Work

Business Intelligence Replacement Project

Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA)


PIRSA

Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA) is a key economic development agency in the Government of South Australia, with responsibility for the prosperity of the state's primary industries and regions.

Challenge.


The existing legacy reporting system was over 10 years old. A new business intelligence environment was required in order to match the increasing demands of the workforce. Aside from limited reporting functionality, the business was suffering from the following issues:

  • Business rules that supported/defined the reporting requirements across the business were not documented, resulting of loss of IP and understanding when people left the business;
  • Business rules were not applied consistently across applications, reporting or business processes;
  • Data was defined and managed differently across applications and this led to confusion between stakeholders as to what was being discussed/what report it related to etc;
  • Some data was kept outside of applications (on shared drives/spreadsheets etc.) which made a ‘single source of truth’ and the integrity of data questionable;
  • Business knowledge of Business Intelligence was low and this made interactions less productive/trusted;
  • The internal management reporting process was significantly constrained by:
    • In-efficiencies in the process associated with re-keying of data and manual handling of data;
    • Difficulties in effecting detailed analysis of financial projections;
    • Lack of understanding and transparency on the state of the process.

Solution.


Chamonix was engaged to conduct a pilot, quickly followed by the design and implementation of a business intelligence solution under a phased approach. The solution involved the implementation of a:

  • Robust semantic layer covering HR, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, General Ledger and Fixed Assets. The semantic layer was represented by several data models that contain a consistent view of business terms and definitions.
  • Performant self-service focused reporting layer that enables the otherwise untapped value of the data, shaped in the semantic layer, to be leveraged. Self-service analysis was provisioned through SharePoint via Excel Services, Power Pivot and Power View. This approach also served the need to have on-premise infrastructure. The reporting layer was further extended with web based reports.
  • Dashboards that utilize clean and effective visualisations’ to monitor the management reporting process and results.
  • Interactive management reporting system called the Critique Reporting System that enabled the capture of forecasts and commentary under secured managed workflow.
  • Key points included:
    • Usage of financial reports to capture projection variances classified into pre-defined reasons with related commentary.
    • Variances and projections aggregated at all reporting levels.
    • Results analysis via Excel Services of all data captured.
    • Managed workflow.
    • Role based security.
    • Process monitoring.

Business Benefits.


The result was a streamlined business solution which ensured:

  • Centralisation of business definitions through a semantic layer enabled improvement in the consistency of information;
  • Process efficiencies generated through:
    • More consistent information and automation; and
    • Strong Excel integration with existing business process worksheets; and
    • A custom management reporting application that managed workflow, reduced re-keying of data and enabled integrated detailed financial analysis.
  • Business continuity is achieved by embedding business logic, definitions and data into an enterprise semantic layer.
  • Improved collaboration and understanding across the business has been achieved with SharePoint, Microsoft Office and a custom interactive management reporting web application, all of which sit across a common enterprise semantic (data model) layer.
  • Central semantic layer combined with self-service tooling such as Master Data Services, Excel Services, Power View & Power BI has enabled a reduced reliance on IT, whilst enriching the experience.
  • Reduction in the need for information siloes.