The FI$Cal system is constantly evolving to provide a better user experience and Power BI is one of the primary tools deployed by the Department of FISCal to enhance the system. Implemented to end users in 2019, Power BI is a robust business intelligence tool for departments to use to view their data and build reports. The creation of reporting tools utilizing Power BI was the direct result of user input from the Imagine FI$Cal workshops.

The improvement to the user experience because of Power BI has been considerable. One of the first tools implemented, the Commitment Control (KK) report, replaced a report that previously would take 30 minutes to generate in PeopleSoft. Power BI generates this report in two minutes with the same amount of data and has charts and graphs as well as a dashboard for a more complete user-friendly experience. Similarly, as we’ve previously reported, the FI$Cal to State Controller’s Office (SCO) Monthly Reconciliation Report in Power BI significantly reduces the time spent completing the reconciliation and also minimizes user errors.

There are many reasons why FI$Cal has chosen Power BI to create reports from the PeopleSoft data. Power BI has more flexibility and capabilities than PeopleSoft and creating reports in Power BI also relieves PeopleSoft of the demands of report creation. Additionally, Power BI is cloud-based and has the ability to provide self-service analytics.

When Power BI was initiated at FI$Cal, we collected all the major reports available in PeopleSoft and analyzed the requirements and the usage to decide which reports to begin building in Power BI. We immediately began building the KK History Reports which have been quite helpful for departments. So far, FI$Cal has completed the Expense Analytics, KK History Summary, KK History Detail, Budget to Actual, FI$Cal to SCO Monthly Reconciliation and COVID-19 reports.

Currently there are five reports in the development or pilot stage: Disaster Cost Recovery Tracking, Accounts Receivable Aging, Purchase Order Encumbrance, Income and Expenses, and Purchasing Data reports. FI$Cal is also piloting the ability for departments to create self-service reports, which allow users to modify reports for their own department’s purposes. And, FI$Cal is not stopping there. We are working to transition many other resource intensive PeopleSoft reports into Power BI.

Power BI is an incredibly robust tool which can be used to create large-scale reporting such as with FI$Cal’s transparency website, Open FI$Cal, and Power BI is also nimble enough to be used when data is needed in a timely fashion such as our recently released COVID-19 reports.

In future newsletter articles we’ll take a closer look at many of these reports created in Power BI. Until then, for a more detailed overview of Power BI check out the FI$CalTv October episode where FI$Cal subject matter expert, Rani Sagi, explains Power BI.