Our client, a commercial distribution company, had grown rapidly through a series of acquisitions. However, they were struggling to align critical business information to enable data-driven decision making. Vital Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) data originated from a variety of disparate data architectures and source systems. Key corporate stakeholders were making strategic decisions based on manually assembled reports, which lacked measurable consistency, data reliability, and metric transparency.
As a result, our client realized that they needed a way to visualize Key Performance Indicators across the organization. The organization had a vision to create near real-time dashboards, with a consistent user interface, across Sales, Finance, and Operations. Knowledgent was engaged to design and deliver an Enterprise Data Warehouse and data visualization solution, implemented in an Agile methodology.
Our team began by dividing the project into three phases, one for each business unit, beginning with Sales. This required several steps to cover all aspects of the project.
For each phase, our team conducted an assessment of the ERP system current state, with a focus on the dimensions and measures required for the current phase. We then worked with the client to define KPI, dashboards, and end-user reporting capabilities.
Next, we designed the Enterprise Data Warehouse, constructed incrementally using a dimensional modeling approach to support visualizations, and then implemented our design. The ETL process in particular was developed to integrate disparate sources and to normalize and harmonize the data. We also included audit, balance, and control routines to send alerts when data validations failed. Finally, we conducted rapid visualization development pairing with stakeholders using a commercial visualization tool.
At the end of the project, our client gained robust analytics and reporting capabilities across Organization, Product, Customer, Sales and Supplier data. Their data standardization and quality also improved dramatically across all domains.
Their analytic dashboards provide key business drivers, trends, and issues. More importantly, their key metrics are updated daily with historic relevance for near real-time analytics and enable our client to save over 4500 hours annually. Based on the benefits realized from this project, our client considers their analytics and data visualization capabilities to be a key competitive differentiator well into the future.