Streamlined reporting using data analytics
November 6, 2016
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Malinka Perera, Manager

 

The majority of financial performance management reports provide historical and projected financial data with an emphasis on revenue, expense and capital investment. Often this information is presented in tabular format.

While familiar to those with an accounting background, this approach may not effectively communicate key issues and trends to time-poor executives who demand information that can be quickly absorbed and actioned.

As mentioned in previous blogs in this series, data analytics can be used to present information in a meaningful way to support timely decision-making.

Interactive reports can also allow focusing questions to be answered by drilling down into the data in real time.

A good example of this is a client who recently engaged us to redesign their management reports to ensure they provided meaningful and timely information to the executive, contract managers and other key stakeholders.

Specifically, this included the following goals:

  • Enable better monitoring/management of contract finances by Contract Managers
  • Monitor pass through costs against PGPA section 23(3) delegate approvals/budgets
  • Determine the capacity to fund additional services requests from service providers (including tracking all suppliers in a single report), and
  • Identify trends/patterns of expenditure to assist with forecasting and resource allocation decisions.

A number of before and after views of the management reports are illustrated below, with the following enhancements made:

  • Use of pie charts replaced with more meaningful line/bar charts that allowed time series comparisons.
  • Trend history allowed comparisons dating back prior to the current financial year (important as key contracts run across multiple years).
  • Single data cube enabled consistency in reporting and provided comparisons between business areas.
  • Focus on key data and less emphasis on immaterial figures.

Example 1:

 

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example-1-after

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Example 2:

example-2-before

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interact and highlight

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Example 3:

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Interact and highlight

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Synergy assisted the client to consolidate data previously stored in multiple

Synergy assisted the client to consolidate data previously stored in multiple spreadsheets into a single data cube. This helped enable completeness and consistent reporting that reconciled to the agency’s FMIS. The redesigned reports also provided the Executive and Contract Managers with a single, drillable report to replace multiple legacy reports.

In November, I’m excited to be attending the Tableau Conference 2016 to learn from global experts and share expertise with other data analytics practitioners.

Are you interested in learning more about streamlined reporting using data analytics?

Visit our booth at the CPA Congress to find our more!