Business Intelligence at work for the Just for Laughs Group: Dashboard and automated reports!
In order to make the Just for Laughs Group’s sales reports easier, MultipleMedia conceived and developed a complete dashboard. On one hand, it automates sales data integration from different sources. On the other, it configures a flexible system to create interactive reports. This project is a real business intelligence model benefiting the Just for Laughs Group!
In depth analysis
To limit operational effort and manual tasks required to transform data, a rigorous analysis of the client’s process took place before implementing it in the new system architecture and data flow.
Reports generated by external sources were also studied and thoroughly tested to ensure all mandatory information was accessible to create the dashboard’s connectors.
Once the client’s needs had been clearly stated, an in-depth research took place to consider the different Business Intelligence platforms. MultipleMedia explored various popular tools as part of its exploration projects (LABS).
Two different tools were further analyzed to validate if they could offer the desired functionalities. I’m referring to Pentaho and Saiku. Even if both of these platforms offer interesting functionalities for some projects, neither of them allows the high level of customization required for the Just for Laughs Group’s dashboard.
The heart of the system
To be able to properly address the client’s issue, the one and only viable option is to build the data warehouse ourselves, by using OLAP’s (online analytical processing) modules technology. Our originality consists in the use of an “evolving” JQuery component generating cubes, allowing us all the latitude needed to stand up to Big Data!
Business Intelligence (BI) includes online analytical processing, but also allows relational database development, report creation and data mining.
OLAP applications cover typical business reports by allowing users to analyze multidimensional data interactively from various perspectives. Complex request analyses are completed in an optimal execution time by using these basic operations:
- Roll-up: data aggregation by climbing up or down a concept hierarchy in one or more dimensions.
- Drill-down: technique allowing users to browse through details
- Slicing & Dicing: functionality allowing users to split data from one dimension and analyze it consequently
Optimal experience for complex data
The user interface is in the center of the project development, leading to simpler data consulting and report generation. The developed functionalities include:
- User and role management
- Responsive and adjustable dashboard
- Report details and static data definition
- Manual data entry from non-standardised external sources
- Integration of gauges for easy data access
- Table scroll optimizing data visualization
- Personalized graphic library enhancing visual flexibility
- Visualizing, sending, printing and downloading of reports
The system was developed by prioritizing flexibility, stability and efficiency notions that weren’t available in the previously analyzed tools.
- Consolidated database and daily updates
- Exportable reports generation
- Non-limitative data crossing
- Sorting functionalities
- Generic tools development allowing reports exporting
- Communication with external modules for data reception or sending
Hence, the solution considerably enhances the importation process and data integration by eliminating many manual steps. Risk and mistake reduction now guarantees the integrity of resulting reports. The dashboard emphasises intelligent data analysis tools, clear and user-friendly report presentation but mostly a mouldable architecture ready to evolve when new needs arise!
MultipleMedia strengthens its Business Intelligence offer by creating a new highly customizable framework. Thanks to our innovative approach, our maintained efforts and our LABS projects, new developments are in the pipeline for 2016!