Kansas City Southern

Discovering something about an industry you previously knew nothing about is always a win in my eyes. The more we can learn from different problems and different environments as UX Designers, the wider our scope becomes to see the big picture.


Hearing the various pain points and stories from the “users” who help maintain one of the oldest industrial forms of transportation was truly an eye opening experience.

A VIP stakeholder held a meeting every Monday to review key datapoints that helped illustrate progress in key areas of their business. The process to showcase the data of all relevant areas of interest was a clunky one because too many tabs needed to be open at once. Poor organization of the data and a lack of a clear structure clearly understood by the entire organization led to a confusing, unpleasant experience that overall slowed the adaptation/incorporation of PowerBI into their employees daily routine.

Uncovering simple solutions for complex data analytics driven operations was an interesting challenge that came with its own set of questions that needed answering.

  • Who internally is the largest advocate of the PowerBI process?
  • Who approves new dashboards?
  • What’s the internal training like?
  • How do you use dashboards in your workday?
  • What other tools do you use to accomplish your tasks?
  • What part of the organization are you in? (Yardman vs Business Executive)
  • How are dashboards prioritized and organized? Naming conventions?


At the end of the evaluation, our final deliverable included the following:

  • Create a guide on PowerBI best practices. When to use certain forms of data visualization, which layouts to use, how to drill down into data, data governance, making use of bookmarks to navigate to other dashboards vs using multiple tabs.
  • Create a PowerBI template that reflects their needs.
  • Encourage and build upon internal “PowerBI – Power Users” database so those who want to create dashboards don’t have to wait for a single department for initial creation – help bridge communication gaps and make it a more inviting experience.

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