Wolters Kluwer Financial Services and Kohera build self-service BI tool for financial software
Wolters Kluwer Financial Services, a provider of finance, risk management, compliance and audit solutions, together with BI partner Kohera have built a self-service Business lntelligence tool based on Microsoft SQL Server 2012. The BI technology PowerPivot and Power View were integrated into Wolters Kluwer Financial Services’ Financial Studio software portal.
The new BI tool allows end users to analyse data and design and generate reports themselves from within the familiar Excel environment. Thanks to the self-service BI, the IT department no longer has to deal with every user request and users can respond quickly to new business needs.
Kohera started working with the new BI tools in SQL Server 2012 even before they were on the market. For Wolters Kluwer Financial Services, the new module means a competitive advantage that extends BI from the enterprise level to the team level and even to the level of the individual user. Thanks to the perfect integration with SharePoint, the user can also share reports with other users.
Wolters Kluwer Financial Services, helped by Kohera, has built an additional module for its Financial Studio software based on the new capabilities for analysis and reporting in SQL Server 2012. This new BI tool allows customers to design and generate ad hoc reports themselves. For Wolters Kluwer Financial Services the new BI tool means an extension of the product range with which the company sets itself apart in the financial software management market. Financial Studio contains various tools that are used by banks and other financial institutions, among others, for risk management and reporting.
“Processing large amounts of data is no problem at all the system always performs well,” says Johan Van Hoye, manager of product strategy at Wolters Kluwer Financial Services. “What’s more, there are a whole range of options for the layout. So the reports also look attractive, both on screen and on paper. The software is aimed at the business user and is very user friendly.”
Experienced BI partner
The new BI tool from Wolters Kluwer Financial Services was developed in collaboration with Kohera. “We had a choice of several business intelligence experts,” says Johan Van Hoye. “We evaluated the different options together with Microsoft. We got to know Kohera through the Belgian SQL Server User Group. They have extensive experience in the area of SQL Server and Microsoft Business Intelligence and on top of that it is a local partner. So the decision was made to work with them.”
“We brought our specific knowledge about managed self-service Business lntelligence,” says Frederik Vandeputte, rnanaging partner of Kohera. “The aim was to work as quickly as possible and deliver a project with added value, and we succeeded in this.”
Self-Service BI relieves the IT department
Kohera started working with the new BI capabilities in SQL Server 2012 even before this version was on the market. “The reporting in Financial Studio is based on SQL Server Reporting Services and SQL Server Analysis Services,” according to Johan Van Hoye. “These technologies are very useful at the level of enterprise business intelligence but they don’t always provide sufficient flexibility for every single customer and user. The new technologies in SQL Server 2012, PowerPivot and Power View, were integrated into Financial Studio and eliminate these obstacles.” For instance, the extensive self-service capabilities allow users to add additional elements to their reports themselves. “Previously they always had to put in a request with the IT department, but this is usually already very busy,” explains Nigel Lee, Chief Commercial Officer at Wolters Kluwer Financial Services. “So sometimes they had to wait a very long time for the requested modification. Now that they can do this for themselves, things are faster and the IT department does not have to invest any more time in this. For the organization, this definitely means cost savings.
Nigel Lee, Chief Commercial Officer at Wolters Kluwer Financial Services: “Power View is unrivalled in enabling us to quickly prototype and build highly interactive and highly visual dashboards and scorecards. The seamless integration between our Financial Studio and SharePoint lets us share new insights with co-workers instantly.”
From company level to individual level
End users can use all the functions through the Financial Studio portal. Thanks to the perfect integration with SharePoint, they can also use all the functions of SharePoint, such as the management of access rights and the rights to make changes. There is also the option to set up automatic alerts whenever a new report becomes available.
Frederik Vandeputte: “Thanks to Power View, all the users have access to information through an interactive environment. They can analyse and visualize data with just a few mouse clicks. They can also share interactive summaries through SharePoint or include them in a PowerPoint presentation. Excel users can use PowerPivot to transform huge amounts of data into understandable information easily and from within their familiar work environment. The end user does not need to have any BI knowledge to be able to add additional data from different sources to the report models. So with these new capabilities Financial Studio is going from business intelligence at the company level to BI at the team level and at the individual level.”
This shift has meant an adjustment. “Previously we were still mainly focused on enterprise business intelligence and a relatively static way of reporting,” explains Johan Van Hoye.
“In giving the end users more responsibility we also had to redefine our own role. Ultimately the new approach also means a big advantage for us. The user can use a lot more data which are not available through standard reporting. In this way, both we ourselves and the customer gain a competitive advantage. We just have to provide the framework and it is not necessary to keep modifying our product according to the latest requirements of each single customer. This in turn means the customer can respond with much more flexibility to the evolving needs of their company and put new products or services on the market faster on the basis of reliable information. The IT department of the customer can focus on the integrity of the data
About Wolters-Kluwer Financial Services
The financial software of Wolters Kluwer Financial Services provides more than 15,000 customers worldwide with greater efficiency in audits, risk management and compliance. Wolters Kluwer Financial Services has over 30 offices in 20 countries, with about 19,000 staff and a turnover of about 3.4 billion euros in 2011. In July 2012 Wolters Kluwer Financial Services announced the takeover of the Belgian Financial Architects, developer of the financial management software Financial Studio. The combined organizations are now called Wolters Kluwer Financial Services.