Working with MMindzs — Part II

This post describes the experiences of my last three days with MMindzs. Check Working with MMindzs to know more about MMindzs and my first two days experience. As part of the MySkills4Afrika program I worked with the MMindzs group from Jan 19th to Jan 23rd 2015.

Wednesday, I spent the day at MMindzs’s co-working space. Once Francis (MMindzs’s CEO) gave me access to their data api, I used Power Query to import their Airtel registration data into Excel to create a Power Pivot model. With the model I showed Francis and Peter how easy it was to create a report and visualize data using Power BI for Office 365.

Later I took the same report and imported it to the new Power BI preview experience and showed them how to create a dashboard from different visuals and metrics that needs to be tracked for the Airtel registration data. Francis and Peter loved the new dashboarding experience and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. It felt both awesome and humbling to see happy Power BI customers and to see the product my team built solve the right user problems.

I also gave them a high level overview of Power BI developer story on how to develop their own Power BI connectors for data sources and using Power BI Rest API’s to push data in real time to their dataset.

Thursday, Francis, Peter and I visited Great Lakes Regional Distributors to continue the training for the Point of Sale mobile app. MMindzs’s CTO Joe pushed an updated version of the app fixing bunch of improvements from the previous training session. The backend was also updated to have the real customers list mapped to the individual salespeople.

Some pictures from the second training session at Great Lakes Regional Distributors

The training session was productive, the salespeople continued to learn and use the full functionality of the app. We got a couple of ideas on improving the experience which we documented and discussed later with Joe.

I had setup a personal hotspot for the devices and it was interesting to see a lot of data being consumed by the devices (for context, 8 devices consumed 200MB/hour of data, while the Point of Sale app hardly used 30MB/hour). Later we realized most of the data was used by messaging apps to download media. This might be a problem as the distributor planned to get 500MB data plan per salesperson for the pilot. Peter and I discussed this and he will follow up with the distributors’ manager.

Over the week I used the MyAccounts web app and had documented a lot of improvements and bugs. Joe, Borna and I went through the improvements for both the Point of Sale mobile app and MyAccounts web app to identify the next steps.

Later in the afternoon I spent time understanding how they were using Azure for MMindzs and answering questions related to culture at Microsoft, best development practices and technology trends in USA.

Pictures with MMindzs team Joe, Borna and Peter.

Overall it has been a great week learning from MMindzs team and sharing my skills. To summarize, I worked with their data to integrate with Power BI, walked through the new Power BI preview and developer story, visited customers to understand user scenarios, trained participating distributors’ salespeople to use MMindzs apps, reviewed their mobile & web apps and got feature requests for Power BI.

I wish everyone at MMindzs good luck and a successful launch of their pilot program!

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