Power BI is a tool that you can get started working with it in a few hours, but to use it in its full potential, these days, you require to have many skills. The variety of solutions and BI implementations is also dictating to have different roles, positions, jobs in the Power BI development market. In this article, I’ll explain the common roles available in this market.
I have previously written about how your organization BI team might have changed by appearance of self-service BI. Read that article fro the below link:
In this article, I’ll explain how Power BI roles are in details.
Data Engineer: Power Query Developer
In every BI system, data preparation is the step that takes most of the time. in the world of Power BI, this is done by Power Query, and you require someone with good skills to use Power Query transformations. This can be as simple as removing columns, and filtering data, and as complex as writing custom M functions and writing dynamic Power Query expressions.
Power Query developer is also the person who develops the dataflows.
Often the modeling and DAX are considered to be done by one person, but in fact, they are different tasks. Data modeling is the task of creating tables and their relationship. Data modeling is a conceptual work. It is something you do with pen and paper based on the requirement of the reporting and based on the data you get from the source system.
Data modeler is the person who knows about Star-schema, fact and dimension tables, and design the data model based on those principals.
The data model created by the data modeler, then will be filled by the ETL work of the data engineer, and will be used by the DAX expressions of the DAX developer.
No matter how much pre-calculation you do in your BI model in Power Query, still some calculations needs to be dynamic in their nature. DAX is the language that you can write dynamic measures. You need to have someone with good skills in writing DAX expressions to be able to extract information from the data. DAX expressions can be sometimes tricky. DAX developer needs to have a good understanding of the data model, relationships of it, and should be comfortable using DAX on a day-by-day basis.
To have the best data modeling experience, the data engineer, the data modeler, and the DAX developer need to work closely with each other.
Unfortunately many organizations don’t put a lot of efforts in building proper visualization. Visualization looks simple, but it is one of the most important elements of a BI system. This is the front-end of your system. Users will see this. You need to have developers who are good at UX design and graphic understanding so they can put together visualization pages. Pages that are informative, and help decision makers straight away. The art of storytelling is one of the assets of a report visualizer.
Applied Data Scientist
What if you want to use some predecitive analytics? what if you want to leverage some pre-build AI functionalities? You can an an Applied data scientist in your team. The applied data scientist won’t write algorithms, instead would use existing functions.
If you are thinking about the data science seriously, then you need to have a data scientist in your team. someone who is not scared to dig the hell out of the data, find out patterns, use algorithms with many variables, apply different practices and get the desired outcome.
You can’t expect your DAX developer or report visualizer to come and solve gateway issues. This is the job of a Power BI Admin, the access management, the tenant settings, and anything to do with the administration of Power BI are tasks that the Admin will do.
To get the best result and having everything in a good harmony, you need a touch of an architect. An architect is someone with understanding of all components of Power BI. Architect can set the framework in which the whole implementation works. It is the job or architect to set a multi-developer environment. it is the job of architect to bring dataflows and shared datasets into the implementation.
Why so many roles? Can’t one person do it all?
Can you?! if you really think you can do all of the above in the best shape, then contact me, I am hiring.
The fact is that each component of Power BI is so big and powerful that it takes time for someone to get skilled in it. Once you have someone with good skills in a specific area, you want that person to do that job that he or she can do better than anyone else in the team.
It would take ages to have someone upskilled in all the aspects of Power BI If you have acquired that skillset already it means you have been working with all parts of it for many years. On the other hand, you can have multiple developers working on their part of the solution rather than limiting the bottleneck to one person.
This is also good for the company, because it is easier to replace a resource (if they have left the team) who does one job, rather than a person who does everything.
How to asset the skills in my role?
It is important to have the proper skillset required for each role. In this article I have a questionnaire which helps you to know about those better yourself and find out what training is best for you.