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    What In the World is Power BI?

    Power BI

    Photo By Cpl. Mary Jenni | From left to right, Daniel Rouse, U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Robert Escalera, Chief...... read more read more



    Story by 2nd Lt. Jorin Hollenbeak 

    Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

    MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - Every Marine knows the feeling of waking up at 2:00 a.m. on a brisk weekday morning in preparation for their annual rifle range qualification. This yearly ritual of earning marksmanship badges can be a frustrating, long, and challenging experience. However, the first round of trigger pulls always erect waves of dust, gunpower, and a sense of belonging that proves “Every Marine a Rifleman.”

    In addition to being a Rifleman, every Marine is also a leader. As leaders, Marines must have an effective way to aggregate, analyze, visualize, and share data for their unit. Power Business Intelligence (Power BI) is a digital capability built into the Office 365 suite that enables Marines to increase productivity and take well informed and decisive manpower actions. Power BI provides leaders a unified and scalable platform for self-service, with capabilities that exceed Microsoft Excel and Access… but where did it come from?

    To answer that question, we must set our clocks back to February 2022. From February to June, the Marine Corps hosted its spring iteration of the 2022 Innovation Challenge. In keeping with Talent Management 2030, the Innovation Challenge is held yearly and calls for uniformed and civilian personnel to take advantage of the Marine Corps investment in the Office 365 suite of capabilities. The goal of the challenge is for teams of Marines to produce meaningful Software-as-a-Service (SAAS) applications that have the potential to increase productivity across any one or more warfighting functional areas.

    2022’s Innovation Challenge united CWO4 Juan Giraldo from North Bergen, New Jersey, Dr. Wayne Roseberry from Cape Coral, Florida, Mr. Daniel Rouse from Monticello, Utah, Cpl. April Romero from Corpus Christi, Texas, and Cpl. Robert Escalera from Bronx, New York. Together, these individuals forged the Marine Corps Installations West’s (MCI-West) Innovation team and laid the foundation the current Office 365 suite of capabilities used by the Marine Corps was built upon.

    “When Power BI was first introduced to me, I had no idea what it was.” Said CWO4 Juan Giraldo, Personnel Officer for MCI-West. “So, I researched, watched hundreds of YouTube videos, took multiple free classes from Microsoft, and self-taught as much as I could. From there, I created a new Power BI database that would help the Marine Corps with personnel management, to include staffing goals, personnel reporting, and all other facets of manpower.”

    After months of meticulous and dedicated hard work, the MCI-West Innovation team constructed the earliest phase of modern Power BI. This manpower application fosters collaboration, streamlines the decision-making process for operations personnel and commanders, and propels the Marine Corps to new heights of innovation and success.

    The MCI-West Innovation teams’ early model of modern Power BI met the Commandant’s strategy to develop an information age personnel system required to support the future force. Headquarters Marine Corps adopted this early model and has since crafted it into the Power BI program that many Marines currently use every day. So, what exactly can Power BI do, and why is it so important?

    “Power BI is the most powerful data analytic tool that I have seen in the Marine Corps since I’ve been around.” said Dr. Wayne Roseberry, IKMO Management Analyst, MCI-West. “And I’ve been around for over 35 years.”

    Power BI is an application built into the office 365 suite of capabilities and gives its users a comprehensive view of all their units manpower, enabling well informed decisions based an all-encompassing personnel and training tracker. Operations personnel and commanders can utilize Power BI to analyze unit personnel by company, platoon, and even occupation or grade. The Commanders view in Power BI displays a polished illustration of respective units’ strength, to include Marines joined, Marines joined in Fleet Assistance Program status, Marines joined in Temporary Additional Duty Status, and the statuses of each Marine correlating to the available billets in their unit.

    The beauty of Power BI is that it gives operations personnel and commanders a sound platform to base all manpower decisions on. For instance, a unit may have five of five required Sergeants. This may seem as a healthily manned unit on paper, however, two of those Sergeants may be meeting their end of obligated service in one month, one may be on legal hold pending separation, one may be awaiting a medical board and separation, and the last Sergeant may be the only one in a ready and deployable status. Power BI displays situations like this in a user-friendly interphase so operations personnel and commanders can take correct manpower actions and fully understand the staffing in their unit.

    Power BI displays all its information in a manner any Marine could look at and easily understand. What used to be a large congregation of excel documents that only Chief Warrant Officers could decode has evolved into a readily accessible tool for anyone to utilize. Power BI also updates daily, providing accurate and current information to its users.

    “And even more, Power BI displays personnel and manpower issues, to include vacant manpower billets, Marine Online expiration dates, inconsistency reports, physical fitness, individual training discrepancies, and organizational statistics in an interactive dashboard.” Said Daniel Rouse, IKMO Information Technology Specialist, MCI-West. “Operations officers love us, and well, they love what we can do.”

    Power BI is yet another tool showcasing how innovation in the Marine Corps is not merely a buzzword, but a crucial mindset for progress and growth. The Marine Corps continues to actively seek Marines who possess the drive and creativity to break new ground, fostering a culture of innovation. With each new idea cultivated, Marines take another step towards a stronger future.

    To see Power BI for yourself, utilize the software center application to download Power BI to your Desktop. For any questions on Power BI, contact your local IKMO office.



    Date Taken: 10.03.2023
    Date Posted: 10.03.2023 12:41
    Story ID: 455032
    Location: CAMP PENDLETON, CA, US

    Web Views: 291
    Downloads: 0