Tag Archives: Reporting

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

Extending Web Batch Reporting

Batch reporting is a critical process in some organisations. The ability to print multiple copies of the same report for different parts of the organisation for example, allows a controlled distribution of reports via a central source.  Jedox provides a built in Batch Reporter. It allows you to spin off multiple copies of the report via specific dimensions of the data (for instance, by Cost Centre, Region, Division etc).

The standard Batch process only prints to pdf, and can only deliver the reports via email. With the help of some php script and web macro, we can take a simple web report and allow it to be printed as a batch in some different ways. We can get a series of reports (not just one) generated. For example, one report per region element. We can also allow that report to be printed as either an xlsx or wss file directly to the filesystem.

See the example here.

Steps to get the report to work:

  1. Report Directory: Enter in a path that the Jedox Web server can see (normally a local path). For the moment, this directory must exist. Although directories are not created as part of this process, that could be by extending the php code further.
  2. Report Title. This will be used as the first part of the filename that gets generated in the batch process. The second part of the filename will be the dimensional elements that you are looping through. Also select the checkbox if you would like values only generated by the process.
  3. Reporting Filename. Ignore this, as it will be generated automatically as part of the process.
  4. File Type. Select xlsx or wss
  5. List of Elements. Under the chart, there is a hidden column which contains a list of elements that I want to loop through. Put a zero in cell A1 to unhide the column. It is a named range, so if you want more elements, just insert some rows in your report within the grey area to extend the range:


Once you have done the above, run the macro by clicking the batch button. If you get a dialog box telling you that the macro is complete, then usually the process has run successfully.


If you do not get that dialog, then something has gone wrong. Normally, the problems is related to insufficient permissions to write out the file or that the directory does not exist. This useful extension to the built in reporting can itself be extended. If you wanted to loop through more than one dimensional list, you could have multiple nested loops in the php macro generating the reports you required.