In a bid to provide top management with quick, clean and mobile data to make strategic decisions, Mumbai-based pharmaceutical manufacturing and marketing organization Elder Pharmaceuticals is set to deploy business intelligence (BI) reporting tools. The deployment is set to begin at the end of January 2012 and is intended to be completed by March 2012.
Jitendra Mishra, CIO, Elder Pharmaceuticals outlines the need for the deployment: “The plethora of information makes it difficult for the senior management to take quick decisions. The top officials do not have the time to go through several pages of data to find a small piece of information that is critical to them. BI reporting tools can make relevant information about set key performance indicators (KPIs) quickly and easily available to the top management.”
The need for dashboards to manage KPIs and mobile BI for decision-making on the move are important functions of the BI reporting tools that have brought strong buy-in of the business stakeholders at Elder. Mishra explains, “If an executive in a different geography needs to make sales commitments, he would require reports about the inventory levels, sales orders that are pending, and market requirement figures. He may need these to be provided on a mobile platform.”
He informs that the business leaders are also demanding a self-service BI rather than depending on the IT team for reporting. “Deploying BI tools and reducing manual intervention will also help increase the trust in the reports generated.”
Elder’s current practice of generating reports manually also poses challenges with regards to data integrity and integration. Mishra says, “We have OLAP and cubes that form our home grown data system, along with our ERP. The BI reporting tools will consolidate data from this improving visibility over all the functions.”
Elder is in the process of evaluating BI reporting tools vendors. As of now, it has narrowed down its search to 1Key BI from MAIA Intelligence, QlikView from QlikTech, and Cognos from IBM. These vendors were short-listed based on their capabilities in the following aspects:
- Market presence and customer history
- Ability to provide support and adoption assistance
- Long-term solution plans, and most importantly
- Product acquisition cost
The channel partners will be sought after the vendor is decided upon. The next phase of the BI reporting tools deployment will entail extending the system to casual users, Mishra informs.