Choosing the best Power BI consulting company for your project and needs is not always clear and a good starting point is to define your key criteria for choosing a consulting company, give a score to each criteria, decide on a minimum score for a specific criteria and compare a number of different consulting companies until you find one with a high score and what you feel is the best choice.
In here I will try to give you a comprehensive list of criteria and it’s up to you to decide on the importance of each one.
Please note that size of consulting company or impressive sales pitch does not guarantee success of a Power BI project, and this is based on actual experience working with big consulting companies and acting as a rescue or audit person, and the reason for that is that consulting companies of any size, do not guarantee use of high quality resources, they may recruit anyone at short notice on a contract basis or even provide you with a junior resource, and that can lead to problems.
Criteria for a consulting company to evaluate are:
- Power BI Portfolio – Let’s face it, the most important output of a Power BI deliverable is very visual and it’s a very good idea to start with reviewing what the company has to offer, but please bear in mind that the person who created a Power BI portfolio for a consulting company may not necessarily be the one working for you. In our case we are still building our Power BI portfolio and you can review some of our existing samples, but what we do differently then most consulting companies is that we have a graphic designer, who is engaged at the beginning of the project to create a colour’s pallet that matches client’s company logo and we use our graphic designer with final dashboard or reports to figure out if we can improve what we call WOW effect. Please also note it’s important to review samples from a AHA perspective which essentially is usability of dashboards and reports and this generally needs to be presented in a video so we can understand what the objective of a dashboard or a report is and how the report was implemented to provide an easy way to fulfil the dashboard/report objectives.
- Price * Effectiveness = Total cost of a project / Maintenance cost – Price is an important factor for your project, however it’s the price that is a key performance indicator but price * effectiveness, for instance if you have a project that cost 500/day and takes 50 working days then total cost is 25000, however if you consider a scenario where the same project is delivered for 400/day and takes 35 days the total cost is 14,000 but if it takes 70 days the total cost is 28000, so we can see that only if we consider price and effectiveness we can truly understand the total cost. For instance in our consulting company we do ensure that not only our price is as low as possible by removing all unnecessary cost and low margin but also we pride ourselves on having a very high efficiency in the region of 95% by doing things like “no down time” (if we don’t work, we don’t charge you) which may reduce efficiency on by 10% to 30%, we also choose a resource to do the project that represents the best balance between price and efficiency which means we maintain a very high 95% efficiency.
- Best Practices, Standards & Quality work – It’s no secret that are a few consulting companies that rely on the resource to deliver a project, and we are different in this respects than most companies as we do recognize the importance of best practices, standard and quality work and because our best practices and standards where developed by Emil co-founder of Katie & Emil we pay extra attention to ensure all our team members follow our best practices and standards and ensure that we consistently deliver high quality to any Power BI project we are asked to delivery.
- Flexibility – Running a Power BI project means dealing with situations like changing requirements or priorities, demanding deadlines or someone leaving a project. When you have a single resource that may be not very flexible during a project, in our case we case we provide you with 2+ resources for a project and that means we are flexible in putting extra hours at short notice to hit a deadline and have a cover if someone leaves a project.
- Additional criteria are:
- Consulting company location, in case you need onsite visits, in our case we are location independent and only provide remote consulting and do it globally (English based projects only).
- Power BI Qualifications of the actual resource who will deliver your project – in our case we have Power BI certified team members and also Emil is a Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert in Business Intelligence.
- Microsoft Partner – Microsoft offers Silver & Gold Partner options for consulting companies. We are not a Microsoft partner yet but we hope to become a Silver partner in the next few months.
- Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional) – This is a rare recognition of individuals that contribute to community, for instance there are only 404 MVPs in the data platform category worldwide, 31 in the UK, and Data Platform MVPs specializing in Power BI represent only a fraction of the above statistics. Emil contributed quite a lot to Data Platform over the last 10 years and he is now currently preparing to apply for an MVP which we hopes to receive in 2022.