Accessing data is one thing. Turning it into information your staff and clients can use is a whole other matter.
For years, Rogers & Gray kept tabs on software that would provide a business intelligence solution for managing their data environment. Power BI was a Microsoft tool that not only offered the most affordable option, but also could help the company harness their data for presentations to business users. “It was much more intuitive to use than most of the other options that were out there,” says Jim Lopes, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.
When Rogers & Gray realized they needed help with the implementation, they reached out to Aerie Consulting, the Microsoft Partner that deployed their Accelerated Intranet years prior.
Aerie Consulting showed Rogers & Gray that Power BI could indeed take their systems underlying data and turn it into actionable information the company could use to develop business strategies and their managers could use to run the operations on a daily basis.
“Before Power BI, our reporting consisted of spreadsheets, with data being manually extracted and turned into graphs and flowcharts. It was labor intensive,” says Jim. Staff had difficulty extracting information from the company’s data sources and using it to evaluate meaningful business issues. “Power BI allows us to make that pivot very easily, very quickly.”
Plus, crunching data only occurred periodically. When a business question came up, it could take weeks to turn data into information that could answer the question posed. Power BI now allows that information to be refreshed and accessed every day—without the manual labor.
The company’s management needed to easily unlock useful information from their data and deliver that information into the hands of their internal business customers and decision makers. This information needed to be presented in a format that was usable, meaningful, and transparent. Rogers & Gray wanted end users to drill down as deeply as necessary to get the answers they needed, without requiring an engineering degree to comprehend it.
"Our reporting consisted of spreadsheets, with data being manually extracted and turned into graphs and flowcharts. It was labor intensive. Power BI allows us to make that pivot very easily, very quickly.”
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Solution & Results
Aerie Consulting led the company through a deployment plan and helped them identify and structure its administrators and end users. Because Power BI functions much like Excel, which employees were already accustomed to using, they adapted easily to the new tool.
“Power BI is a database tool. We had to populate that database with data, and we were not able to do that without them,” says Jim. Once the data was in Power BI, Rogers & Gray began manipulating and creating the information they wanted to deliver to their end users. After Aerie taught them how to do that, they were off and running.
“Aerie helped us troubleshoot a lot of the issues, data questions, and visualization questions that came up,” says Mark Carrick, Vice President.
In the past, Rogers & Gray had been challenged trying to quantify and visualize client account movements between insurance carrier partners. This was meaningful in order to illustrate where a carrier’s product was less competitive than other carriers. With Aerie Consulting’s help, they could easily see where business was being renewed. “That was information that our managing partner had been looking for since the day I got here five years ago,” says Jim, and now he has objective information to validate and complement what was previously only anecdotal information.
Adoption of the new tool is ongoing, but it has already had a big impact on productivity. The tool has eliminated manual reporting in some areas, allowing the company to focus on new opportunities that Power BI has opened up for them.
“One of the benefits we got from partnering with Aerie Consulting was their knowledge and their standard customer service approach. They handle things very one-on-one, all the way up to the owners of the organization,” says Mark. He envisions adding even more Power BI enhancements this year as its use continues to grow.
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