Author Archives: David Upton

About David Upton

Director at Naked Data. I empower business users to improve planning, reporting and analytics. I’ve specialised in information management for over 18 years and I'm passionate about intuitive technology and good design to pragmatically solve business challenges.

Jedox empower the George Institute for Global Health with Budgeting and Consoildations

Not-for-profit makes a change with global consolidations, management reporting, and budgeting

How do you help five billion people?

It’s well-proven that Jedox provides high Return on Investment because business and Finance love how Jedox empowers you to work more efficiently and you need little IT-support. The secret is that this helps you whatever industry you work in, and one place we’ve discovered Jedox really make a difference is in Community and Non-Profit organisations. It’s one thing to ‘improve shareholder value’ – another altogether to help some of the five billion people without reliable access to essential health care.

Jedox Budgeting & Consolidations

The George Institute for Global Health is a worldwide research organisation, with projects in over 50 countries and dedicated to improving the health and living conditions of millions of people. It has been ranked among the top 10 research institutions in the world for scientific impact.

With complex projects in multiple countries, the Institute needs efficient management processes for planning and project administration. Here Naked Data’s Sam Perrin interviews Management Accountant, Timothy Fung on how Jedox is making a difference at The George Institute.


Naked Data: What were you inspired by with Jedox initially?

Timothy Fung, The George Institute: Finance needed to report and plan easily without placing heavy demands on Finance staff. Our existing reporting software couldn’t quickly pull data from our Financial System [General Ledger: Microsoft Dynamics GP /Great Plains]. Each month we needed days to put management reports together. Our existing tool didn’t support budgeting or forecasting, and because our global projects are complex, we needed to drill-through to transactions to understand what was going on, and what made up the numbers.

So that was what we needed! Jedox was flexible to allow design from the ground-up rather than combining different tools for reporting, planning, dashboards and so-on which made it easy for Finance to manage. We discovered Naked Data and Jedox via word-of-mouth from another company which had positive experience with both.

Jedox help medical organisations like the George Institute for Global Health with Business Intelligence & Analytics

Planning and Budgeting for projects in over 50 countries is complex

Naked Data: What was the first move?

Timothy Fung, The George Institute: Naked Data first came in two years ago and focused on reporting from the General Ledger. Since then, our reporting has been online and we can access any time period, anytime. As the business has grown more complex, we’ve continued to add more data and new reporting.

The speed of getting information is fantastic. All reports are already set up so all we do is hit refresh. I can create new reports myself even though I do not have knowledge of computer programming. For quick and ad-hoc reporting, we can paste a live view out in any format we like. In the past, users would come and ask me for help and depending on the problem, it could take ages. Depending on the requests it can take as little as a few seconds to get the information needed because paste view is very easy to use.

Jedox is perfect for Not for Profits for budgeting & consolidated reporting

GIG projects health issues around the world

Naked Data: What did you tackle next?

Timothy Fung, The George Institute: The next target was our budgeting. Budgeting was convoluted. We had over 10 divisions, running over 50 projects with each budget prepared on a separate spreadsheet. If a change was required on the spreadsheet, we had to change every individual file. The collation process was tedious and it took days to compile.

So we set up Jedox models for all parts of our budgeting, including our complex payroll model. We designed some new processes from scratch and went through the design process iteratively with Naked Data and got regular feedback from end users.

Naked Data: How did you find working with Halim (Naked Data consultant Halim Joe)?

Timothy Fung, The George Institute: Halim has very good customer service, and very thorough. He has enabled pretty much everything. One of my goals at the moment is to find something that he can’t answer, and I cannot say for certain that I have found it.

If you are not using Jedox yet, you need to get your brain scanned

Jedox analytics helps improve project efficacy and financial management

Naked Data: What happened when you rolled out budgeting?

Timothy Fung, The George Institute: We rolled the solution out globally and empowered budget holders to own their budgets and gave them easier and quicker access to the information they needed. We pushed budget preparation to the project owners, rather than Finance doing it.

Naked Data: What next for the George Institute?

Timothy Fung, The George Institute: We have further enhanced our budget models since they were rolled out initially and added activity reporting. As far as Great Plains goes, Jedox has currently utilised the GL and we want to include AR in the future and integrate it with our Jedox reporting and modelling.

Snapshot: Jedox Project Global Consolidations, Management Reporting and Budgeting
Industry: Not for profit
Source data: Microsoft Dynamics GP;  SQL Server; Payroll system


Logistics intelligence

From little things, big things grow – how to manage consolidation complexity in a finance-friendly way.

In this interview we take a look at a ‘bread and butter’ Jedox use that you can see the world-over – Corporate Consolidations (yay!). However, this case is a little more complex than most and an example of how Business Intelligence projects often need to work in reality. Within a tight timeframe, the project team must live with a lot of ambiguity, and have with the confidence that their approach of continuous iterative efforts will gradually enable them to build up a comprehensive solution. The results are compelling. 

McAleese Group is a leading Australian provider of specialised transport and logistics solutions across Australia. The newly-formed group brought together over 2000 employees in 15 separate companies – each with their own financial systems and unique chart of accounts. In this interview, with Sam Perrin, the General Manager of Finance, Colin Petrie discusses how McAleese is leveraging Jedox to consolidate 15 separate ledgers structures into a single view to enable management visibility and empower decision making.

McAleese Transport use Jedox to consolidate across 15 separate and very different ledgers

Naked Data: What has been the main benefit of working with Jedox at McAleese?
Colin Petrie, General Manager Finance: The group had recently made a major acquisition, which introduced a number of additional companies and general ledger systems. There was no common way of reporting across the various businesses. There was a mix of general ledger systems with cost centre hierarchies and others with a flat design. We were using Excel for our reporting and also to perform manual consolidation. There was no common chart of accounts or automated consolidation across the 15 different general ledger systems.

We implemented Jedox in a few months and reported the whole of the previous year, running Jedox parallel through that period. Then we used Jedox for the year-end consolidation and close.

Naked Data: It sounds like you had some fairly complex business challenges to solve!
Colin Petrie, General Manager Finance: We identified that we didn’t have the systems or processes to report the larger group results on an ongoing basis in a timely manner. We saw Jedox as a tool that could enable us to quickly establish a common platform and consolidation process across the group. First priority was to scope out the project and engage a business partner to assist us.

With 15 different ledgers, maintained by separate IT and Finance teams, it was clear there was going to be a significant amount of technical work to extract data from these systems. The mapping process would involve a considerable amount of work, due to the different account structures used across the multiple systems. We also identified the need to develop a new common chartered account structure across the group. We also wanted to develop reporting to enable both statutory reporting and for use and production of our management reports.

As an approach, we wanted to make the project as efficient as possible and minimise the interruption to the day-to-day processes within each business. We assembled a small project team to work on this as a dedicated project and engage with relevant people within the business.

Naked Data: What was it about Jedox that initially got your attention?
Colin Petrie, General Manager Finance: The larger McAleese group had just been formed, and we needed a common platform, but weren’t in a position to deploy a single ERP system across all businesses. We were therefore looking for a solution that could sit across the various General Ledger systems and therefore provide us with a common reporting platform.

What I liked about Jedox was it had depth to help us manage our complexity but was still intuitive and finance-friendly. Having had exposure to other products, I largely knew what we needed. I’d previously had exposure to TM1. With the complexity of disparate chart accounts and a lot of business processes to map and bed down, I knew we needed a solution similar to TM1 that provided flexibility at a comparatively low operating cost. However, I also needed to ensure that we weren’t hit with high licence fees and ongoing maintenance costs.

Our vision wasn’t simply a consolidation tool at the group level, but to enable management reporting for each distinct business, so it was critical we had both a fast and easy to use tool; complemented by a sustainable licence model that didn’t hold us back us from rolling out across the organisation.

The McAleese Jedox model does some heavy lifting to bring all the data together

Naked Data: How did you go about selecting Jedox?
Colin Petrie, General Manager Finance: We needed something that was easy to use and could grow with our business and quickly adapt to changes and which we could support internally. We initially lined up a demonstration with Naked Data. Naked Data were very quick to turnaround a sample model using our own data, which was really helpful because it provided tangible proof of what we could deliver with Jedox.

We conducted reference checks. I was familiar with the environments and systems which two of the referees provided, and I was able to gain comfort that they had been able to successfully deploy and use Jedox in their organisations. This gave me a lot of comfort and really reinforced my confidence in the tool.

Naked Data: Were there challenges getting IT on board?
Colin Petrie, General Manager Finance: No. Installation of Jedox was supported by a management team and our IT department. Our IT team were part of the project team and worked closely with the Naked Data consultants.

Naked Data: A project that defines new business and reporting processes sounds like a challenge to scope upfront, especially on a tight deadline. Can you tell us more about the implementation itself?
Colin Petrie, General Manager Finance: We engaged a Naked Data consultant (Angelo Ho) on a full-time basis throughout the project, working alongside our internal project team. We engaged regularly with Angela and Chris (Naked Data director Chris Mentor) on the project and project deliverables. We also recruited and trained a person experienced in BI that could support us and manage Jedox on an ongoing basis. The selected candidate had previous experience with TM1 and was able to quickly get up to speed with Jedox.

One of the best things about the implementation was that the mandate from the CFO meant I didn’t have to deal with bureaucracy. Initially we scoped the broader project with Naked Data. With ambiguities in many areas, we agreed to work on a time/materials approach that enabled us to refine what we did iteratively. Angela [Naked Data consultant, Angela Ho] worked alongside us constantly onsite. Angela liaised with Naked Data principal, Chris Mentor regularly on timeline and budget, but we ran the project as if Angela worked for us. From then on, the project hung on two things – knowing what we wanted and Angela’s proficiency in delivering that.

Naked Data: How did you find Angela’s work?
Colin Petrie, General Manager Finance: Angela was good. The project wouldn’t have succeeded without her. She was able to understand the business structures, and what we were trying to do. We did the account mapping, and the team was able to take a concept that I had and design the Jedox model, create the automated load and extraction processes and build in checks and balances. The iterative approach meant we could rapidly refine the design as we discovered more, and Jedox lends itself to this type of approach perfectly. The documentation Angela wrote was great which made it easy for our team to take ownership. As a solution Jedox has provided us with much needed visibility and reporting. Angela’s role was instrumental to the success of the project

Naked Data: What’s next for Jedox and McAleese?
The various Finance teams from each business are coming on board now that we have started producing management reports. Next we need to build forecast models and create a forecast environment. That’s going to be relatively straightforward [Jedox enables forecasting out of the box]. The next significant project is getting sales and transactional data, then expand into the detail budget modelling. We will build all the budgets in Jedox.


Business function: Corporate consolidations with Jedox
Industry: Transport & Logistics. Source system: MAPICS, S2000, MYOB, Freight2020

Automating automotive reporting and planning in China

To create a self-service information culture, look at your approach not just the technology

Working at Naked Data has a very international flavour and consulting takes our team to all places – even to the wintery climes of northern China. Here we find a joint venture between a global manufacturer of high-performance and prestige vehicles and a local automotive firm. Operations include production, sales and after-sales services of cars across China.

Last December, the Manager Controlling commenced their Jedox project with Naked Data consultant, Halim Joe. I really like this project because the organisation and people share our philosophy of empowering business users – we prefer to teach people how to fish and become self-reliant, so they can become brilliant Jedox users. In this interview, we discuss their experiences in the first few weeks with Jedox and Naked Data.

Naked Data: You’ve just commenced your Jedox project. How is it going?
Manager Controlling: The Jedox project has been going now for a couple of weeks. Halim, (our Naked Data consultant) has done a great job. It’s not so much an implementation project – instead I really wanted Halim to teach our people so that they can help themselves – so they can work on their own, without consultant support after the implementation.
We had our Naked Data consultant leading the room – he demonstrated the concept, and our team worked on it afterwards themselves. The amount of implementation he’s done without the teaching would have taken three or four days, but the teaching and the discussion delivers much more value than just the implementation. We’ve been really happy with Halim and having a Chinese-speaking consultant has helped a lot.

Naked Data: What attracted you to Jedox initially?
Manager Controlling: Regarding Jedox, I started ten years ago with SAP Business Warehouse and Strategic Enterprise Management, and then we implemented Infor’s PM10 [MIS Alea] on a project. Since I’ve been in China I’ve wanted to implement something like this solution.

Jedox was similar to MIS Alea, and I knew MIS Alea very well. The products are designed to solve the same types of business problems, but the Excel integration has a different look-and-feel in Jedox. As long as I have a multi-dimensional database, with Excel integration, I know what I can achieve. The Web and the ETL on Jedox are very nice.


Another brilliant day to be in the office

Naked Data: What is this project’s goal?
Manager Controlling: To have consistent data within the organisation, so that we can have one source of truth with a convenient reporting function.

Naked Data: And are you confident that Naked Data will be able to deliver?
Manager Controlling: I don’t have to be confident – I can already see the results. The initial reporting has been very good quality work. I probably could have done this implementation myself, but it would have taken much longer. And with the input of Naked Data, I’ve been able to deliver a much better solution and a much more robust solution that I could have done by myself.

Naked Data: What are the long-term benefits for your organisation that you see coming from this project?
Manager Controlling: Faster reporting cycles, consistent reporting and an improvement in data quality. And since Jedox is flexible, we can extend it to other areas. At the moment we do cost-centre reporting, but soon we can do material cost controlling, and Long-Term Planning, can build more and more models and get them integrated. And since we have one consistent master-dataset, we are sure that the reporting is consistent over the whole data landscape.

Jedox is used in China for automotive manufacturer for planning and reporting

Another day in a city of a few million you’ve never heard of

Jedox model: Long Term Planning, Cost controlling and reporting from SAP. 
Industry: Automotive, Manufacturing.
Location: China

Aged-care provider revitalises planning

You know you need a new approach when you are forecasting out 72 months. Because aged Care provider Mckenzie needed a smarter way to plan, they turned to Jedox. Here’s what happened. 

Aged Care provider re-energises budgeting and financial reporting with Jedox

McKenzie Aged Care Group provides aged care services and accommodation for older Australians across the states in eastern Australia. McKenzie puts people first to support lifestyle, choice and independence. In this interview, Sam Perrin speaks with McKenzie Project Accountant, David Sherwood on how they used Jedox to make a positive contribution to their cornerstone values of empowerment, ownership and collaboration.

Naked Data: How did you start with Jedox?
David Sherwood, Project Accountant, McKenzie Aged Care: That’s an interesting story. A couple of years ago, I was working on a project that was ending, and one of my colleagues had been to talk to the CFO here about a tool that they were putting in. They wanted someone internally to own it. So I came over here and I found out they were putting in Jedox. At the time I didn’t know Jedox, but it was very much like TM1 and I knew TM1 very well.

Naked Data: What happened next?
David Sherwood, McKenzie Aged Care: We got the model working for actuals. With the recent upgrades to Jedox we are now able to drill-through to transactions in our Epicor Finance system easily. We’ve turned off Crystal Reports and Frx for our management reporting. Now Jedox does that for us.

Then we went to work on our budget and forecast models. The budget and forecast models are built at a very low-level of detail, and our forecast model is huge, and goes over 5 or 6 years. The models include P&L, Balance Sheet and Cash Flow, all integrated, all self-balancing. You feed in your P&L and starting balances and it rolls it all through.

Naked Data: Has Finance found Jedox easy to use?
David Sherwood, McKenzie Aged Care: Yes. Jedox has been a good project. I’ve enjoyed working with it. We create the reports ourselves. For example, I’ve created a report for the Directors of Nursing at our Aged Care facilities. They can review their monthly P&L and grab an account they want to look at, right-click, drill-through, and there’s the information. There’s far more we can do than we had ever anticipated. It’s been great.

Naked Data: How else are people using Jedox?
David Sherwood, McKenzie Aged Care: Our Directors of Nursing use a report – they probably don’t even realise the data is coming from Jedox since they’re end-users. They know to click on cells and expand rows, and then right-click on them to drill-down, but it’s all automatically refreshed when new data comes through in the monthly report. Everything updates for them.

We just give them a Jedox spreadsheet, and they can drill down to their transactions straight away. For example, we’re using it for the chefs in our kitchens. At the end of the month we just look at a report that shows their cost per resident, gives them a few graphs, and it’s all sourced out of Jedox. None of our operational people have to worry about it, for them it’s just an Excel spreadsheet.

We also do our external financial statements. We’ve got a management reporting hierarchy, and a hierarchy for financial statements. We give the auditors our financial statements and a cross-reference table, and off they go. That made it a lot simpler to produce our annual accounts. Once you understand what you can do with Jedox, it’s great. We want a new KPI? We add in a new rule, and there it is, done.

Naked Data: Have there been any IT issues along the way?
David Sherwood, McKenzie Aged Care: No, not really. The server sits within the world of IT and is backed-up and all that. But in terms of managing the models in Jedox, and for access, I determine what’s going to happen. We aren’t reliant on IT.

The main reason I talk to our IT is for an upgrade, to check the server machine is backed up and a snapshot is taken. Otherwise IT generally doesn’t come into it. The system just works.

Naked Data: Any further thoughts?
David Sherwood, McKenzie Aged Care: Having worked with TM1, I was happy to work with Jedox. I mean yes, TM1’s a nice product, but for well over $100,000 for basic budgeting and forecasting, whereas we did this for around $30,000. You can share Jedox with a lot more people at that price – and solve more business problems. Jedox does our actual reporting, it does our budgets, it does our forecasting. And as we grow, we can roll it out to our facilities easily. We’re developing 5 new facilities right now, so we’re looking at a strong growth path over the next 3-5 years.

Aged Care provider re-energises budgeting and financial reporting with Jedox

Solution Overview: Budgeting, Forecasting, Management and Facilities Reporting
Industry: Aged Care. 
Source System: Epicor

How a legal firm transformed planning and reporting with Jedox

Professional services firm Piper Alderman needed budgeting and management reporting capability that complemented their practice-management system, Aderant Expert.

Jedox Business Intelligence helps legal professional services Piper Alderman streamline management reporting and budgeting Piper Alderman is a full-service, commercial law firm with offices across Australia. The firm is committed to continual excellence in the practice of law, having been leading advisers to commercial interests across Australia for over 160 years. Piper Alderman’s success has seen it consistently ranked as one of Australia’s leading law firms and independently recognised as an outstanding legal provider.

In this interview with Piper’s Director of Finance, Tobias Crush, we discuss, their experiences with Naked Data, and how they’ve found Jedox for budgeting and management reporting.

Naked Data: How did you first hear about Jedox?
Tobias Crush, Director of Finance, Piper Alderman: I was looking at different cube-based technologies. I was aware of SQL-Server Analysis Services and I was looking for Finance-friendly products to meet our requirements. A key criteria was a user-interface with Excel, so we could Excel as an interaction and presentation layer.

Naked Data: So Jedox’s Excel interface was a strong point?
Tobias Crush, Piper Alderman: Yes, and the team has found Jedox very easy to use.

Naked Data: I believe that initially the IT department were more in favour of a Microsoft-centric solution?
Tobias Crush, Piper Alderman: Yes. The core skills in the IT team are Microsoft based. We did evaluate products that required us to first develop cubes in SQL Server / Analysis Services before we could use them. But running on SQL Server needed IT-technicians to make changes. For us, we needed a solution Finance could manage, without placing more dependency, or burden, on our IT. Jedox meant that if we needed to make changes, we could do it ourselves without putting a request in to IT. So our Jedox environment quietly sits there and does what we need it to do. It’s definitely low-maintenance from our IT team’s perspective.

Naked Data: You started with a Jedox Bootcamp. When Naked Data came in for the Bootcamp, what was your impression?
Tobias Crush, Piper Alderman: Really good. Naked Data came up with good solutions, put a lot of thought into how we could do things, how we could move forward. It was a really good experience. We’ve done more since, and we can still do even more. We’ve chipped the top of the iceberg, and we’ve not gotten down to water level yet.

Naked Data: Who was involved initially?
Tobias Crush, Piper Alderman: Our IT guys provided us with a server environment, then we connected to our Finance/Practice Management system (Aderant Expert) and created a financials cube. Then our finance manager also got hands-on checking data and setting up reports.

Naked Data: Was it easy for everyone to pick up initially?
Tobias Crush, Piper Alderman: Yes, people caught on immediately. A comment I’ve heard outside my office is “I love Jedox”.

Naked Data: What is it about Jedox that your staff enjoy so much?
Tobias Crush, Piper Alderman: Jedox is easy and flexible. There are many things in Excel that you can’t do with just a pivot-table, in that you can move your data around and format it exactly how you want it without manual manipulation. Jedox gives us that flexibility to manage how the data is presented and structured. Working through Excel is a familiar environment, so you don’t have to learn a new way of doing things.

Naked Data: What are some differences that Jedox has made?
Tobias Crush, Piper Alderman: Jedox has made reporting financials from our GL a lot more flexible and easier to manage. Jedox has saved a lot of time in the preparation phase. If we want to tweak something or change how we look at it, it’s really easy to do that. Before Jedox, it was quite an exercise – it wasn’t really easy to manage or be sure we had the right output, we had to open a manual every time we wanted to change something. Now with Jedox we’re much more confident, and it means that there is skills shared across the team rather than in one person.

Naked Data: Has there been anything that you didn’t originally envision using Jedox for?Tobias Crush, Piper Alderman: Originally we just planned to use Jedox for GL reporting. We then decided to use Jedox to replace our old budgeting tool. Jedox made our budgeting process a lot easier to manage and more flexible, which we hadn’t envisioned earlier.

Naked Data: How did you find the project management on implementation?
Tobias Crush, Piper Alderman: My experience in working with the Naked Data team has been very good. I found Basecamp [Project Collaboration tool] was beneficial for sharing documents, everyone was more than happy to communicate openly, if they weren’t onsite, on the phone. It was easy to pick up the phone and ask questions, from our end. Overall, I was very impressed with the way the guys ran the project. From my perspective it was a good experience, and when we’ve got support, it has continued to be a good experience.

Naked Data: Did the implementation exceed expectations?
Tobias Crush, Piper Alderman: Yes, it was good to see the goals were achieved. It made life so much easier. It didn’t take long to get together the reports that we wanted and use. It really was a pretty painless exercise by comparison to what we’d been doing.

Naked Data: Are there other uses you have planned?
Tobias Crush, Piper Alderman: At the moment, we have a profit sharing scheme that has historically been spreadsheet-based. Using Jedox for partner point entitlements and distributions, is a no-brainer, and we can estimate this in advance. We’d also like to be able to take some of the analysis we’ve done in Finance and share this in ways partners can easily understand through dashboards. From our budgeting perspective, another area is adding more HR data to enhance our expenses allocation methodology as well. We’ve also created new templates that non-finance people can use, so that we can show people where their budget is at, where they need to modify it, where they need to bring it on target.

Naked Data: Any last thoughts?
Tobias Crush, Piper Alderman: I had high hopes when we purchased the solution. When you start working with a new firm, you’re never entirely sure of what you’re going to get, but I’ve got to say, on both counts it’s been a great experience. It’s been a pleasure to do work with both the Jedox product and the Naked Data team in terms of their knowledge and their willingness to transfer knowledge and share it. Overall, it’s been a great experience.

Jedox Business Intelligence helps legal professional services Piper Alderman streamline management reporting and budgeting

Solution summary: Financial Reporting, Budgeting and Forecasting
Industry: Professional Services (Legal)
Source System/s: Aderant Expert 8.0

Jedox boosts financial accountability for not-for-profit

By improving Financial and Board Reporting and Budgeting and Forecasting, Interact Australia has fostered a culture of financial visibility and responsibility.

Jedox helps not-for-profit Interact Australia streamline management reporting and budgeting

Interact Australia is a not-for-profit that provides community, employment, training and hospitality services. The organisation provides services for Federal Australian Government including Job Services Australia and Disability Employment Services funded by the Victorian and Queensland state governments. 

As a not-for-profit, Interact’s charter is delivering as much value from its community services. However, effective financial management requires more than good-intentions. Here we speak with Phil Tankey, General Manager Corporate Services on how Jedox has helped Interact foster a culture of financial visibility and responsibility to manage their resources for better community outcomes.

Naked Data: What difference has Jedox made for Interact?
Phil Tankey, GM Corporate Services, Interact Australia: Jedox gives us the ability to access data easily and in real-time. We’ve improved our managers’ accountability because they can see their own numbers. And they’re expected to – accountability is really important for us! With Jedox, managers can drill-down and understand the information that applies to them in more detail. We’ve provided greater visibility – and greater accuracy.

Naked Data: What business issues did you originally face?
Phil Tankey, Interact Australia: We had our legacy accounting system, Attaché which had limited reporting. There were two main things we needed. Number one was more flexibility with reporting, and second was accessibility. Our Finance system only had a few users in head office, but we needed to share financials to people in the field as well. We needed to help them understand and manage their part of the organisation. The idea of using a BI [Business Intelligence] solution was to make sure they could access what they need rather than us just manually sending out reports when asked – obviously a clunky process.

Naked Data: So you wanted to empower the staff in the field and give them more insight?
Phil Tankey, Interact Australia: Yes, absolutely.

Naked Data: And what attracted you to Jedox initially?
Phil Tankey, Interact Australia: When we looked at Jedox, we saw we could improve things quickly. BI implementations can be long-winded and take time, but Jedox’s short implementation time was very attractive. Because it had an Excel feel to it, we could use it comfortably. This was especially important for the people in the field, as they weren’t that systems savvy – they’re operations people, not huge computer users. Instead of adding them to the Finance system, which meant learning all sorts of new skills, we could just hand them Jedox via Excel, which is really easy to get around. It was easy for them to adapt to.

Naked Data: How was knowledge transfer in practice?
Phil Tankey, Interact Australia: Our staff had reasonable Excel skills so the transfer was very smooth. They picked up on using the product well and it was easy for them to grasp the concepts.

Naked Data: Who now uses Jedox in your organisation?
Phil Tankey, Interact Australia: We have a combination of site managers, cost centre managers and Finance. All the people onsite use it for reporting and drilling-down when they need to check their P&L statements, and see how they’re going against budget. In Finance, we do corporate-level reporting and Board reporting as well.

Naked Data: You’ve worked with a few from our Naked Data team – how have you found us?
Phil Tankey, Interact Australia: We first started with a Jedox Bootcamp where Chris Mentor built the P&L model. Working with Chris was very good. I found it was easy to work with Chris, because he understood what we needed quickly. He appreciated what we wanted to achieve and had a very practical approach. We’ve also worked with Halim Joe. Halim always understands what we need. He always catches on very quickly, and I enjoy working one-on-one with him. He always gets the right results, we’re very happy with his work.

Naked Data: Angela Ho also worked on your model recently.
Phil Tankey, Interact Australia: Yes, and we now do Balance Sheet reporting with Jedox. We had Balance Sheet reporting before, but now it’s more sophisticated and we can run Cash-Flow reporting out of it. We wanted to take the data we were getting from the P&L, and input some budget and forecasts into the model.
I had a lot of confidence in how Angela did things, and it worked well. We got the outcomes, and it all happened in about a week. She set up a really good reporting system. I’ve been really happy with how everything’s worked and with the quality we‘ve received from Naked Data.

Naked Data: You mentioned one of the original challenges was less financial visibility than you were happy with. Has Jedox helped you in that regard?
Phil Tankey, Interact Australia: Yes, it certainly has. You feel like you’ve got your finger on the button a lot more, because Jedox provides us with information more readily. Things are easy to find, and Finance gets to be proactive. We can now review any cost centre P&L in seconds and during month-end we get more accuracy by quickly identifying possible errors. Rather than having to request a report from someone I can just look and find out exactly what I need. That certainly helps.
When I get queries from the CEO or the Board, I can address those queries myself. I can create ad-hoc reports quickly and analyse, which is really useful. With our Board reporting, we’ve got templates set up so that we can hit a button and have a report instantly. If I’m in a meeting and the Board want to see something, I can just bring it up straight away.

Naked Data: Are you using Jedox in ways you didn’t anticipate?
Phil Tankey, Interact Australia: One thing we have done is forecasting. We take the budgets and re-forecast two or three times a year, and do a full reforecast. When we first brought in Jedox in, I hadn’t anticipated being able to do that, but after we setup reporting, we realised what we could get out of it, so we started forecasting as well.

Naked Data: Looking to the future, what else will you use Jedox for?
Phil Tankey, Interact Australia: Greater analytics on labour costs. As services organisation, we are a labour intensive business. Right now, labour costs come through our underlying payroll system Chris21, which gets fed into our Finance system, and then that flows through to Jedox. We want to provide secure and confidential analysis of that data direct from Jedox.

Non-profit Budgeting and Forecasting with Jedox Business Intelligence

Summary Jedox Business Intelligence model: Management and Board Reporting, P&L, Balance Sheet, Cash Flow, transactional drill-through, Budgeting and Forecasting. Industry: not-for-profit Source system: Attaché.

How Jedox helps IT: An infrastructure overview

This paper answers questions common to IT managers to help understand and support Jedox deployments.

Jedox IT White Paper
How Jedox helps IT: A technical overview

When working with new organisations, I often find business users really champion Jedox because they can see immediately on how it can improve their business process efficiency and save them precious hours in a day.

As part of the procurement process, I sometimes find these business users must articulate technical fundamentals to their IT team. IT may prefer for a single vendor (perhaps a ‘mega’-vendor) and will want to ensure that Jedox, does not require major IT support.

To help this, I recently put together a brief white paper. By and large, I simply combined information from other Jedox  documents into a single overview.

It’s not an official Jedox document, but it may make it easier if you are in IT to help you understand how Jedox fits within your standard operating environment.

Jedox IT White Paper
Download here: How Jedox helps IT: A technical overview

Jedox Server Room