BI: it is not all about tools.
Sorma has been developing Business Intelligence solutions for over 16 years, for as long as companies have realized that the great amount of data collected in their management systems can be used to obtain useful information regarding their business.
Thanks to the experience gained with our customers throughout the years, we were able to understand and analyze the evolution of demands and expectations of the companies about Business Intelligence.
At the beginning of XXI century, since the main priority of new management software was leading more towards the functional covering of the operative procedures and less to reporting, companies sometimes required integrative Business Intelligence solutions to extract Excel data and to help internal supervisors to create extra-system conventional reports: tables regarding sales of the period, or supplier’s purchases, or even about daily production, sometimes integrated with graphics.
Then, companies started using BI as a means to help them with the reporting about automatic production; in this way, they could automate the editing and emission of pre-set reports (a higher level of office automation) in order to make them available online for the company, on a specific site or sent by e-mail.
For a few years, the demand for controlling companies’ processes with more attention has increased, using more a higher detailed data analysis, and less reporting, which can be defined institutional. This analysis showed that companies can work independently on their own reports, without referring to external help.
Over all these years, Sorma has been at the side of its customers, responding to the variety of their demands regarding BI in all its enforcing phases.
Sometimes, when companies realize that they have a great amount of potential data to be exploited, they are not able to understand which the best reporting system to use is. This is why Sorma tries to support its customers every time they are involved in a BI project , not only to acquire analysis and report production techniques, but also during the preliminary phase of contents definition, that run to all enterprise areas, in order to improve the control of all processes (Sales, Supplies, Quality, Logistics, Planning, Production, Warehouse, Finance, Management Control, Administration and Finance…).
To elaborate a company’s report, the main aspects to take in to consideration are data collection (from the idea of organize them to their elaboration for a following analysis) and the way in which these data can be available for consultation and for a potential interactive analysis. As for data organization, Sorma has always developed a system for extraction, transformation and loading in summary archives of the main data of the management system, presenting also a specific module of Datawarehouse.
As for formal creation of reporting, Sorma has always referred to the same and only third part application solution, which is now called ORACLE EPM (Enterprise performance management). This solution has made possible to adapt successfully to all types of customer’s demands and to enforce over time:
- Data extractor from multiple databases (see query scheme);
- Reports with graphics and tables updated and sent automatically by e-mail;
- Company’s dashboards with synoptic information (see final dashboard)
- Interactive dashboard with detailed data (see drill-down pivot analysis and graphic);
- Online portal to consult all available reports (see open EPM foundation)
- Specific automatic controls on the company’s processes with alert notification in case of specific situations (see email with attached sent by EPM on alert);
- Brief learning processes to learn how to use a BI tool and develop new reporting independently.
Moreover, in order to make available a BI on the new mobile platform to its customers, Sorma has recently started to report in the Qlik sector, the most avant-garde solution for BI.
This last initiative is only the least piece of an on-going monitoring activity and evaluation of the newest and more modern solutions, which can be useful to solve the needs of its customers regarding data analysis for their business.