We deliver world class technology for our clients who trust our advice and rely on our solutions. This trust hasn’t been won simply by our proficiency in solutions delivery. We also appreciate constructive client engagement and we strive to ensure that the final delivered solution really brings business value for our clients. As part of our company culture we emphasize integrity, fairness and transparency in everything we do. Technically speaking we specialise in design, implementation and management of comprehensive solutions, usually in MS SQL Server environments.
Business Intelligence Solutions
BI allows companies to oversee daily business activities, and provides effective tools for making decisions and preparing future plans. BI emphasizes the power of the information you can get from data you already have about your business processes ( e.g. sales, marketing, finance, call centre, manufacture, employee performance etc.) Additionally BI gives you the ability to use and combine this data with data from outer sources.
From a user perspective BI can provide the following facilities:
• Standard reporting
• Business data analysis
• Business planning support
The above facilities have no clear dividing lines. They usually overlap and it is a matter of business purpose how to combine them to get the best value for business users.
Our experience derives from the many solutions we’ve successfully delivered.
• Planning & Budgeting Solutions
• Business Intelligence (reporting, data analyzing, dashboard solutions)
• Data analysis solutions
• Calculation models
• Data Collection systems
Standard reporting is a classic product of BI. Standard reports have predefined structure and are being prepared on a regular basis (e.g. daily) or they are accessible on demand through the web. The standard report is in a predefined layout, in some cases without any user interaction or, more often, it comes with some user interaction on the web or uses another application e.g. Excel. The advantage is that user is being regularly provided with a standard layout and metrics which are important for day to day work. The Microsoft BI stack provide an extensive range of report capabilities.
Firstly, Microsoft Reporting Services (SSRS) can provide a facility for standard reports and dashboards
Secondly, Microsoft Excel. Although is just an office application, it can provide a facility for standard reporting and has many tools for defining the initial layout. It is easy to use and is familiar to most people, and also has the capability for ad-hoc analyses. However, in our experience, the use of Excel for reporting should always be restricted and controlled in order to ensure data reliability, scalability and data quality.
For your business we can prepare automated solutions for standard reports and automated report delivery. We can empower analytical usage of these reports according your needs and build dashboards for quick and easy visibility of processes near “your business steering wheel.
“Dashboard provide at-a-glance views of key performance indicators (KPIs) relevant to a particular objective or business process (e.g. sales, marketing, human resources, or production). The term dashboard originates from the automobile dashboard where drivers monitor the major functions at a glance.” Source: Wikipedia
The main purpose of dashboard is to provide quick and easy overview about situation in the business. Therefore infographics and economical design is as important as metrics and data quality.
There are many tools for building dashboards. For example Microsoft Reporting Services (SSRS) can provide a facility for standard reports and dashboards in one stack together which is very cost effective solution.
Businesses often need to extract information from data to meet a special business requirement. For example cost allocation, sales-representative commissions or any other business specific calculation. Business data analysts very often use Excel spreadsheets to address these needs. This is a very effective approach until the size of data becomes too large, or the complexity of calculations causes maintenance problems.
The responsible employee is often stressed, and there is seldom reliable documentation. Therefore the Excel solution will soon become very unstable, unsalable and unreliable. We are able to work with your business analysts to convert these Excel models into more stable and reliable solutions, often with additional functionality or reporting capability.
We have built several solutions which delivered a high level of customer satisfaction and increased ability to drive and control business processes. Some of these solutions are:
• Cost Allocation
• Finance Portfolio Metrics and Performance
• Sales Representatives Commission Calculation System
(EMEA wide multinational solution for calculating commissions for sales-representatives in call centre)
Data Collection systems
Business intelligence relies on database access or files exported from other systems/applications. However almost every BI solution requires a facility for loading data directly from IT operations or power users in the business. This data can be of two types. First, reference data, sometimes referred as master data (e.g. Product list, fee list, price list, public holidays and so on) Secondly, data which is created by business power users, often a one-off data set on a regular basis. For example sales forecast or outlook, marketing plans, discount list etc. Both types require loading into BI for use in reporting and analysis.
These data-sets sometimes contain many records, so a web-based approach for editing these records is not just tedious work but also an expensive activity. For example, just changing a product specification can require so many clicks on the web forms that the total elapsed time can expand to several days. If a company does that product change at least once a month, they will need to employ one person just for recording these updates just for the sake of IT systems and reports!
We have experience with business people and we listen to them. We understand how crucial these data-sets can be for business and business decisions. We also addressed their frustration with the tedious and expensive “click-work”. Therefore for some customers, we have built a solution for loading these data-sets effectively whilst also achieving a challenging goal of high data quality.
• Data Collection for business processes
• Master Data collection system for business intelligence systems
Data Quality Solutions
Information is essential for every business decision and for business control. Incorrect information can even cause critical damage to the company. Decision makers can be faced with a multitude of BI tools and technologies. Many tools can be implemented quickly and can also provide fancy and colourful reports. However, if the tools/reports are not based on good quality data, any subsequent business decisions may be fatally compromised. Unfortunately the benefit of good data quality is not immediately apparent. Even in cases with no direct financial loss from wrong data in BI reports, business users notice these data issues and will lose confidence in BI reports and eventually stop using them. This will result in a direct loss of the investment in the BI solutions and consequential losses from better decisions based on BI. We have proven experience addressing these requirements by implementing solutions to ensure data quality during the testing phase and reconciliation features in the production. We can also build bespoke solutions for high quality testing or setup the reconciliation functionality in BI systems according to your business requirements.
Examples of solutions we’ve delivered for ensuring Data Quality:
• Automated testing solutions for data-warehousing and business intelligence
• Solutions for improving data quality and reconciliation