Heathrow Airport is the UK’s largest airport, serving 204 destinations in 85 different countries and with 78 million passengers passing through the airport in 2017. Burningsuit have been providing Power BI Training and Consultancy to Heathrow Airport since August 2017.

Heathrow Airport approached us after two of their staff members attended one of our Public Microsoft Power BI Service Courses in London in August 2017 and found the training useful and appropriate. Following this, Heathrow decided to book several on-site courses in Microsoft Power BI.

The aims

Our on-site training was tailored for the team at Heathrow Airport to focus on the following areas:

  • An overview of the functions and features available in the Microsoft Power BI suite
  • The consolidation of data from a wide range of sources within the business
  • The tools available to end-users to produce, monitor and consume Power BI Reports and Dashboards

Like many modern organisations Heathrow Airport have access to a great deal of data that comes from a wide range of sources. Data is generated from all their activities including baggage handling, plane management and refuelling, and the flow of people, luggage and transport through the airport. Much of this data is held in differing database systems, spreadsheets and other data files. They were looking to use Microsoft Power BI as an end-user tool to allow staff to create their own Reports and Dashboards giving them access to the key performance indicators they need in their job.

Staff therefore needed the skills to extract and clean data from these many data sources, visualise that data as user-friendly Reports and Dashboards, highlighting trends and key performance indicators, and then share these with colleagues and in some cases, partners outside the business.

The challenge

As new software produced by Microsoft, Power BI may be unfamiliar to staff, even if they are experienced Excel users. The software is evolving rapidly with new features and facilities added monthly. Heathrow staff needed to understand the new system, how it worked and what it is capable of. They also needed to understand how it fitted in to their environment, potentially replacing older software and reporting systems.

How we helped

We carried out several on-site, private Microsoft Power BI training sessions for over 70 staff members and counting, with courses running in November 2017, January, February, April, May and June 2018.
We also provided an after-course email support service, where attendees could email us any subsequent questions that they had once they started using Power BI.

The results

All courses were well received by the team at Heathrow, with many members of staff requesting further training sessions. To cope with the interest, we ran an extra DAX for Power BI course at Heathrow for advanced users.

From our training courses, Heathrow Airport are starting to produce more dashboards and reports, allowing them to consolidate and evaluate all of their information in one place. Members of staff are starting to exploit Microsoft Power BI’s capabilities and Heathrow are hoping that they will continue to see this level of progression.

Heathrow Airport are already in discussion with us to continue their training courses and are looking at sending more staff members on our courses. Further to this, they are beginning to look at two new Microsoft applications which complement Power BI; Powerapps and Flow and would like to receive training from Burningsuit on these new apps.


"We chose to work with Burningsuit because they offered great Power BI training. Over the course of several months we ran several private training sessions which we found to be very effective and always up to date covering the latest developments in Power BI. We found the trainers to be excellent and the courses flexible to meet our circumstances, which has allowed us to exploit the capability of Power BI to improve airports operations. As our team evolve I expect that we will organise further courses with Burningsuit.”

– Tom Garside, Head of Integrated Planning & Performance Airport Operations, Heathrow Airport

Tom Garside
Head of Integrated Planning & Performance Airport Operations, Heathrow Airport
We found the trainers to be excellent and the courses flexible to meet our circumstances