Efficiency Boost: Replace Spreadsheets with Web-based BI App

Efficiency Boost: Replace Spreadsheets with Web-based BI App

Posted on September 13, 2016 0 Comments

Manually combining spreadsheets from different teams to generate business intelligence is inefficient. A web-based app can yield big gains for your business.

Planning and forecasting are an integral part of any business, whether it’s market trends, sales volumes, budgets or production times. Analysts and planning managers need to be able to generate high quality, easily digestible reports and what-if scenario analysis with graphs and charts to be used in the overall business strategy of the company. Based on those reports, high level management can review past results, plan for future activities and establish goals. 

As organizations grow, so does the amount of data that needs to be included into the planning and forecasting reports, increasing their complexity. The old methodology of using multiple spreadsheets for different departments just cannot keep up—especially since spreadsheets are often not consistent across IT teams. Growing companies committed to maintaining their operations through detailed business intelligence need a better solution. One company that needed to make the shift towards a more advanced BI system was SanDisk.

When Forecasting Data Outgrows Spreadsheets

SanDisk designs, develops and manufactures flash memory storage devices and software. Its memory products are used in many market segments such as consumer electronics and mobile devices, and are in the heart of many of the world's PCs, smartphones and data centers.

In order to stay ahead of the competition and secure their top place in the industry, SanDisk maintains sophisticated processes around planning. Their forecasts include market trends up to five or more years ahead in time. Until recently, they had used multiple spreadsheets spread across different departments in the company. However, this approach was slowly becoming less efficient.

They decided to move to a custom application to automate the planning process. Adding to the challenge, the team was facing tight deadlines as the project needed to be completed before the end of the third financial quarter.

Empower Analysts with Beautiful Reports—Quickly

A client of SAP for various applications and business intelligence, SanDisk wanted to leverage SAP for their planning application and establish the BI interface. Their team worked closely with Progress Partner AI Software to build a web-based custom application. AI Software has helped enterprise clients and their IT departments develop and maintain modern web and mobile applications for over five years. Based on their advice, SanDisk decided to choose the Kendo UI framework to build their application.

Ease of use is a huge factor when making a recommendation to a major enterprise. Piyush Bhatt, CEO of AI Software, noted, “There are several .NET tools and controls out there, but Kendo UI provides the most programmer friendly interface via jQuery and AngularJS to create rich UI web applications. And we know clients like SanDisk cannot settle for anything less.”

The end result was a robust, beautiful and extremely powerful application, developed in under three months. The application features highly interactive grids, drop-down and tab strips, rendering seamlessly across desktop browsers and mobile devices. The new application enabled analysts to maintain various versions of their forecasts and assemble them into the final reports to be presented in front of planning managers and VPs. Furthermore, SanDisk’s users are able to plan and forecast production and sales numbers for all the markets they operate in without using spreadsheets.

Reduce Development Time by 30% with Kendo UI

Deepak Kakar, Senior Manager of IT at SanDisk said that the new application was well received by business users due to its user-friendly UI, data accuracy and responsiveness.

He estimated that the development effort was reduced by an impressive 30% thanks to Kendo UI controls. “With the help of Telerik technologies, the AI team built an easy-to-use application that is well integrated with the existing ERP/Data Warehouse."

Read the full story of SanDisk's new BI system here. Do you find yourself in a similar situation? Look no further! Just get in touch with us and we would be happy to help you get started.


Dobrin Grancharov

Dobrin is a Product Marketing Manager for the Desktop UI suites at Progress. He is passionate about trends and innovations in desktop application development, UI and UX. In his leisure time, Dobrin enjoys doing gymnastics, skiing, playing guitar and traveling the world. You can follow him on Twitter or get in touch through LinkedIn.


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