A new reporting paradigm
Having originally been commissioned by KCA Deutag to replace an existing Lotus Notes system with SharePoint, Waterstons were asked to implement a 'digital dashboard' to visualise key performance indicators, presenting it through the new common portal provided by the SharePoint infrastructure. The digital dashboard was required to address challenges including:
- Inconsistent, non-user-friendly reporting
- Manual processes to create regular reports
- Lack of a single easy to access reporting system
- No central repository for management information
KCA Deutag had already identified and prioritised a number of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to be developed during the first phase of the digital dashboard project, covering areas including rig operations and utilisation, personnel, health and safety, financial and maintenance compliance.
Our track record in developing complex data warehouses and management information solutions meant we were well equipped with the experience and skills needed to develop KCA Deutag’s digital dashboard and centralised reporting mechanisms.
An exercise to understand KCA Deutag’s systems and culture was undertaken, which included a business systems review and proof of concept trial of the digital dashboard, gaining knowledge of the business and its goals through this process.
Business Intelligence Solution
An analysis exercise was carried out which had specific goals including:
- Analysing the data sources available from KCA Deutag systems
- Designing a tiered dashboard presentation to visualise the KPIs
- Developing an access-control model to ensure sensitive data could be protected
- Designing the visualisations and data structures, drill-downs and measures required to implement the KPIs required
Following the analysis exercise, we undertook a technical implementation to deliver the resulting design. This technical platform was put into place as follows:
- The data warehouse used as the central information repository is based on the Microsoft SQL Server database engine.
- SQL Server Business Intelligence tools including Integration Services and Analysis Services populate the data warehouse and create ‘Analysis Cubes’ which drive the digital dashboard.
- Microsoft PerformancePoint Services, integrated with SharePoint, were used to develop the digital dashboard visualisations.
Automation and Consolidation
Using SQL Server scheduling and Integration Services underlying data is automatically collected from various sources without manual intervention.
An administration interface was developed to manage the consolidation of data from the various sources. Where the name of a drilling platform or country may be spelled differently in the source systems, the data loading mechanism can be configured to recognise and consolidate these. This leads to complete consistency in the reports and gives the opportunity to combine data from different sources into a single view.
The resulting digital dashboard system provides an at-a-glance view of the performance of the individual business areas from a high level on a summary dashboard page. This allows the user to drill-down and explore the data interactively, either directly from the summary dashboard or from the more detailed dashboards focusing on one specific business function. KCA Deutag can now discover the reasons for certain trends and anomalies using the powerful built-in features of Microsoft PerformancePoint.