Data and analytics are becoming increasingly important for the fact-based management of your organization. With the advent of tools such as Power BI, you need minimal (technical) knowledge to click together a report. This means that useful self-service data analyses just became that much easier. But convenience inevitably also has a downside. Because if you just turn your employees loose with this, the result may be an exponential proliferation of reports and views – something that is better avoided.

Microsoft Power BI as a reporting tool

Using current reporting tools, anyone can create reports for themselves, wherever and whenever they want. This has its benefits, because who knows better than the user themselves which information they need? In addition, it is, of course, a good thing that employees can take better decisions thanks to having the data. But these accessible reporting tools can bring new pitfalls in their wake, such as those explained below.

No standard working practices

Accessible tools require an integrated approach, where you make it clear what should and should not be done. These guidelines are needed to answer important questions, such as: How do you use the reports that were created? How do you publish them? And how do you distribute them? By defining this, you create a clear way of working for everyone.

Multiple versions of the truth

Another hidden danger that’s lurking is seeing the wrong information. Continuously compiling data and cross-checking it with colleagues takes a lot of time and can lead to distortions, and therefore different versions of the truth.

Lack of responsibility

What we often see in practice, is that responsibilities are not firmly assigned. Who is responsible for the data, for example? Is this an IT issue, or one for the operational units? And also, who is responsible for maintaining the system? Who manages the reports, and who monitors redundant reports? Who controls just how many reports are actually being used, and who exactly has access to which data? There are many such questions to answer around reporting management, and you need clearly agreed guidelines.

Untrained users

You can throw users in at the deep end, but without training they will waste a lot of time learning how to build reports. It is well worth teaching users the ins and outs of the tool before you let them loose to create reports.

System limits

Finally, with inexperienced users, there is a greater likelihood that you will hit the limits of Power BI. Integration with other databases can run painfully, or data may no longer find its way into the cloud. These types of problems require expert technical management to ensure good performance by the tool.

A solid foundation for valuable reporting

What’s the right answer? Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all way to avoid being caught in these pitfalls. But what does help is considering the right trade-offs for your data and reports. Include all aspects of your business, your users, the IT landscape and the data sources. With these parameters, you can work out the best way to use your reporting environment, such as Power BI.



Clear working practices, the right guidelines and a well-organized Power BI environment will create a solid foundation on which your users can work. That way, you will ensure (again) that your reports add value. How you achieve this solid foundation will be different in every company. At Ctac, we have many years of experience in this area and know better than anyone how we can make your data add value once again.

If you recognize some of the pitfalls we’ve described in this blog or would like to just talk through your own situation with no obligation, feel free to get in touch. We will be happy to assist you.