The process for producing manual reports on data insights was time-consuming and not as in-depth as it could be for Oceanbridge. As the reports were done on a monthly basis, the data being displayed was also outdated quickly.
Oceanbridge required a solution that simplified the process, moving account managers away from these manually generated reports and onto more modern methods of data presentation.
A need was identified for CargoWise One customers to interpret their data in a more visual way. Microsoft Power BI was chosen as the tool to implement the solution. After a demonstration of how powerful Power BI could be for their business, the benefits were clear to Oceanbridge.
In order to ensure all the requirements were defined for the reports, there was a highly interactive prototyping phase. This allowed Oceanbridge to have a hands-on approach to their own design, which became an extremely valuable part of the project. By using this approach, Oceanbridge was quickly able to become confident in using the tool and a strong foundation was created for delving into more complex reports in the future.
There were a few challenges associated with the project. The CargoWise One data model is highly complex, and required a number of steps in order to understand the data:
- One of the crucial elements at the start of the project was retrieving data from CargoWise One in a format that can be used in Power BI. Gaining access to the data source required a tool to be built that could retrieve and transform the data
- A single sign-on process was implemented in order to integrate with Oceanbridge’s existing Wordpress customer portals. This provided a high level of security and seamless integration with the portal
- Oceanbridge needed to have one report that services many customers, whilst still maintaining visibility and a high level of security to the customer in question
- The resulting reports were based on a number of multi-dimensional key metrics e.g. volume, spend (broken down by region), consignee/consignors and destinations
One of the main objectives was to improve visibility by displaying the most up to date data available. By drawing data at regular intervals, account managers could access the latest and most relevant data for reporting. There was also a resulting improvement in self-service for Oceanbridge customers.
The reports for each customer portal needed to be automatically updated with data drawn from CargoWise One at regular intervals. This integrative approach allowed the replacement of slower and less reliable manually created PDF versions. In the first instance, this was applied to 20 Oceanbridge customers with custom portals and was then successfully extended to 45 other customers. It also has the capability of being extended to any Oceanbridge customer in the future.
OutcomesThe more interactive and richer reporting experience has enabled Oceanbridge customers to analyse data in much more depth. It has also saved time in manually creating reports and is easier to extend reports to other Oceanbridge customers in the future.
Oceanbridge can now unify their data in rich, detailed and highly visual reports. It’s produced a number of beneficial business outcomes:
- Account managers have saved time in creating manual reports
- Oceanbridge customers can be provided with more timely and accurate volume and spend information
- There’s a further enhancement of Oceanbridge’s reputation in the market as being an industry leader
- As a result of more accurate information, there is now improved customer service
- Customers are now more informed about their spend and where this spend has been allocated
- Further enhancements are being made on the project, and the door is open for further internal reporting - which will be of huge business benefit to Oceanbridge going forward
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