The Challenge

With a data-savvy CFO leading the charge, Data-Mail understood the important role that data could play in their processes and decision making.

After attending our Dashboard in a Day event, Data-Mail had a vision for how their organization could use data and analytics to move forward and solve existing business challenges. BlumShapiro worked with Data-Mail to demonstrate the advantages that big data and analytics could bring to their organization along with some of the tools, like Power BI, that could be used to help accomplish these goals. Following some additional consultation, Data-Mail was ready to implement their own process improvements.

The Solution

BlumShapiro worked with Data-Mail to modernize and systematize some of their manual and repetitive finance-related processes. Prior to learning about the benefits of Power BI, Data-Mail relied heavily on paper-based financials that had to be printed and distributed across all departments in the company. These paper-based financials have now been transformed into digital reports allowing for easier access to the information. Data-Mail now has a complete visual understanding of all of their data with the powerful dashboard and reporting features of Power BI.

The Benefits

Moving to Power BI has eliminated the need to work in numerous Excel spreadsheets. Under the previous solution, employees had to manually update a spreadsheet with invoices on a daily basis. With Power BI that data is automatically input into the system, transformed and manipulated using Power BI’s robust query editing capability and fed right into their dashboard reporting. The manual work of checking error-prone spreadsheets is now eliminated, saving the organization time and allowing them to focus on analyzing the results of their data.

Financial review meetings often used to end with a list of questions that require the finance team to dig into numbers further. By having dashboards on screen displaying relevant information in these meetings, questions about what data is driving financial results can be answered during the meeting. It then falls on the operational management to connect what the data is saying to what is happening on the shop floor at the time that the questions are asked. This helps business managers take meaningful actions out of the meetings, leading to more effective financial review meetings.

“As a techy, I’m usually aware of new software and technology. A year ago that was certainly the case with MS Power BI which I had seen and attempted to use, but I could not see where the software’s real ‘edge’ was. Then I attended BlumShapiro’s ‘Dashboard in A Day’ event. Within two hours of the start of the course I turned to my colleague and said ‘we’ll never use Excel again’. BlumShapiro literally unlocked the huge potential of Power BI for me. Six months on I can confirm that, having been an advanced user of Excel for 20+ years, I now use MS Power BI for over 90% of the work I would have previously used MS Excel for.”
– Mark Pritchard, CFO, Data-Mail

Leading organizations like Data-Mail are finding more ways to use their data in an actionable way. Mark Pritchard, Chief Financial Officer of Data-Mail has shown that integrating new technologies and fully utilizing the data his organization already has, can lead to both cost and time savings. With the new data-driven solutions they have implemented, Pritchard has said that these processes so far have saved on average 2 days a month from the month end close cycle (with many additional opportunities for further time saving). By having these days back, employees can now focus on more strategic business decisions and take the time to analyze the data, rather than spending the time finding and pulling the data together.

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