the colleagues who came back more often as champions: they are enthusiastic and know quite a bit more than their colleagues. This is working very well. The implementation of a new enterprise data management tool is the next step. We want to map data even better and offer users transparency, for example information about what data are available and who owns them.”