Gruner Group introduces business intelligence (BI)
Improved data quality and data security thanks to QlikView
Every clerk, accountant and controller is familiar with this situation. Reports must be laboriously created monthly, weekly or even daily. Usually, the omnipresent spreadsheet software Microsoft Excel is used for this. Many requirements of a company can be met this way. However, the lack of a link to the data source and decreasing data quality with successive document versions often lead to problems in practice. This becomes critical if the responsible clerk is absent or leaves the company altogether. In most cases, no one else is familiar with the Excel files.
The starting point
In a rapidly growing group like the Gruner Group, the organizational structure must constantly be adapted to changing circumstances. For accountants and controllers, this is a big challenge. Such restructuring has a significant impact on reporting. Every Excel template and PowerPoint presentation must be updated. The desire for automation or at least the acquisition of a supporting system is growing enormously these days. Not just mutations, but the general creation of reports is very time-consuming.
Data sources must be procured independently by each accountant. For example, there are daily reports that check the quality of entered customer and supplier invoices as well as the opening of new projects. Prior to the introduction of our BI solution, each of these reports was created by hand or had to be manually prepared via our enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution.
The benefits of QlikView
With the goal of relieving our administration, we searched the market for a suitable BI software. With the help of the Gartner Quadrant, we came across QlikView and asked them to create a proof of concept (PoC) for us. The performance already caught our eye during the creation of the PoC. The software can process data within seconds and represent it as a diagram. With one click, the diagram can be converted to a table or exported directly to Excel. Something that was new to me was the interactive diagrams. With QlikView, you can make a selection directly in the graphic.
At the end of the workday, the result was presented to the project team. There were beaming faces all around. Possible uses were discussed right after the presentation. We decided that QlikView should be introduced in the Gruner Group as soon as possible.
QlikView is a software that is independent of the operating system and is manufactured by QlikTech International AB, based in Pennsylvania, USA. It can be connected to nearly all known databases. Data from .txt or .xlsx files can also be used and combined with other databases.
The strengths of the program are clearly in the visualization of the data and not in the output. In the age of tablets and smartphones, this makes a lot of sense. I can still remember my business training – back then, there was already talk of the paperless office. Is this a generational problem or is society just not ready yet? Even in 2017, paper remains indispensable. With products like QlikView, we’ve certainly taken a big step closer to the paperless office.
The biggest question I asked myself after the introduction: Why didn’t we opt for a business intelligence tool sooner? The quality of the evaluations has increased with automation and confidence in the data sources has returned. Day-to-day work was made easier and productivity has significantly increased in terms of reporting.
What are your experiences with business intelligence tools? Do you also have experience with QlikView? Contact us, we are interested in your perspective and insights.