Creating Business Intelligence solutions is what we do daily so we can quickly spot areas of the most worthwhile use-cases. But for the companies that would benefit from it the most – which at the same time are the ones that don’t use it yet – it can be hard to imagine what it could do for them, how it could improve their operations and cut costs.
That is why we prepared this list of practical case studies to show you how you can facilitate decision-making processes in your company by implementing a robust BI solution.
All the described scenarios are real-life solutions that we built for our clients. We hope that this article will inspire you to take the initiative and make the change for a better in your company’s dataflow.
Integrating OEE indicators with Power BI
Our client, a global company and a leader in the manufacturing of spreads and plant-based foods needed our help with their OEE analysis. Antdata’s task was to implement a comprehensive Business Intelligence tool that would allow them to calculate and analyse the OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) indicator, which is a percentage snapshot of machinery usage efficiency. The challenge was (as it is in many cases) that the data came from 15 factories around the world whose reporting systems were inconsistent.
Our interactive report thanks to the integration of different systems in Power Query, showed standardize indicators, which had a direct impact on the quality of the data and the repeatability of analysis. The implementation of the Power BI solution provided a clear, up-to-date, and easily accessible view of the effectiveness of individual lines in the factories, including downtime. This helped to focus on what needed to be improved to deliver value to the business. As a result, their performance got better from the bottom up – both globally and from a single production line perspective.
But it doesn’t stop there. Thanks to the use of Power BI reporting it is possible to monitor the trend of availability, productivity, and quality over time. This allows for faster and more accurate identification of areas and processes with high potential for improvement to plan optimization activities in the places which require it most.
Looking at the standardized OEE indicators, it is possible to perform comparative analysis and detect differences in efficiency between individual production lines or entire factories, as well as to detect anomalies that can determine the speed and quality of production.
Business Intelligence in logistic services
By implementing a Power BI solution you can dramatically improve the speed and availability of analyses. A great example of that is one of our clients – a major provider of logistics services. Being a logistics company, our client operated through an intricate structure of branches located all over Poland belonging to several companies. Antdata’s task was to create a unified Business Intelligence tool that would allow them to track the budget execution stage and costs related to the sale of goods and services.
So we did. The Power BI report that we created enabled a simple and accessible analysis of revenue from sales of services and goods, added value, depreciation costs, or operating results of the activity. Having that data shown in a consumable and understandable way, it was possible to determine the appropriate courses of action and savings. The automated solution allowed them to track multiple performance measures, forecasts, and optimization analyses across locations, divisions, product categories, and products. The delivered analyses of percentage deviations in a month context gave them control over the company’s expenses and costs and made them better prepared for reacting to any anomalies.
There was another requirement – specific reporting modules were to be available at different organizational levels – from single branch managers to the main board of directors. This was to allow the decision-makers to obtain important business information on each level of the company’s hierarchy in line with their authorization. Thanks to the application of row-level security, specific employees received access only to those data rows, which were important for their department and accordingly to the internal data security policies.
Bespoke automatic reports utilizing DAX-based calculations, bring to the companies a new quality of working with data. They allow to generate savings and optimize actions aimed at determining the right development directions, with the maximum elimination of human error. The trend charts for operational results enable comparative analysis of efficiency of branches and companies, which allow for quicker and more accurate decisions both for individual organizational units as well as entire companies.
Power BI implementation in a store chain
Our client, a company owning a store chain and franchise stores, needed a comprehensive Business Intelligence tool to control and analyze sales performance.
The automated reporting system implemented by us on the Power BI platform for the sales department allowed for a quick analysis of sales by receipts. The receipts were supplemented from the SQL database. The data coming from over 70 stores from across Poland were integrated into the database. The resulting interactive sales and margin report showed data from both perspectives – company stores and franchise stores. The data in the report was scheduled to refresh automatically 8 times a day so that the report always showed the most up-to-date results.
The ability to view the sales results of the individual stores on an annual, quarterly, or monthly basis, allowed for more efficient management of the entire sales chain. By utilizing a collection of DAX functions it was possible to create a number of advanced KPIs: budget and margin execution, statistics for different types of sales documents, or the year-to-year comparisons. In addition, tracking trends over time and the ability to compare sales between the individual stores, categories, or products further expanded the field of business analysis.
The report not only showed sales data but also what is strictly connected to sales – marketing data. Measuring the effectiveness of promotional and marketing campaigns facilitates the planning of future actions increasing the company’s profits. Comparison of sales before, during, and after the promotion period allows for an easy evaluation of the effectiveness of marketing campaigns for each product separately.
The whole report provides a wide perspective on sales, which allows for accurate predictions and estimates of future sales. It is possible to predict the average percentage of budget execution and the expected sales value at the end of the current year. This allows taking appropriate actions which can improve sales in the nearest future.
This is a multi-level report which means that thanks to row-level security this one report can be used across all organizational levels. It is available on the Power BI service and can be viewed on all devices – computer, phone, or tablet. The report shows business results both from the company and a single store perspective. All of that hugely simplifies decision-making for the local, regional and central management.
The developed Business Intelligence system is under continuous development and subsequent stages of the project are being systematically implemented. Currently, we are working on further modules of the report within the area of inventory management, orders, and billings.
Fast invoice management with Power BI
Managing invoices in the global era can be tricky. Let’s take our company – as a provider of Business Intelligence, we use various international cloud services and subscriptions. In addition, we are an intermediary in purchasing such services for our international customers. Tracking that in an expanding company becomes a time-consuming and prone to errors task. Luckily, thanks to the Power BI reporting, it is possible to see everything in one place and compare costs allocated to different services and subscriptions.
The Business Intelligence solution that we created allows for more efficient management of invoices and the creation of clear reports for customers with detailed summaries for a given period. The ability to extract and combine data from different types of files from dispersed sources is a measurable benefit of Power BI implementation, allowing for more efficient and faster cost analysis. In addition, thanks to the use of Python scripts and the Power Automate service, we automated the entire process of data collection and processing and made it even faster and more convenient.
Thanks to connecting to the exchange rate tables of the National Bank of Poland (published on the official website), it is possible now to precisely track the exchange rate day by day and convert the value of invoices issued in foreign currencies.
This interactive report makes it easy to control and compare over time the expenses related to subscriptions and cloud services of both our company and our customers. Even though data is scattered in different services and different formats, it is possible to build a clear summary to help plan expenses.
Our customer was an inspection, verification, and certification specialist. Antdata’s task was to create a set of tools to monitor human resources management and the company’s finances. The goal was to increase budget supervision and to get an overview of the employment data.
Obtaining data from two different sources, which are the HR and financial departments, allowed us to build a Business Intelligence reporting tool, that permitted for precise and efficient budget control. Furthermore, the report showed the current state of employment and long-term leaves. Thanks to the implementation of Power BI reporting, it became possible to monitor budget execution by each department. Being able to compare budget executions between departments the company could relocate the assigned budgets from overestimated to underestimated ones. As we obtained data from both Finance and HR department we decided to consolidate them and look at the HR data from the financial perspective.
Creating a DAX measure to compare profits generated by each site, plant, or department with the number of headcounts or FTEs (or full-time equivalent) gave us an estimate of a profit generated by an employee.
In order to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and to guarantee the security of personal data, Antdata applied row-level security in the Power BI service. This functionality lets to control what part of data the user is able to see depending on his access level. The unmistakable advantage of this solution is that one report can be used by people from different levels of the organizational hierarchy.
Implementation of this solution eliminated the necessity of manual calculations – now all calculations and are fully automated and we always see an up-to-date view of the company’s resources.
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