Fresh Insights shakes the worldview

that data and systems are overly complex by removing that complexity

Fresh Insights fills the technical gap that commonly exists between business and technology, and complex company systems and specialist IT application knowledge

Our clients are amazed at what we achieve for them in days and weeks.  We shatter their assumptions that the effort required would be months and years.

How do we do it? Here are three recent examples.

Case 1: Develop Complex KPI Report

Brief

To bring together unrelated data into a single KPI report for an Australian-based company.

Challenges

  • Data quality issues in middleware tool, old ERP and new ERP systems
  • Company has never developed an understanding of its data at transactional level
  • In response, it was imperative to prove data in the new report is accurate and data in the old report is incorrect
  • Identifying who uses the report in order to gain the right assistance from the right people for guiding the right report specifications. 

Constraints

  • Report design needed to replicate the old report consisting of two sub-reports, each printed on reverse sides of one A3 sheet of paper
  • Data could change after the fact

Duration

  • 1 day extracting bundled data into transaction-level data files and verifying data
  • 5 days developing the KPI report
  • 1 day verifying the report

Case 2: Data Migration

Brief

To extract, transform and load data from an old Cobol-based Community Care System to a new MS SQL Server-based system for an Australian-based Council on a shoe-string budget.

Goal

To complete the task in days despite a different council taking six months to achieve the same task using a different method.

Challenge

Data from the old system needed to be mapped to the new system in a specific format.

Solution

  • Mapped data in old system to match format required in new system
  • Extracted, de-normalised and converted data and saved to spreadsheets in required format
  • Developed process to check for data errors
  • Required re-running and re-checking address data
  • Loaded spreadsheets into new system without errors

Duration

3 days

Case 3: Resolve Spreadsheet Chaos - Distributors' Reports

Background

  • International company that sells products through distributors
  • Sales Manager receives monthly data from each distributor in spreadsheets characterised by:
    • Inconsistent formats across distributors
    • Inconsistent formats within distributors from month to month
    • Product identifiers that differ between distributors and between company and between SAP
    • Data quality issues

Problem

  • IT Department unable to effectively process the spreadsheets using existing systems because of the spreadsheets’ inconsistent format and content and a lack of flexibility in tools used
  • Sales Manager spends one week per month collating spreadsheets, massaging data and producing reports. He is unable to add further required reporting functionality
  • Sales Manager unable to accurately assess key trends, sales and profit as sales transactions are not available at transactional level

Data Solution

  • Develop structure to process individual spreadsheets into useable format
  • Write queries to extract and then combine:
    • Distributor customer static data for translation, validation and reference
    • Product static data and translations based on SAP and historic distributor files
    • Combined historic transactional data across the various distributors
  • Validate new data to check for:
    • Duplication, spelling mistakes, and incorrect addresses using postcode check (static data)
    • Resolve distributor customer variations
    • Resolve product identity variations
  • Provision of one-touch process to update transactional data as new spreadsheets are received from distributors
  • Provision of forensic reports to identify new static/referential data

Reporting Solution

  • Mobile-ready access to operational reports and charts by management and account managers
  • Dashboard for key metrics
  • Inclusion of budgets

Duration

  • 2 days developing structure to process spreadsheets into useable format
  • 2 days developing operational reports
  • 1 day developing initial dashboard