Consumer Goods Multinational enabled effectiveness in Reporting & Decision Making with Power BIRishabh Rai
Our client is a multinational & world-renowned Consumer goods company. These large organisations inherit some highly complex processes and our client was no exception in this regard. The data management systems were archaic and the recent efforts for transformation were not giving desirable results. The geographically dispersed operations lacked a robust reporting mechanism. Business stakeholders were looking for a solution that could aid their decision making and subsequently, they could get an overview of the broad-scale impact of these decisions.
With Polestar’s assistance & consultative approach, they identified the need of an analytics tool. A data governance framework was formulated, and we set up a visualisation layer on top of Data Warehouse. To facilitate getting crucial reports on time, we delivered a solution on Power BI, now insights are available on fingertips of anyone who needs it.
SSRS, an SQL based reporting tool, was already in use, but it was not being used across the organisation. So, these business users were using semi-cooked reports and were dependent on spreadsheets for a complete analysis of their data. Since there is no means to track the changes made or get notified for the new version of these sheets, the end result was prone to error & manipulation, making it difficult to rely upon.
The MIS team used to manually process such data and provide reports. Since they lacked a robust data governance mechanism, a great deal of due diligence was needed before reporting on it. The timelines for reports were usually overshot and even if they were prepared, only a handful of people used them. These reports were static and didn’t represent the current scenario. So, any ad-hoc requirements for reports had to be catered at very short notices.
To reduce this dependency for every single report, the IT team was setting a Data Warehouse Cube, but the complexities of business and unfolding the logic embedded in spreadsheets was taking forever.
The Consumer Goods industry is a highly competitive one and the company was taking multiple initiatives to stave it off. However, the existing data transformation & information management systems lacked the agility to quickly report the effectiveness of these initiatives/strategies.
The processes in place were not up-to-date with the changing demands & industry trends. Their systems tracked the retail sales but, wasn’t accounting the E-commerce sales that was bad news considering the exceeding outflux of shoppers towards the platform.
Our business analysts held meeting with stakeholders across departments to understand the user requirements. All the business logics were documented to design reports and identify KPIs pertinent to each business units. While doing this, our business analysts were able to pin point some gaps in the existing reports which lead to some new requirements.
The next step was to interpret embedded logics & formulas from existing systems, excels & flat files. It was important to convert these logics into Data Analysis Expressions (DAX) which is used by the Power BI platform to generate interactive reports and enable self-service features.
Data quality rules were implemented to remove junk data and redundancy.
OLAP Cube (SSAS Tabular) was created on the top of the source systems to fuel visualizations in Power BI in Live mode. It was aligned with the overall business objectives of empowering stakeholders at each touch point to drive decision making insights. Role-based access to the dashboards was given to the business teams so that they can generate the reports or customize the dashboards if needed.
SSRS reporting setup was implemented for automated data extraction from the cube catering to different business functions.
We also enabled the tracking mechanism for the existing crawled up data for the e-commerce and set up some KPIs & interactive reports on Power BI to effectively track the sales through this channel.
The powerful & comprehensive dashboards & reports helped the decision makers to take stock of the business. While for functional teams, it gave them the liberty to drill down into the dashboards and segregate the strategies that were working from the ones that weren’t.
With the automated reporting mechanism, the reports were delivered on time which improved the adoption and promoted participation across business teams. Integration with the cube made sure that dashboards were updated in real-time. The management teams were able to perform ad-hoc analysis using features such as Q&A to discover insights and share them broadly in a few minutes.
With the tool, forecasting and manipulating any large dataset was just a click away which helps in strategizing, creating sales projection & hence improves the product pipeline. The ease of using the tool has cultivated a habit of getting a backing of data before taking key business decisions.
The solution empowered them to identify trends that business users never ever looked at before. In certain cases, it contained the information that was very crucial for the business strategy. E-Commerce reports were appreciated by other branches and the same reporting setup was implemented for international markets in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.