Fueling informed decision making with analytics

The need for real-time decision making is paramount for any organization that strives to stay agile in the digital age. IGATE Global Solutions shows how analytics can act as a critical enabler in meeting this key business requirement

IGATE is an IT services company, with its India headquarters in Bengaluru. The corporate office in India accounts for annual revenue of about $1.25 bn and has a workforce of 35,000 people. Decision making plays an inevitable and extremely crucial role for organizations in today’s fast-paced business scenario. However, the company was not able to meet this extremely critical requirement and was facing issues in taking uniform and timely decisions based on real-time data. The primary objective for IGATE was to connect many different data sources such as PeopleSoft, Casper, GM Sheet, iConnect, Swipe Systems, BGC, Hyperion, etc, and create a modern web-based system for performance management with functionality for budgeting, forecasting, reporting, and analytics.
“Excel is a great tool, but it is no longer sufficient when many people are involved in the budgeting and forecasting process, or when requirements become more complex. Continuous reporting of results and analysis can be tedious and takes a lot of time. It was also difficult to find one version of the truth when different users use different data sources and process the data themselves,” says Chella Namasivayam M, CIO, IGATE, explaining the issues the company was dealing with.
GETTING A UNIFIED VIEW OF DATA
In accordance with its needs, IGATE turned to BizView, which is a web-based enterprise data warehousing system that consolidates data from various sources to support its business analysis, reporting, and decision making and has been built on the Microsoft BI stack. The data is extracted from the source and stored in a consistent and meaningful format which is time variant, and is designed to facilitate analysis, correlation, and trending in business. These reports and dashboards are designed and developed using a comprehensive state-of-the-art Business Intelligence tool provided by Microsoft.
Apart from the analysis and reporting capabilities, there are extended features that can be used to export content into Microsoft Office forms for users who wish to perform self-analytics on the data.
BizView application also has Power View Reports which provides an interactive data exploration, visualization, and presentation experience. It provides intuitive ad-hoc reporting for business users such as data analysts, business decision makers, and information workers. They can easily create and interact with views of data from data models based on PowerPivot workbooks published in a PowerPivot Gallery, or tabular models deployed to SQL Server 2012 Analysis Services (SSAS) instances. “A key initiative within the organization, this has provided business managers a deeper insight into the performance of their specific business units across various parameters and KPIs,” says Namasivayam. The initiative was an extensive project involving many rounds of requirement gathering, reviews, design element, and finally deployment and testing. The data integration was done using the well-proven and established tool from Microsoft, SSIS. Overall, this project took over six months to implement.
It was developed as a tablet friendly service, to meet the needs and demands of the current day mobile workforce. As this was a part of the enterprise agreement with Microsoft, there was no separate cost associated with this initiative for software or hardware stack.
A DECISION THAT PAID OFF WELL
Prior to this initiative, the data elements were stored in a siloed environment with little or no correlation or trending evident. BI team was constituted with the purpose of identifying the data that can be collated and analyzed to create information suitable for making decisions.
With this initiative, an enterprise data warehousing system has been created where data from various corners has been combined and made available as meaningful information.
“Some key benefits include reduced man hours by eliminating the traditional ways of spreadsheet creation and circulations, real-time availability of data, and deep dive analysis of data with drill down capability,” states Namasivayam.
Today, BizView Dashboard is used for several key tasks, such as data visualization, trend analysis, score carding, performance management, KPI visualization, etc. “The need of the hour was getting the right information at the right time to the right set of people to be able to make informed decisions. This initiative did just that for our leadership team by providing summarized reports with drill-down analytical capability assisting in planning, forecasting, budget, analysis correlation on-the-fly,” adds Namasivayam.
“BizView has now become the single source of reliable information within the organization with the IGATE leadership relying on this for all aspects of business reporting and decision making,” says Namasivayam.

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