Business Intelligence Strategy Definition

Background:

Reformis Business Intelligence (BI) consultants were deployed in the Business Management Global Strategy Team of a major asset manager to restructure the investment parts of the business and engender clear responsibility, ownership and accountability. Specific tasks involved evaluating current business processes, technology platforms and management information systems and recommending a BI solution and a series of supporting remedial actions that would enable better informed and more timely business decisions.

The aim of the solution was to provide a single reference data repository for the development and review of strategy and assessment of business performance by:

  • Providing Business Stream, Distribution / Investment Product and Client profitability
  • Identifying profitable products and market segments
  • Obtaining clear views of cost drivers leading to cost control and pricing discipline
  • Understanding the correlation between decision-making and profitability
  • Gaining an early understanding of business challenges:
    • Co-ordinated responses to drop in contentment of clients
    • Rapid responses to shifting market trends
  • Improving the quality of business information:
    • Monthly instead of quarterly
    • More granularity
    • Single centralised source of input and output
    • Automated inputs and report production
    • Reduction in “cottage industries” or “spreadmarts”
    • Increased confidence in data – encouraging rapid decisions
    • Reduction in time wasted cutting and re-cutting data
  • Meeting global product profitability requirements
  • Realisation of cost savings as a result of replacing the current Interim Model

Reformis Solution

Business Process Review (BPR) – Identification and Implementation of the changes required to existing business processes to deliver the required BI information in a timely manner.

Operational System Changes – Implementation of necessary changes to internal IT systems that allow business representatives to deliver this data in a timely manner.

Build BI Solution – Analysis, Design, Build and Test of the BI repository and the complimentary reporting functionality. The solution leveraged SQL Server and its data transformation tools as well as Business Objects as the User Interface. The key features of the solution were as follows:

  • Business “Contracts” – In order to optimise the data collation process, it was important that the format and frequency of the data publishing process was agreed and that the data structure did not change over time. To achieve this, a “contract” was agreed with nominated business and IT owners of data for the provision of the following data to the BI solution:
    • Assets Under Management
    • Revenue
    • Costs
    • Master Client Account List
    • Global Product List
    • Organisational and Employee Data
    • Reference control data
  • Data Quality Control – Before the data was be accepted by the BI solution, it was subjected to a series of rigorous quality checks. A series of business rules were built as part of the ETL routine and maintenance screens were written to allow nominated business users to keep these rules up to date.
  • Added Value Calculations – A series of mathematical calculations were performed on the base data to achieve management Key Performance Indicators (KPI).
  • Publication – The BI business information owners were able to review the data through a series of fixed format screen reports and an ad-hoc reporting facility. This allowed the localised data to be interrogated and checked before it was published to the wider BI community.
  • Business Information Data Marts – This was where the raw contractual data and the KPI figures were published. These repositories were designed to allow maximum performance for the localised requirements of the various autonomous business teams.
  • Business Reporting Facility – The Business Objects reporting tool was deployed as the user interface. Various fixed format reports were created and distributed to the localised teams using automated means. A supporting ad-hoc reporting facility was also developed with the key facts and dimensions available for slicing and dicing.

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