Analytics on mobile devices: Owner has a portfolio of businesses under management in the hospitality sector. Owner spends bulk of time travelling to source new business ideas and opportunities. drilldown built a solution to collate the data from the separate businesses into a series of dashboards which Owner can access via browser on any mobile device, with full interactive query capabilities, thereby staying in touch with business performance whilst travelling.
Blending data from different sources: Company in utility sector had a complex billing engine where charges to the customer comprised multiple elements. The related charges from suppliers for the various elements were captured in the General Ledger. drilldown built a solution which apportioned the General Ledger costs for each element against the related sales value for that element, allowing, for each customer, an evaluation of the margin being generated for each element.
Daily Cut and Paste of branch spreadsheet into consolidated master spreadsheet: The client, a major multinational, relied on the consolidation of data from multiple branch spreadsheets. The consolidated data was then subject to a number of lookups and other formulae to calculate customer charges and various other control totals. Over time, spreadsheet formats had diverged, and the process had become laborious, inefficient and occasionally inaccurate. drilldown oversaw the imposition of a uniform format across all branches, and built a BI application that combined the individual branch data, and applied all the necessary formulae. This resulted in almost instant processing with 100% accuracy – a process that had previously taken almost a day.
Upskilling client staff to achieve BI self-sufficiency drilldown had built a number of BI applications for the client, and over time the BI culture had become ingrained in the business.
Legacy System reports designed for print output The client was using a legacy system where all reports were designed for print output. These report formats were characterised by the split of data across header-body-footer formats. This rendered the reports almost unusable for further analysis in spreadsheet format, drilldown built a BI app which converted the reports from print format into “analysis ready” database format, with the option of performing all analysis within the same app rather than exporting to a spreadsheet.
Automating Excel workflows in BI Apps Huge reductions in processing time can be achieved by automating workflows within BI Apps. This is especially the case where processes involve the linking or transferring of data between spreadsheets. drilldown has built many apps in this area, for instance
Pricing models – customer provided a service, which they subcontracted, where both price to end user and subcontractor cost to the customer varied depending on a number of different variables. Different source tables for both cost and sale values were used depending on the combination of variables for each job. For each job, the appropriate source tables had first to be determined. Then relevant values were lifted from the table, and the job was costed and priced accordingly. This process took a number of days each month. drilldown built a BI app which loaded all job details and variable values from the source tables, and instantly calculated, in seconds, the sales and cost prices.
Journal Preparation – client had a payroll of some 500 people directly engaged in provision of services to customers under service contract arrangements. Each pay element for each employee had to be linked to a General Ledger AND a Service Contract. Certain General Ledger entries were aggregated into a single journal line, while others had to be posted for each Contract. The manipulation of the relevant data using a suite of formatted spreadsheets took almost a day. No data was retained for analysis, as the previous periods data was wiped during processing of the new period. drilldown built a BI app which, as well as performing this task in seconds, also retained the historical data, allowing for analysis over time of payroll costs for each service contract.
BI features tailored to different user requirements customer operates a number of businesses under franchise for a major retail brand. drilldown built a BI infrastructure combining mobile visual dashboard and alerts (for use by senior management in managing unit performance) with detailed tabular models at transactional level (for use by analytics department for detailed investigation of business questions arising out of performance review by senior management)
Using BI power to perform large reconciliations drilldown has harnessed the power and functionality of BI products to perform a number of large reconciliations for clients. The particular functionality includes:
Power – BI tools can handle much larger datasets than Excel, the traditional tool for performing such reconciliations
Automated reconciliation tasks – BI can automate the tasks associated with large reconciliations, such as cross referencing, value matching as well as tagging and ranking differences
issue-specific reporting gaps – using BI applications, drilldown has built a number of applications to address business-specific issues
Future Deferred Income release – The customer, a global telecoms company, had thousands of contracts for various durations and needed a model to calculate the monthly future income across any future date range. The processing power required to perform the necessary calculations was beyond that available in excel. drilldown built a BI application which broke each contract into monthly elements, thereby allowing reports to be built based on a monthly basis.
Order Fulfillment Tracking – The customer part delivered sales orders as stock became available. The customer aspired to fulfilling orders in a single shipment, and wanted to track the amount of shipments for each order. drilldown built a BI app that did this, allowing an analysis of orders by number of shipments made, but also identifying which stock items were causing the multiple shipments.
Tracking the re-forecast process – Apart from the annual budget, the customer prepares a number of re-forecasts during the financial year, and needed to be able to track changes between budgets and re-forecasts, as well as tracking actuals against each. drilldown built a BI app that included the following features: