Power BI-based solution to consolidate hybrid data sources for Stamicarbon#Data Analytics
Stamicarbon has a differentiated IT portfolio, where different business lines work in part with their own IT systems. Although some of these systems offer reporting features, these are generally limited to operational data. Until recently, Sales reports were generated directly on the Dynamics CRM database with a custom built solution. With this solution, technical knowledge was required for every change request, regardless of the size of it. To overcome this, Stamicarbon decided to work with Power BI. Power BI Desktop is now used by the Sales department for reporting on sales data. However, these reports are limited to operational data as well.
In the previous situation, it was not possible to run reports on historical data. Reporting on combined and aggregated data from multiple source systems was not possible either. Since the end users liked Power BI, Stamicarbon approached Heroes to define a future proof target architecture for Power BI that would meet the requirements that were not met previously.
In a series of workshop, the hybrid target architecture was defined, with Power BI running in the Azure cloud and the gateway for the business applications on-premise.
The main characteristics of the target architecture are:
- It is a highly scalable platform, that can be used to unleash data from multiple business applications, both on-premise and from the cloud.
- It has a datawarehouse that can be used to run reports on historical data without having to go through an archive of report files.
- Adding new reports can be done without deep technical knowledge.
- Combining data from different business lines and source systems will lead to a better insight in cross-departmental business processes without having to do magic in Excel spreadsheets.
Stamicarbon is the innovation and license company of the Maire Tecnimont Group. Stamicarbon is a pioneering company specialized in the fertilizer industry with a vision to help enable the world to feed itself and improve quality of life. As a global leader in fertilizer technologies, Stamicarbon has licensed more than 250 urea plants and realized more than 100 revamping and optimization projects. This leading position is based on more than 70 years of experience in licensing and is maintained by continuous innovations in technologies, products and materials. Stamicarbon’s headquarters is in Sittard, The Netherlands with a sales office in the USA and representative offices in Russia and China.
- The solution has an ad-hoc reporting feature, where the user cannot only run predefined reports, but also create his own queries through a user-friendly interface that does not require any technical skills. In this situation literally any query can be run against the available data, leading to even better insights.
- After the launch of the platform, the DWH will grow with valuable information that can potentially be used for predictive analysis using smart AI algorithms. This will result in a better control on your business.
The first release of the project was all about setting up the platform and rebuilding the Sales reports with the additional feature of running reports on historical data. The project was executed using Scrum. After the launch of the solution Heroes trained several of the Stamicarbon staff in using the platform and creating new reports.
Gabriele Genyte, Functional Application Manager at Stamicarbon:
“Stamicarbon chose Heroes to deliver the Power BI architecture solution for several reasons: trustworthy and reliable partner, the relative simplicity of the proposed solution, and the rapid implementation process. All in all, it was a pleasure to work with the project team and innovate internal processes.”