Case Study: Business Intelligence
A top US recruiting firm wanted to modernize their Executive and Operational reporting. A few challenges stood in their way:
- Inability to customize native reporting in their business applications
- Custom reports provided by SaaS providers were expensive and took a long time to receive
- Manual workaround in place to move data from system to system in order to get the data in a useable format
- Internal team resources spent many hours per week compiling and distributing the reports
- Reports were only available each Friday due to the effort required to produce them manually
The firm’s legacy BI tool provided canned insights but did not deliver the flexibility needed to expand reporting and was unable to grow with their business. GadellNet was tasked with developing a platform that addressed these problems.
- Architect a modern analytics solution
- Automate reporting processes via ETL development
- Provide business insights not possible via outdated reporting tools
- Make data accessible to end users anytime, anywhere
GadellNet worked with the client to define all critical data requirements. The following solution was implemented:
- ETL process leveraging API integration with two of the firm’s critical applications
- Azure SQL database for data storage and modeling
- Power BI for data modeling and visualization
Because there were no 3rd party tools on the market with native integrations to the firm’s core applications, GadellNet built an ETL process to extract data and load it to an Azure SQL database. This integration app is executed multiple times per day so reports are always display the latest information. Because the client is an Office 365 E5 subscriber, Power BI was already included with their current licensing. Leveraging Power BI allowed us to implement powerful data visualization, while also providing reporting access to end users at no additional licensing cost.
- Scalable analytics framework leveraging Microsoft Cloud
- Multiple Power BI Apps targeted toward specific audiences within the firm
- Email notifications via Power BI
- Reporting moved from weekly distribution via email to on-demand access via the web
- Platform used for performance management and deeper insights into business operations
The X Factor
GadellNet’s objective view of the firm’s legacy reporting was the unsung hero of this project. Working together with the client we reviewed key business drivers and performance management processes, KPI management and report delivery. We took the ‘challenger’ position in order to do more than simply replicate legacy reporting. This position led to enhanced data integrity, a better understanding of core business systems, and new insights through improved data management and visualization. All of this greatly improved user experience.