Statement

The project designed & implemented enhancements to the existing Business Intelligence platform, using Microsoft technologies. The outcome was a significant improvement in the speed, flexibility, ease of use and lower total cost of ownership in accessing data for finance staff as well as improving the presentation and behaviour of reporting.

Benefits

  • Improved business continuity by embedding business logic into data models.
  • Reduced reliance on IT by enabling business data stewards to directly maintain master reference data.
  • Semantic layer implemented has reduced the need for information siloes.
  • Lower cost of ownership supported by training and help & and support documentation.
  • Allowed the business to focus on solving problems, often together, rather than duplicating efforts wrangling data in isolation

Problem

The existing legacy reporting system was over 10 years old. A new business intelligence environment was required in order to match the increasing demands of the workforce. Aside from limited reporting functionality, the business was suffering from the following issues:

  • Existing legacy system was 10 years old and the cost of ownership was high.
  • Reporting business logic not documented.
  • Knowledge loss with staff turnover
  • Inconsistent applied business logic
  • Data integrity of spreadsheet based reporting was questionable.
  • Inefficiencies in re-keying of data and manual data entry.
  • Lack of visibility on the state of the process.

Solution

The solution involved the implementation of a:

  • Common semantic layer comprised of several models including General Ledger, Fixed Assets, Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable.
  • Self-service analysis using Excel Services in SharePoint.
  • Pre-defined web based reports with reports providing drill through to source systems.
  • SharePoint Wiki for technical and business support documentation.

 

Capabilities

The below capabilities were critical to the success of the project:

  • Project Management
  • Agile Development & Testing
  • Business Analysis
  • Application Architecture
  • Data Modelling
  • Report Design and Development
  • Database Design and Development
  • Training & Documentation

Technologies

The following technologies were employed for delivery of the project:

  • Microsoft SQL Server 2012
    • Database Engine
    • Analysis Services (tabular mode)
    • Reporting Services
    • Integration Services
  • Microsoft SharePoint 2013
  • Microsoft Office 2013
  • Subversion Source Control
  • Visual Studio 2013