Working with FIT Uganda
I spent one day with FIT Uganda as part of the MySkills4Afrika program. FIT Uganda is Uganda’s leading business development consulting company. They provide capacity building and facilitation support to Small and Medium Enterprises across Uganda.
Focus for the day was their upcoming new platform InfoX. InfoX is primarily a web/mobile based platform, targeted towards sellers that need to able to find market for their produce in real time and access opportunities for trade the moment they arise. The platform also allows sellers and buyers who do not have access to web and smart phones to access this same information through SMS and USSD apps.
I spent most of the morning with their Principal Consultant Robert M Kintu and Information Systems Manager Paul Kabagambe to understand their vision for InfoX for 2015 in addition to their different product offerings and customer base.
Once we discussed the product vision of InfoX, I demoed different offerings of Power BI starting with using Power Query to import data into Excel, creating Power Pivot models and uploading the Excel file to create a live dashboard with visuals using the new Power BI preview experience.
To show how easy it was to use Power BI, we decided to do a quick hands on with some real InfoX commodity sales data that was stored in a csv format.
- We imported the data into Excel using Power Query and created a simple look up table in Excel for sales type.
- We used Power Pivot to define the relationship between the imported data and the lookup table
- Within minutes we were able to create a live dashboard with different metrics that the team wanted to track for their weekly sales review meeting.
They really loved the Power BI Q&A feature which allowed creating visuals by asking natural language question about the data. The feedback for the feature, just as MMindzs, was overwhelmingly positive.
Paul, Jacob and I spent rest of the evening discussing about the best practices for developing and designing APIs for mobile and web apps. I briefly walked through the agile development principles we follow at Microsoft. For e.g, creating Personas to represent different user types and designing app features to align with the goals and requirements of each persona.
I wish everyone at FIT Uganda good luck and a successful launch of the InfoX platform!