ETL from Excel for Jedox 6

A quick update for those who have been using the Excel spreadsheet we posted a while back for running ETL processes. Due to some fundamental changes in Jedox 6, that spreadsheet requires some additional information (such as username and password) to run loads and jobs. You can find the latest one here.

Hope you like it. Please let us know what you think.





Reinventing retail performance – part 4

The courage to experiment

There is a basic assumption in marketing that you need to experiment with A/B testing. Do you get more conversions through the web page with the green “buy now”, or a red “compare price” button?

No experienced marketer ignores data that can improve campaign effectiveness.

A/B testing was popularized through advocates like John Merriam in the early 20th century, when mail-order catalogs were common. Advertisers then paid by word count and ad size. Sound familiar? Their focus, like with google adwords or sponsored facebook stories today, was to maximize effectiveness at minimum cost.

When it comes to planning, it is unwise to assume that investing money, time, and effort on new initiatives will automatically achieve the expected outcome.

That may be fine when your organization and people are doing things they’ve successfully done many times before.

When you’re innovating, trying new things, you have to be ready to sometimes fail. Marketers understand experimentation well.

So do modern IT departments where traditional highly structured ‘waterfall’ based projects have evolved into business-driven projects which agilely iterate towards achieving business goals. They expect to ‘learn’ while they ‘do’.

But strategic planning and annual budgeting often seems to continue planning more reminiscent of a 5-year centrally planned economy, than a dynamic retail environment.

There is the top-down planning, by the people who are paid to lead; the bottom-up planning by the people who are paid to do – and some kind of uncomfortable merging to make these fit.

It’s no wonder that they disconnect, when they don’t even start with the same value drivers.

Apparel retailer C&A use driver-based cost planning and variance analysis to measure performance against the actual value drivers – not just financial metrics.

900 suppliers from 40 countries and 37,500 staff provide for over 2 million customers daily across 1,500 stores in 21 countries.

Their key to success was to make it clearly-defined for store managers to understand in operational terms, through an on-demand, and easy way for stores to quickly communicate changes to management.

Management use the value-drivers to construct a compelling narrative for the organization to believe in and align around.

A critical consideration was empowering technology. C&A employed Jedox because it unified planning, forecasting and reporting so anyone could review KPIs and seamlessly adjust plans in one place. Critically, Jedox was easy to use. The modern platform available from any mobile device meant minimum training and support.

C&A stores are empowered to understand how they directly contribute to corporate performance. They communicate to store support and back office services with common language.




This is Part 4 in a series on retail value-drivers, how companies use them in planning, reporting and analysis and lessons for mid-sized retailers to punch above their weight and better share information.

Part 1 here
Part 2 here
Part 3 here

The gap between how a retailer (tries) to present itself, and how a consumer actually perceives it comes down to alignment. To provide a consistent experience to the customer, you must ensure business departments align with each other, and with your strategy.

While business divisions exist for different reasons, how they report, analyze and plan is very similar. By unifying these activities using and agile platform, departments can collaborate using common value drivers on shared data.



Reinventing retail performance – part 3

Essential new ways to unify your people, data, and process for unfair advantage

Why do you need value drivers?

In this an example, a retailer has around 200 stores, operating on slim margins. They’ve used strategies to reduce overheads and improve cross-channel selling, including using poorer performing stores as online fulfilment centers, and using pop-up stores to shift slow-moving stock.

These were fine strategies, but hit snags in execution. The information shared between management and operations, didn’t clearly articulate the plan, or provide enough feedback, so neither management nor operations really understood how they were going.

This year management are starting again.

Strategy Planning

The disconnect between strategy and execution played out again.

Existing divisions couldn’t change their existing practices, and work together effectively to bring about goals.

Each business department filtered and interpreted the goals into language they could understand. If the goal related to an area outside their business function, they ignored it. Departments didn’t understand or value what other parts of the business where doing, because the information they shared with each other used no common terms of reference.

It’s normal for operational budgeting and planning to be seen as a task based on prior year data, instead of an opportunity to communicate strategy.

If departments operate in silos and focus on their own business function, they have no common language in the retail value-drivers that they measure themselves against.

At best, they risk losing out on opportunities to work together to achieve common corporate goals.

At worst, they work against each other, measuring their own performance against conflicting KPIs while your laudable strategic goals end up diffused, delayed, and disrupted.

Withholding information hurts efficiency. It also hurts sales. In fact, information asymmetry often stops a sale. Not enough information is often why the shopper puts the product back on the shelf.

The gap between how a brand (tries) to present itself, and how a consumer actually perceives it comes down to alignment. To provide a consistent experience to the customer, you must ensure business departments align with each other, and with your strategy.



This is Part 3 in a series on retail value-drivers, how companies use them in planning, reporting and analysis and lessons for mid-sized retailers to punch above their weight and better share information.

Start with Part 1 here

The gap between how a retailer (tries) to present itself, and how a consumer actually perceives it comes down to alignment. To provide a consistent experience to the customer, you must ensure business departments align with each other, and with your strategy.

While business divisions exist for different reasons, how they report, analyze and plan is very similar. By unifying these activities using and agile platform, departments can collaborate using common value drivers on shared data.


jedox retail

Reinventing retail performance – part 2

Essential new ways to unify your people, data, and process for unfair advantage

How you communicate

Value drivers literally measure the activities that create value.

Value drivers help you reinforce strategy. They are more intuitive and meaningful than traditional financial measures.

Lagging indicators like GM ROI (Gross Margin, Return on Investment), current value, and tangible assets are conventional performance management indicators. These describe company-wide performance, but mean little to HR, Stores, IT and Merchandise – basically anyone outside of senior management or Finance.

Financial measures show the effect of strategy, but say nothing about why you are performing the way you are – or how each department might improve.

By focusing on underlying value drivers, you measure, plan and improve the activities that impact sales and profitability – wherever people sit in the organization.

The best performing retailers draw insights from past performance into forward-looking targets that align business results with corporate strategy.

Drivers like footfall (number of people who walk into a store) are intuitive enough to be understood by anyone in the organization. When you target increasing conversion rates, (turning lookers into buyers), every department has a different job to achieve the goal. This means innovation. HR for example, might change recruitment focus from store managers, with a focus on inventory management to ones which are sales trainers.

The essence of value drivers is not new. Strategy Maps and Balance Scorecards translate high-level goals into measurable operational outcomes across different business functions. And what gets measured, gets managed – Lord Kelvin said back in 1883 “if you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it”.

What’s changed is availability of data – lots of data.

There are three prerequisites to align on value drivers.

  • Select the right value drivers
    It’s not about picking the most obvious ones. Use modelling and sensitivity analysis based on historical and external data to identify which drivers make the highest impact.
  • Correlate relationship between functional activity and value drivers.
    The crucial translation from the past to the future. This means more data, and more modelling. Working from your gut, or what people already know, means you only repeat the past.
  • Frequent feedback loops to measure and adjust performance.
    Value drivers must be measurable (ideally derived from operational system data) and made available to everyone in easy-to-understand and easy-to-use formats, like mobile apps.


This is Part 2 in a series on retail value-drivers, how companies use them in planning, reporting and analysis and lessons for mid-sized retailers to punch above their weight and better share information.

See Part 1 here

The gap between how a retailer (tries) to present itself, and how a consumer actually perceives it comes down to alignment. To provide a consistent experience to the customer, you must ensure business departments align with each other, and with your strategy.

While business divisions exist for different reasons, how they report, analyze and plan is very similar. By unifying these activities using and agile platform, departments can collaborate using common value drivers on shared data.

jedox retail

Reinventing retail performance – part 1

Essential new ways to unify your people, data, and process for unfair advantage


Data is at the heart of new retail. Consumers are walking, tweeting, data distributors.

The online channel is no longer separate. In a world where shoppers are online, all the time, the retailer must provide a unified experience across every consumer interaction.

Analytics and channel optimization is at the heart of new retail. Agile technology enables channel-specific and context-sensitive customer engagement. While online retailers briefly had the advantage, in-store analytics now give bricks-and-mortar the tools to fight back and bring more traffic to stores, higher shopper engagement, and deeper loyalty.

Not that it’ easy, because the environment keeps shifting. Disruptive new business models, from subscription commerce, to consumer-to-consumer and on-demand, are based on loyalty to retailer, loyalty to brand, and on convenience. Consumers now seek convenience and personalization at every stage of the shopping journey. The world has changed.

Or has it? If you’re the CEO of a medium sized retailer, it’s nice to hear Amazon invests 6% of sales in technology to compete on analytics, but how can you keep up?

As a medium-sized retailer, chances are that there are a few fundamentals needed in aligning strategy with execution. You need to unify data and business processes along your networked supply chain. Before you optimize your price, promotions, ranging, space, stock, customer lifecycle, and marketing mix, you need to align goals and behavior between your business departments.

To create alignment, you need to start talking the same language based on a common understanding of value-creation.


This series introduces retail value-drivers, how companies use them in planning, reporting and analysis and lessons for mid-sized retailers to punch above their weight and better share information.

Read Part 2 here



Unifying cloud Planning and Analytics – CEO insights on BI in 2015

How to unify visual analytics with planning is a growing question in business intelligence. I find out in this CEO interview with on how Jedox are solving this and bringing innovation in the cloud.

Former Microsoft exec Kay-Ingo Greve came on board as Jedox CEO early 2015. I discover how they are focussing on professionalization and solutions to sustain alignment during their rapid global growth.


Sam Perrin, Naked Data: What was it that attracted you to Jedox?

Kay-Ingo Greve, CEO, Jedox: Jedox is a fast growing, energetic company, with a lot of innovation in its DNA and in a market which is growing. Jedox has some fairly unique and advanced technology and now the strong business-driven focus is a perfect complement to provide greater value for customers. Coming on board gives me the opportunity to help grow Jedox internationally and expand its customer and partner reach.

You’ve been here almost four months now. What are your impressions of the culture at Jedox?

Kay-Ingo Greve: We’re young, energetic, and diverse. There’s an ambitious, glass half-full, can-do attitude. That’s my first impression. My second impression is that there’s a real desire here to bring our clients clarity, focus and empowerment – by not only making BI easy but also my making working with Jedox a unique experience.

It’s been a huge year already – with our Production Intelligence 4.0, our SAP Business Package, Social Analytics and acquiring the mobile analytics reboard platform.  And that’s just the first half . We’ve got big things to come.

By this point you’ll have reviewed Jedox’s position in the BI landscape quite well. What are Jedox’s greatest strengths?

Kay-Ingo Greve: It’s a strong, highly scalable platform. Companies invest in analytics to reduce costs, increase revenue, and improve compliance. Jedox helps you achieve all three. That’s the first strength – profound flexibility. You can look forward, with planning as well as understand  the past. This enables clients to get the solution that they really want, not just the best that they can manage, which is often the harsh reality with more traditional BI.

The second strength is time-to-value. It starts with pre-sales being able to deliver a PoC (Proof of Concept) in hours rather than days. This is because Jedox is designed from the ground-up to be easy to use. And Jedox is unified – you can plan, report and analyze seamlessly. So there’s the power of consulting being able to implement solutions in a matter of weeks rather than in months. That’s what differentiates us from the slower, more monolithic competitors.

We also have strengths in being able to deliver what the customer wants on-premise as well as in the cloud, which differentiates us from the innovative, but less experienced, cloud-only players.

You started at Microsoft in 1993. How do your first few months at Jedox compare to those at Microsoft?

Kay-Ingo Greve: It’s a different role, but in many ways it’s similar to when I joined Microsoft.

Jedox CEO Kay-Ingo Greve

Jedox CEO Kay-Ingo Greve

We’re on a steep acceleration curve, and we need to keep ahead of the rapid growth. I can see a lot of creative people in the company working very hard to help us scale. And everything is being done from scratch. When I joined Microsoft everything had to be done from scratch, as nobody had done it before. It’s the same here, Jedox being a very innovative company with new approaches. We need to make sure we keep pace, and continue to be creative at the same time.

The Jedox partner ecosystem includes over 140 partners worldwide. What are its biggest strengths?

Kay-Ingo Greve: The breadth of the partner ecosystem. We have partners in so many regions with so much professionalism and domain expertise. It’s a great accomplishment of our sales team in the past few years who have been able to attract so many dynamic, ambitious partners. Leveraging and activating that ecosystem will enable us to be very aggressive in key markets. In the US and Europe, where we are already very strong, as well as in Asia, where we have a lot of potential to grow and expand our ecosystem.

APAC, North America and Europe are the big geos. And within these geos we’ll be very focused, and make sure we don’t lose scope. We need to win in APAC. When I think APAC, I think China and South-East Asia. Empowering companies with unified planning on the Cloud is key there.

Japan as well. It’s a highly mature market and different from the Chinese market, which is increasingly cloud-driven. So we have different go-to-market strategies, and leverage.

Where would you like to see Jedox in two years in Asia?

Jedox Social Analytics

Jedox Social Analytics

Kay-Ingo Greve: We should have multiple times the revenue we have today. For example, China’s market is very favorable towards German innovation. I would say that the single biggest player there is IBM, and we should never lose against IBM as they are selling mainly their consulting teams.

So German engineering is still highly respected?

Kay-Ingo Greve: Yes. Now I’m not saying that because I’m German, I’m saying that because I’ve lived and travelled around the world and have done business with a great range of people from different cultures and countries. I’m always surprised at the respect and gratitude for the way German companies act. A handshake is a handshake. That integrity counts for a lot in many cultures.

What are some of the key strategies you’re looking to bring to Jedox?

Kay-Ingo Greve: Three core strategies. One is professionalization. We’re a company that is growing very rapidly, so the challenge is to ensure our business processes keep up. We need to be rigorous in really being professional. We need to keep operating as a company as a whole, even as we expand globally, making sure we keep our different entities unified in a way which in non-disruptive to our clients and employees.

The second strategy is solutions. This builds on our “business-driven” approach which empowers the line of business. We need to maintain a solution focus, a customer focus, a value-proposition focus. This means having the next layer of innovation in our platform on one hand, and how we go-to market and engage clients on the other.

Finally, globalization. Globalization means we operate in a consistent, but localized approach to take the global clients from one region and support them equally as we move from one country to another. It means supporting global partners. Being able to translate and expand our presence within the companies we work with.

Now many larger organizations that are starting to move away from traditional monolithic BI and are opting for more dynamic solutions like Jedox. Why do you think this is gaining momentum?

Kay-Ingo Greve: IT and business users had different expectations for solutions. Traditional solutions addressed corporate standards, but weren’t flexible enough to help smart people in companies get their job done. IT and end users diverged in how they delivered business value across the organization. That’s the number one factor.

The other is simple – the world has changed. It’s the digitalization of business, and not just IT. Every business leader has a very deep connection to the internet, the cloud, to software and data-driven processes. Business users have very specific, well-articulated demands on what they need, what they don’t need, and when they need it. They can’t wait for two years for implementation, while their competition gets in front. They need to be fast and agile – and vendors need to deliver.

As consumers, we like products that are convenient, and personalized, at a fair price. It’s not so different when we go to work in corporations. By focusing on ease of use, Jedox are changing something that used to be only accessible to a few technical experts. Ultimately people bring BI into their work and make it successful.

Jedox Excel PLUS

Jedox Excel PLUS

Jedox empowers business users by ensuring they own the solution. How do we confirm with IT that Jedox also makes their life easier?

Kay-Ingo Greve: We help ensure IT are comfortable with how the technology platform works. This may be security, single sign-on, data-privacy and protection related, or data-integration and operating-environment related. These topics aren’t so relevant for business users, but are critical for IT managers. We’re helping IT, ensuring that the checklist in bringing a solution into the company is fulfilled.

We’re even strengthening IT in introducing a platform which enables multiple technologies to integrate seamlessly. That’s what IT wants, they don’t want any disconnected, siloed solutions. Jedox helps IT consolidate infrastructure, security, data intelligence, cloud and mobile BI.

There’s no need for a separate planning system and a separate data discovery platform when you can use the same tool, the same user interfaces and the same unified security model. Jedox is really tightly unified which makes it a lot more robust than a lot of traditional solutions which have integrated multiple software bases over the years. We have a lot of support for IT people, we can empower them to deliver a fast and quick solution for the business user.

Years ago, if you had put a solution like Jedox next to IBM or SAP, a CXO might have selected the company rather than picking the best solution for the job. This has changed. What do you think has caused this progress?

Kay-Ingo Greve: If you had asked IT or a CSO years ago to implement a cloud-based CRM system like Salesforce, and Siebel was the alternative, it was the same kind of conversation. The question is what’s the value for the customer at the end of the day?

If someone picks IBM based on their balance sheet, they need to consider that BI is a tiny

Twitter with Jedox

Twitter with Jedox

percent of IBM revenue, and an individual product can be acquired and quietly removed from the market. We’ve seen this many times. When you have an organization like us, we live and breathe planning, reporting and analytics and support the highest standards of BI to innovate every year for our clients. Our clients stay with us because they love our solution, and because we provide great support.

Changing solutions isn’t as much of a financial risk as it once was. When we can demonstrate results in weeks, the Return on Investment is high. 98.7% of our clients recommend Jedox.

So it’s not a risk you’re taking any more, to adopt a more agile solution. It’s actually a smart approach to realize the business benefits and ROI. We are superior compared to the big guys, who are still putting a lot of consultancy tax on top of the solution. We have a very small consultancy footprint to be able to make the solution really work.

Where would you like to see Jedox in 2 years?

Kay-Ingo Greve: An even stronger presence in multiple markets, with or own sales team supporting a strong partner ecosystem. We will have a big chunk of our clients in the Jedox Cloud, supporting and even bridging between on-premise and cloud. And we will be an even more global company, founded on a German engineering excellence, yet truly embracing our global nature.

Can you see any roadblocks or inhibitors?

Kay-Ingo Greve: None whatsoever.

BARC Jedox

About Jedox: Jedox is a leading provider of Analytics and Performance Management. Jedox unifies planning, reporting & analytics so business users can manage corporate performance.

Jedox consistently rates the easiest to use and provides unique big-data capabilities for planning using massive parallel processing GPU acceleration. Jedox supports over 140,000 happy users in 125 countries, with a 98.7% customer recommendation.

For further information on the Gartner Cool Vendor, visit:

ETL From Excel – an update

An update to the last post on running ETL via Excel.

We have modified the combo boxes to List boxes for clarity and updated the code. Note that the current release only runs on 5.1 – there are security changes coming in Jedox 6 which will mean the code will have to change in the VBA module.

2015-05-14 09_15_10-ETL-v7.xlsm - Excel


You can download the excel file here and the vba module (for customising your own files) here.


ETL from Excel

hair salon accountingMonth ends are like haircuts. Towards the end of the process, there are a lot of little snips and clips. Enter month-end adjusting journal into ERP, run Jedox Integrator, rinse, repeat. The adjustments can go on for a long time, so an easy way to process them is critical. Having a custom Jedox web page to run jobs helps, but sometimes customers are so wedded to their Excel environments, that they would rather a “one stop shop” in a spreadsheet.

Necessity, as always, is the mother of invention.  For various customers we have created from time to time excel driven ETL processes. We have used a couple of approaches but this latest one uses SOAP calls and web services to execute the jobs, just like the web macros do. This approach has many advantages : It is fast (as it uses the native Jedox ETL api), it is clean (you are not trying to build batch files on the fly, for example) and you can circumvent security issues (like Impersonation) when trying to talk to the server remotely.

Jorge Mendoza, our legendary Excel expert put the following files together. The Excel file is more of an ETL control centre. It allows you to refresh all jobs, review any object (including variables) and run , stop and check the status of jobs. It is pretty cool.

2015-02-27 17_14_09-ETL.xlsm - Excel

Instead of using this interface, you can attach the following function to your own code to run a job of your choice. As long as you have the module in the file, you are good to go:

CallETL(sServer As String, sProject As String, sType As String,
sName As String, Optional vVariables As Variant)

The vVariables is a 2 dimensional array, specifying the variable name and the variable value you want to pass.

You can download the Excel file here. You can also download the .bas file and import it into any excel vba project. You can get the .bas file here. We tested this on Jedox 5.1 SR3, but not on any other versions.

The final point is to get this to work on your server from a client machine, you must ensure that the ETL port is available outside the server. By default, is it not.

On the server, open the tomcat/conf/server.xml file. Search for “7775”. This is the default ETL port. Change it from “” to “”. This will not allow you to communicate via web services to this port.

NOTE: What we are doing here is essentially opening up an unsecured port on the server. If this is an issue in your environment, you can restrict access to a specific  IP address, password protect the Excel file, or both. In Jedox 6, a new security layer will be introduced around ETL, which will mitigate this issue.

Managing Web Reporting – Part 2

After being out in the wild for over 12 months, the Performance Dashboard has been one of the most popular posts on our blog. As it was originally written for in Jedox 5.0, we have updated it to reflect the latest functionality in 5.1 SR2. New Features

  • Hits chart now using a Stock type chart, that allows zooming in to specific days
  • Hits by Hour, to allow you to zoom in on the busiest time of the day
  • Doughnut chart now shows the report  for a specific hour, vs overall usage
  • Filters are clearer, and easy to reset.
  • Login stats, to see the numbers of users logging onto the server (including from Excel).
  • On the report tab, you can now open the specific report that you are analysing.
  • The ad-hoc tab now has a heatmap which helps with visualisation of the most popular reports. The drop list on this tab also now has the complete File Manager hierarchies to enable you to navigate easily.

Continue reading

Find profit in procurement

Effective procurement is critical to staying up-to-date with supplier capacity, managing sudden changes in demand, optimising cash flow, and controlling costs without sacrificing quality. Yet How do you demonstrate your savings on the bottom line?

This interview between Sam Perrin and 2k Managing Director and procurement expert, Christian Kiock examines how Jedox is helping organisations find profit in procurement. 


Sam Perrin, Naked Data: Let’s start with how you came across Jedox in the first place.

Christian Kiock, MD, 2k My business partner used to work at Daimler, where he worked with a technology similar to Jedox, they share similar roots. He did some research and came across Jedox, and we used it for internal purposes initially, for planning and reporting and procurement optimisation. Over time we used it more and more and saw a lot more potential applications for it.

We used Jedox for the sort of analyses you would normally do in Excel, and it made things so much faster. Our clients didn’t know it was being used, they just saw the project running ahead of schedule. Obviously we really liked it. Excel chaos is prevalent in most organisations, and also in most consulting projects. Using Jedox made our projects much more efficient and really benefited our clients. We were very happy with it.

Sam Perrin, Naked Data:  You’re procurement specialists at 2k. Before we talk about your projects, can you describe procurement?

Christian Kiock, 2k: Procurement is a very important function of a business. There is direct procurement for companies that have a manufacturing department, where procurement is crucial to business operations. In service organisations, procurement might not contribute directly to the product that the company sells, but in theory, procurement should be in charge of every good or service that enters the business.

It’s a highly important department within the organisation. Historically it’s not had the standing and visibility it really deserves. It tends to be seen as a department that deals with transactional purchase orders, requests. On the strategic side of things, the benefits that procurement can offer are often not valued highly enough.

Naked Data: What are some of the reasons for this?

Christian Kiock, 2k: It’s important to show management the contribution that good procurement makes. This means showing them how much you save, how much those measures and cost savings initiatives that were devised have achieved, and the results that makes to the bottom line. You need transparency for that, you need efficient processes to monitor and manage those results. Unfortunately, when that happens in Excel, you can’t provide that transparency.

There’s also a historical issue. If you’re the person who carries out procurement orders but you can’t see your contribution to the bottom line, then it can be difficult to assume that role. It makes it different to implement a strategy when you are not aware of what you contribute to the business.

There’s a saying in Germany, “der Gewinn liegt im Einkauf” (profit lies in procurement). It’s very true. If you buy something 5% cheaper then, depending on your sales margins, you can work out how much you would have to increase your sales to achieve the same effect on the bottom line. So procurement is incredibly important.

Naked Data: Specific to BI, what are the main challenges you’ve seen around procurement in some of the organisations you’ve worked with?

If you want to make sure your contribution is seen, you need data transparency across the organisation. You’re using data from different parts of the organisation. You need to know the sales planning, as this affects production planning, which affects materials bought.
Good sales planning is not always readily available, as lots of source systems tend to be in data silos or just inaccessible and lot of procurement gets done in Excel.

This makes it difficult for organisations to effectively procure goods, which is a huge priority. So much time is wasted in analysis and reporting, and you don’t get around to effective procurement.

Also in indirect procurement there is often little transparency regarding spend patterns and optimisation opportunities. This is a vast opportunity that business intelligence can help exploit.

Naked Data: How does Jedox streamline procurement?

Christian Kiock, 2k: Jedox solves these issues very well, as its automated data integration mean you easily combine data from different sources and modules. You combine information from production and operations with supplier information, making planning very efficient. It’s not just about analysis and reporting, it’s also about looking forward and planning, which is one of Jedox’s strengths.

By combining those advantages, you have real time insight on what’s going on in your organisation and where savings can be made. Then you plan and monitor savings initiatives. You then report back, with automated, high-quality information, to your superiors, which leads to buy-in from your top management. As you present the information easily and efficiently in a way that is easy to understand and work with, which is another impressive side of Jedox.

Simply put, Jedox gives procurement the tools to do their job more efficiently and effectively.

Naked Data: Let’s talk about some of your favourite projects over the years.

Christian Kiock, 2k: There are three projects that have been quite challenging and very interesting.

Reaching international sales quotas 
The first project is supplier planning for a global leasing company, managing their planning processes globally across over 30 entities and materials to be bought from each supplier. The problem was two-fold.

One was that they wanted to plan cost-savings initiatives, then track and report on them efficiently across different companies. Previously it was done in Excel, which was a right old chaos. With Jedox, that improved almost immediately.

The other problem was that there were Supply Chain Analysisglobally and nationally preferred suppliers. Whenever you reached a certain quota from one supplier, you got bonuses, rebates and such, and sometimes the different agreements cannibalise each other.

For instance, if nationally you have a contract with company A, and internationally you have one with company B, then the entity in e.g. Spain may have more of an incentive to buy from A, with whom they have a quota to meet. Yet by doing that, they might miss an international quota from B, which, worst case scenario, means that everyone in the globe misses out on a quota, and foregoes their bonus with B. So obviously it’s very important to measure and manage those quotas, to make sure the overall benefit is achieved for everyone. That needs to be planned, and that had previously been done in Excel, which made it very difficult to compile and manage. We used Jedox to create a very cool supplier planning tool.

Supplier planning demand forecasting

Another project was supplier planning, cost-optimisation and demand forecasting. They used SAP, but the production planning module didn’t speak with the supplier module, so there was a lack of data – and extensive Excel-based processes.

Product demand changes all the time. Many organisations do production plans once a year, but they change constantly as the year goes on. Now this organisation can review their data in Jedox, they adjust their plan regularly and they always know current demands. They know what they need from different buying centres across the globe, for some 20,000 entities, which in Excel was a miserable task. KPIs appear up automatically, thresholds are made transparent, aiding analysis.

Ultimately, Jedox’s planning capability, which makes it so powerful, is why you need it for a project like this. You know actual demands, how you currently stand, and if it changes you’ll know immediately. You know if there are suppliers at better prices than the ones you’re currently getting. And you know if these suppliers have capacity left, so it’s not just whether or not they can theoretically supply you. Then you use Jedox Web to allow suppliers to directly enter their capacity and fulfil your demands, so you know if you can switch suppliers or not, rounding off the whole package. When you fully utilise all the strengths of Jedox, from the planning to the web, you can really optimise your procurement costs. It’s a very comprehensive solution.


Purchase planning
The third project is also quite large. We’re working with an online retailing giant, developing a large purchase planning tool for more than 100 buyers. They plan their purchase for the next year and season across different suppliers and price categories, it has some quite complex models in the background. The project leverages Jedox reporting and dashboard capability too.

Have there been any applications of Jedox which have been quite outside the box?
We developed a law suit reporting application, which is certainly not a classical use of BI. We were working with another industry giant, which had a tool they used to track all their active and passive law suits. They have very large contracts, so there is often a lot at stake.

Originally, they pulled information out with Excel, testing for changes in cells. If there were changes, there had been activity in that suit – easy to miss. They consolidated suits that needed further analysis.

We streamlined the entire business process Sales-3with Jedox. The solution is web-based, and all lawyers and law practices input information concerning suits. There’s also a value estimate concerning how much is at risk financially. Now they have a good overview of where cases are and aren’t progressing, because Jedox has optimised reporting. They used to use a few detours to make data useable, but we sorted that out using Jedox in no time.

Naked Data: Where you’ve worked with large global enterprise, what has been the biggest advantage of Jedox over an older mega-vendor BI tool?

Christian Kiock, 2k: There are two main advantages, apart from the value of course – you don’t get stung by outrageous maintenance price jumps every year. First, Jedox takes relationships with clients seriously. You can get direct contact with board-level members. We’ve had meetings with large industry companies and Jedox directors were there, in a meeting for a few hours. You can’t get that level of trust from the likes of SAP or Oracle. A more agile organisation can be more flexible when it comes to accommodating clients.

Second is the ease-of-use – the intuitiveness. The Education Ministry for the Federal State of Berlin is in charge of over 800 schools and approximately 270,000 pupils. It’s a huge organisation, and we implemented Jedox there for student data analytics, amongst other things. The cool thing was that they trained two people to administer and to help adjust the solution to new business requirements. Because Jedox is so easy to learn, they got the hang of it quite quickly, and they independently discovered a lot of internal applications for Jedox.

They’d put a few cubes and dimensions together, and you had another business process that was streamlined. There was no need to set up a project, no need for consultants. They were empowered and managed to solve internal process problems completely independently with Jedox.

And that’s also something you don’t get from a big provider. That agility, that ease-of-use. If you’ve got SAP and you want a new solution or application, you’ve got to set up a project, get budget approval, and get external consultants in. Most people don’t because it takes forever. So you do it in Excel, because you know your way around it, but it’s nowhere near as efficient and has a huge risk for errors. Jedox takes away all that stress.

Naked Data: Let’s look at the future. What’s your ideal position with Jedox in two years’ time?

Christian Kiock, 2k: To be working closely with Jedox in the procurement field. We’ve just done a few Jedox webinars on procurement. Our position is as Jedox experts who really know BI when it comes to procurement. I plan to strengthen that link.
The development trajectory Jedox has shown in the last few years will continue. The solution just goes from strength to strength. What I love about Jedox is that it’s so flexible, there’s so many things you can do with it. If you really know your stuff, and of course I’m lucky enough to work with a lot of people who do, then you can develop very cool solutions. The sky is the limit.

Jedox solution: Procurement
Featured industries: Education, Retail, Wholesale, Manufacturing, Property/Leasing