INVESCO Case Study – Sustainability Reporting BI Portal
Invesco is an independent investment management firm dedicated to delivering an investment experience that helps people get more out of life.
“We are privileged to manage more than $770 billion in assets on behalf of clients worldwide.”
Invesco is an environmentally aware company with a responsibility to report on and monitor consumption of utilities with the aim of meeting defined sustainability targets. This reporting is an internal requirement that feeds up to board level.
They needed a BI reporting portal that they could use to upload all of their consumption data with a view to collating the data in a data warehouse for historical, present and future predictive analysis reporting.
They also needed the ability to create consumption surveys that could be distributed to their facilities managers on a workflow schedule, with the capability for their data stewards to collate the data into the data warehouse to provide the reporting function.
From there, a series of interactive reports and dashboards would be used to create the output and also combine into a downloadable report for distribution.
Dolphin Networks Solution
To meet the requirements of the system, Dolphin Networks designed a business intelligence application developed on SharePoint 2013 and hosted in Microsoft Azure Cloud. Cloud hosting meant that access by all clients both internal and external to the company could be easily achieved via a secure forms based authentication logon. The speed to market that can be achieved from cloud hosting also meant that the whole solution was delivered to the client within 3 months.
SharePoint 2013 was the perfect platform to develop this application with built in features such as business intelligence, search, work flow and security. This meant development time was minimised and licencing costs were absorbed by the company’s existing volume licencing agreement.
SQL Server 2012 was the obvious choice for the data warehouse backend to drive ETL with Integration Services & reporting with Reporting Services, including Analysis Services for multi-dimensional reporting and fully interactive user data analysis.
How it works
On a nightly schedule the ETL packages collect data from the various line of business applications and merge that data into a SQL Server hosted data warehouse, specifically designed to offer historical reporting, trend analysis and to provide a fast and content rich schema for reporting and dashboards. Analysis Services Cubes are used to provide fast interactive multi-dimensional reporting.
SharePoint Server 2013 provides the custom development platform using Performance Point, SSAS & SSRS to build informative dashboards and reports. SharePoint built-in features also make it possible for each user to have a personalised experience allowing them the permissions they need to access various parts of the system and only see the data relevant to them.
Interacting with reports and providing custom data analysis is all part of the business intelligence functionality offered by the Microsoft BI features, but at a significantly lower cost than most vendor BI apps.
The system delivered to Macro by Dolphin Networks allows their clients to explore their data, create their own analysis and then add comments to dashboards around their findings or assign tasks to other team members for action.
I have worked with Dolphin Networks over the past year, as we have been building a performance reporting and BI portal for our facilities management. This has been extremely complex, as I have requirements specific to my client as well as the needs of our business, and Dolphin Networks has been a fantastic support for me as we’ve worked through this. Now I have a portal that provides performance information to my client, as well meaningful management information to me. As other systems and data feed into the SharePoint hosted BI portal, it acts as a top hat solution – a one stop shop for myself and the client side Facilities Management teams to obtain important operational data and performance information.
The reactive service Dolphin Networks has provided is excellent. Often there have been complex problems that we have had to work through, that I certainly wouldn’t have been able to achieve on my own. Then there are the time critical issues, and often the developers at Dolphin Networks has set up web conferences on the spot to try and work through problems. Sometimes I have really bombarded them with challenges, and they have always responded promptly and honestly. I don’t believe we’d be where we are today without having Dolphin Networks as a partner
Nick Donaldson, Invesco