Manufacturing / Modern Data Platform

Sustainable Design Leader Leverages Big Data to Maximize Resources and Benchmark Strategies

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Company Overview

A robust data and analytics warehouse built on Microsoft Azure capabilities is amplifying the success of a Pacific Northwest sustainable design leader. Paired with Power BI, our solution delivers nearly immediate decision support directly to those who need it. This agency’s architects and engineers take an intentional, holistic approach to commercial building, using evolving sustainability principles to build a better future. Its consultants design flexible, resilient structures that minimize human and environmental health impacts while boosting community benefits. 

 

The company recently appointed a data-driven chief financial officer. A critical priority for this CFO was upgrading the firm’s dated technology to align with its future-forward design principles. The officer wanted to lay the foundation for a robust analytics program. BlueGranite’s expert-led data and analytics team collaborated to bring the CFO’s vision to life.  We delivered a modern data warehouse to optimize resource use tracking and enable strategy benchmarking. 

The Challenge

Good business makes the most of every resource and asset. Between its designs and buildings, this progressive engineering firm is known for doing just that. Though lauded at home and internationally for advanced sustainable design leadership, the technology driving internal processes here was nearly obsolete. Business decisions were based on siloed data and slow reporting done directly from the firm’s operating system and internal applications. Financial reporting here was manual and tedious – the monthly process took days and required copying and pasting values from one spreadsheet to another.  

 

As is often the case, enabling innovation here required more than just creating an advanced digital architecture  designing a user-informed platform was paramount. Key component of any successful new technology are user engagement and investment. BlueGranite builds modern data and analytics systems people want to use. Working with stakeholders who are often accustomed to established operations, we explore their digital and business requirements to design tailored solutions around them. 

The Solution

Employing our BlueGranite Catalyst framework, we worked with stakeholders in an on-site workshop to discover business needs, explore relevant technology and cover best practices. We collaboratively outlined the firm’s IT governance and security needs, and studied business use cases to ensure a well-planned, tactical architecture that will easily scale with the enterprise.  

 

We integrated the company’s finance system data and that from its enterprise resource planning system into a Microsoft Azure stack. We enabled cloud-scale computing capabilities, employing: 

  • Azure Data Factory’s code-free data transformation capabilities. 
  • The AI-powered, scalable Azure SQL Database for data storage. 

BlueGranite also reverse-engineered the architect’s Excel workbooks not just to mirror reporting requirements, but to modernize an incredibly complicated process: 

  • Enabling digital transformation and automation of manual activities. 
  • Employing Power BI’s modern business intelligence proficiencies to monitor, explore, visualize and deliver business-critical insight. 

The Results

Automating data and analytics capabilities empowers highly skilled staff here to make the most of its talents and take a future-focused approach to business. Newly efficient accounting systems and modern reporting deliver immediate clarity into consultant utilization, scheduling, forecasts, billable rates and revenue, and other such nuts and bolts critical to solid business management.  

 

Automated reporting opened the door to self-service analytics. Business users can now easily create, visualize, and share relevant information, quickly and securely, in the ways that make the most sense to them. With insights on resource utilization and forecasting now at its fingertips, the finance department can take a proactive approach to enterprise allocation, management, and ultimately, success. 

 

Whether you need faster insights, a stable, scalable data platform, or you’re looking to embrace the future by incorporating AI capabilities, BlueGranite can help you reimagine business. Contact us today to discuss your organization’s technology needs and how we can help you chart a course to future success. 

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