Microsoft BI helps look into the past, present, and future

Dan Montgomery_headshot

Dan Montgomery

A nationally known shopping mall owner/operator partnered with Slalom Consulting to design, develop, execute, and continue to evolve a state of the art, centralized Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW) and reporting/analytics platform. After transitioning from a legacy platform to a Microsoft based EDW, the client was able to leverage the entire suite of reporting/analysis tools in the Microsoft BI stack, including direct integration with the MS Office suite and SharePoint. These tools have given Slalom Consulting the ability to deliver unique, insight-driven projects that focus on not only providing a historical view of data, but also an ongoing look into the future of the company’s financials. 

Inability to connect insights

Previously, the property accounting team did not have a tool that allowed them to look at general ledger activity in a dynamic environment and be able to simultaneously compare those actuals to the budgets set at the beginning of the fiscal year. At the same time, there was no insight on if the company was going to hit its financial goals in the coming months, leaving corporate out of the loop with the ongoing progress of accruing revenue from individual malls.

Shopping malls lease their spaces to different tenants, much like apartment buildings. As such, the leases have a set amount of charges that apply on a scheduled interval for a known period of time. Knowing this, Slalom Consulting was able to forecast the charges that would be received by looking at what would be billed to the clients in future months. The same idea can be applied for deals being pursued to put new tenants in units that are vacant or have upcoming expiring tenants. These new datasets, combined with financial actuals and the budget data, can now all be displayed in one report at the same time, providing insight never achieved before.

A complete, connected picture

By combining billings and general ledger data from one source system, budgets from another source system, and pipeline data from a CRM system, the Slalom Consulting BI team built a multi-dimensional Microsoft SSAS cube that can be accessed by anyone in the accounting department to gain never before had insight into the past, present, and future health of the company’s financials. The cube can be referenced directly in Excel for power users or fed to static reports using SSRS that meet specific business needs. This access has also enabled a one-stop shop of both summary and detailed analyses that used to take a series of reports and a significant amount of time to compile.

This is but one of many success stories in both technology enablement and process improvement that has been implemented by Slalom Consulting. By partnering with our client to ensure the long-term success of the mutual relationship, we have been able to apply creativity and expertise to ensure growth and insight for the foreseeable future.

About Dan Montgomery
Dan Montgomery is an Information Management Consultant, specializing in using data discovery, data modeling, and database development to work directly with business units to solve problems. He has worked on projects primarily in the services and real estate industries, helping business units tell a story with their data through creative uses of industry technologies.

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