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Smooth upgrade of data analytics tool ensured continuity of business insights

2024 / 03 / 28

Today, replacing data analytics tools can be challenging as data analytics becomes increasingly important to the daily and long-term functioning of organisations. Novian Systems, a programming company, helped the Mantinga Group of Companies to upgrade its data analytics tool as part of the process of changing its enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. This ensured a smooth transition to using Microsoft Power BI, and there was no loss of continuity of data and business insight.

Data analytics is particularly important for the Mantinga group of companies, a manufacturer of bread, snacks and frozen products, helping the organisation to process, understand and interpret business data for daily, periodic and strategic decision-making.

The group of companies has long used business analytics tools and relies on solutions based on the indicators they provide. ‘These indicators help different parts of a company’s supply chain to monitor the information relevant to those areas, to indicate needs, to take advantage of favourable situations or to resolve problems in a timely manner’, says Giedrė Marcinauskienė, Head of the Analysis and Planning Department of Mantinga Group.

She adds that data analytics is relevant to most of the group’s activities, from procurement and production to finance and sales, explaining, ‘Accurate, complex and advanced analytics help us make the best decisions to achieve the best results’.

The Mantinga group of companies analyses the latest relevant data. ‘We combine data from all the systems and sources that are relevant to us – not only from the group of companies but also from our partners. The interactive reports that combine the data allow us to make the right decisions faster and take immediate action. Their convenient and efficient use creates greater added value’, emphasises G. Marcinauskienė.

In search of a new data analytics tool

Mantinga was looking for a solution to upgrade its enterprise resource planning systemand its closely linked data analytics tool following the rapid expansion of the business in recent years. Following the analysis of the options available on the market, the decision was made to choose Microsoft Power BI.

‘We chose this solution because it enabled us to adapt it more closely to the business areas and their demands and to integrate it with the company’s business processes. Although it makes the implementation of the solution more complex and expensive, this integration gives our companies more flexibility and control’, says G. Marcinauskienė, who led the project to implement the new analytics tool in Mantinga group. One of the reasons for choosing Microsoft Power BI was the group’s extensive use of Microsoft software, which allowed for smooth integration with existing systems.

Once the new tool was selected, the implementation had to be planned. This included aligning business logic and exceptions.

Novian Systems ensured a smooth installation of the tool

The implementation of Microsoft Power BI was carried out in several phases across the entire Mantinga group of companies. ‘Today, we have a wide range of applications for individual companies and business areas. But as long as the company grows rapidly and constantly changes to adapt to a dynamic market, analytics solutions can also be continuously improved’, says G. Marcinauskienė.

Novian Systems, a programming company that implements Microsoft Power Platform solutions, took on the task of implementing the new tool and ensuring the smooth use of data throughout the process. Its experts also contribute to the development and maintenance of data models.

One of the key challenges for the Mantinga group was the smooth transition to the new business management and analytics system, and it was particularly important to ensure that the migration from the old business management system did not disrupt the updating of data in the associated analytical applications.

‘The customer’s production, sales and finances were based on data provided by interactive reports, so the analytics tool was tailored to monitor the data both in the old enterprise resource planningsystem, which Mantinga was gradually replacing, and in the new system, which was being implemented simultaneously’, says Justė Leščinskė, Head of Novian Systems’ Power Platform.

‘This, she discloses, has helped companies ‘keep track’ of the data they need and continue to rely on the insights provided by analytics during times of significant change. Changing the business analytics tool was a demanding process and required the involvement of both sides. We are delighted to have been able to assist the customer throughout this process’, says a Novian Systems representative.

Rapid automation is relevant to many sectors

Microsoft Power BI for analytics, like other applications and solutions in the Microsoft Power Platform, is built on rapid automation and can be quickly tailored to the organisation’s needs. This means that these so-called ‘low-code’ applications can deliver faster results with less financial and time investment.

Other important advantages are its flexibility, the ability to integrate with Microsoft and other solutions, such as business management systems, production systems and other applications. As a result, Microsoft Power Platform technologies are used today in many areas, from human resources, manufacturing, administration and finance to automating processes across the organisation.

Novian Systems also uses the technologies of the Microsoft Power Platform to develop other ‘low-code’ programming solutions customised to automate specific business processes.

Supporting the delivery of customer analytics requirements

Microsoft Power BI solutions are used to analyse organisations’ performance and monitor key business indicators. ‘In the analytics journey, we often perform a ‘backbone’ function, developing the architecture of the customer’s data model by combining data from different sources and creating key indicators. The rest of the process depends on the customer’s needs. Often, organisations that are proficient in using the Microsoft Power BI tool implement part of the functionality themselves: they create reports and visualisations’, says Ms Leščinskė.

At the beginning, she explains, it is necessary to clarify and understand the customer’s needs: what is necessary to measure and monitor, which indicators are crucial to the business and what has the greatest impact.

Some customers are well aware of them and can identify and document them themselves. For others, partnering with us starts with clarifying their business analytics needs, sharing best practices, pointing them in the right direction from where to start and providing help and guidance on how to prepare the data’, says the company’s representative.

Sometimes there is also a debate about which data needs to be ‘collected’ in order to provide key insights for the organisation. Often at the detailed requirements stage, it is discovered that one thing needs to be analysed while another is stored in their databases or systems. ‘We then give recommendations on how to prepare the data in a proper way, and we suggest coming back to the analytics at a later stage’, says Leščinskė.

As further explained by Leščinskė, the company’s experience is that the majority of customers continue to use Microsoft Power BI for several years, starting from one stage, such as financial or sales reporting, and moving on to production, project management, quality indicators or other business process analytics.

The group is also active in technology and digitisation

The Novian group of companies provides solutions for programming, IT infrastructure and digitisation. Novian’s programming expertise covers a wide range of digitalisation projects, including experience in the development of tax administration systems in Lithuania. It has also worked outside Lithuania in the space, aerospace and defence sectors.

In addition, the companies focus on innovation and on software developed by companies for a wide range of sectors – from municipalities and waste management to aviation and space. In the area of technologies, the group’s competencies include high-performance computing devices and clusters, open-source cloud technologies, high-availability data, digitisation and other solutions.

Read more about the opportunities for rapid automation here.

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