element61 provided some senior BI resources to assist the Telenet BICC (BI Competence Center) in their activities. The role(s) of element61 consisted in Business Analysis and BI project & team management.
Business Analytics Strategy
Echo relied on element61 to play a key role in the definition and execution of their Performance Management strategy. element61's activities started with jointly defining a Performance Management roadmap, that formed the basis for the implementation of both a BI and CPM solution. In the implementation process, element61 was responsible for the analysis of the requirements, the solution design, and the implementation using a best-of-breed technology mix of MS SQL Server 2008, IBM Cognos BI 8 and IBM Cognos Planning 8. This project was executed in very close collaboration with the Echo team and has received substantial industry recognition with the BI Vision Award and the Best Finance Team Award.
Through the years, Jetair has been building a large data warehouse containing all their operational data to focus on the operational performance of the company. The next step was integrating all the financial data and building a companywide Planning solution to come to a complete closed-loop Performance Management environment. Hence a Planning, Budgeting & Forecasting-project was started.
The aim of the project was to automate the Profit & Loss-statement, integrating all accounts and cost- and profit centers to allow for both bottom-up and top-down planning. As part of the project, this application has been extended with driver-based data being fed to the application for some specific areas. Main focus of the project was on to the operational business of selling vacation over land (TO Overland) and by plane (TO Flight). The overhead cost centers have been integrated by basic enduser-input to come to a full P&L.
As their business expands and grows beyond their traditional services of auction, through the addition of value-added services such as development of new fruit species, fruit storage, packaging etcetera, Veiling Haspengouw requirements for reliable and timely management information also grew.
They quickly discovered that their existing reporting solutions, mainly Excel-based, had significant shortcomings, and therefore they decided to look for a more stable and automated solution. This process was a joint initiative of the Finance Office and the IT department, who both saw the advantages a best practice Business Intelligence solution could bring them. After an initial and short Performance Management Roadmap project, Veiling Haspengouw decided to invest in a BI architecture based on Microsoft SQL Server. The first iteration of the Enterprise Data Warehouse has been built and delivered, mainly focusing on Sales Revenue reporting. This project was delivered in a short timeframe of 3 months and has resulted in a set of validated and reliable reports and dashboards that are being used by both the Finance and Commercial departments, enabling them to have a better view on their commercial performance. The next iterations of the BI program are currently in full preparation and will cover their Production process reporting and analysis.
With the emergence of digitization and IoT, it becomes crucial for some companies to enable faster decision making through faster data insights. Gone are the days when everyone can wait for hours or days to look at insights and performance dashboards.
In this insight, we have proven that providing these real-time insights means a change in system architecture for many business intelligence teams. In our expert opinion, we concluded that a best-practice real-time architecture consists of two main building blocks: a receiving end-point to receive the data streams and a real-time analytics layer to transform the data.
We conclude that getting started with real-time analytics isn't complex: all leading vendors as well as open-source providers offer a serious of proven solutions and as solutions are offered through the cloud, they start with no investments needed (pay-as-you-go basis).