Abstract

On the heels of a corporate restructuring, a manufacturing subsidiary realized they needed to simplify and consolidate information access across their complex global environment. Multiple high priority Business Intelligence initiatives rose to the surface. SDLC Partners was there to help them design and create an environment that would get them closer to accomplishing their strategic objectives.

The Challenge

With expanded accountability and responsibility for multiple sites, and each location still running its respective SAP system, executives could not obtain the appropriate metrics and reports to adequately control the business. Additional challenges included:

  • An earlier version of Cognos did not support the sophisticated BI analysis and environment they now required
  • An urgent mandate handed down to Customer Service tasking them with increasing business by a significant percentage. Accurate and descriptive sales data would greatly assist in developing effective strategies for both new and after market sales opportunities
  • Key Performance Indicators (KPI) were recently approved and required across the global organization. Both pre- and post-SAP data had to be gathered in order to assist with forecast analysis

The Solution

The Business Intelligence Practice of SDLC Partners managed the primary tasks related to the upgrade to Cognos 8. The team also spearheaded the activities necessary for Installed Base Reporting including functional and technical design, cube and report development, as well as testing. Subsequent phases of the project entailed collaboration with the client to create a prototype that reflected future state data mart design. Key sales measures were identified, as well as the appropriate dimensions for analysis, via sessions among both business and technical stakeholders. This phase concluded with a comprehensive deliverable outlining the data mart implementation recommendations and detailed project plan. Moving forward, SDLC intends to put forth a working data model for structured reporting that will utilize BI best practices empowering the client to quickly comprehend and interpret dashboard functionality, multi-dimensional reporting, drill through capability, and ad hoc reporting. Arming the client with this range of reporting capabilities will pave the way for them to further explore the trends, correlations, and root causes behind sales performance.

The Results

Not only is key data prominently displayed in a personalized dashboard, but the client now has a single solution for all enterprise reporting and executive analysis. With the ability to create simple or complex report layouts, executives can examine key sales drivers and benchmarks, enabling this organization to assess performance and trends at a glance. The Cognos Business Intelligence tool suite has become a potent weapon, providing the competitive edge this client needs to survive and prosper.

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