sunesis consulting

Report Automation

“Make Reporting Challenges your Distant Past”

Sunesis Consulting is focused on helping organizations enhance their capacity to use data to make decisions in the most efficient and collaborative way as possible.

This is achievable through development of highly interactive dashboards and/or data models that give relevant insights for better decision making process.

Sunesis exists to:

  • Enable organizations enhance their Business Intelligence.
  • Empower companies to leverage on the readily available tools such as MS Excel and MS PowerBI for their analytics and dashboard reports.
  • Provide companies with necessary IT reporting and Business Intelligence solutions and trainings; thus equipping staff with the necessary skills to make informed decisions for their organizations to move forward.
  • Help companies automate their report generation processes and thus increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of staff as well as ensuring accuracy of information.

Business Objectives

  1. Allow for production of credible ‘one version of the truth’.
  2. To avail valuable, actionable information that can improve productivity.
  3. Generate dashboards and reports that are intuitive and richly visualized for all levels of staff.
  4. Delivery of accurate, reliable, real time data in a rapid manner / on the fly.
  5. Enable for predictive analytics and forecasting.
  6. Address regulatory and financial reporting needs.
  7. Have an organized location from which all data can be retrieved.

Solution Objectives

  1. To automate the process of consolidating report files.
  2. To automate and enhance existing reports into better visualized Excel dashboard reports.
  3. To develop a data integration framework as well as management dashboards in Microsoft Power BI.

Product Examples

  1. i-Tax solution
  2. Financial Management Reports – Statutory Financial Reports
  3. Statutory reports to Industry regulators
  4. Management reports
  5. Payroll solutions – Excel payroll, statutory deductions e.g NHIF, NSSF, HELB, Insurance and pension.

Data Sources

  1. Excel
  2. Text/ CSV
  3. XML
  4. SQL Server Database
  5. Access Database
  6. SQL Server Analysis Services Database
  7. Oracle database
  8. IBM DB2 Database
  9. MySQL Database
  10. PostgreSQL Database
  11. Sybase database
  12. SAP HANA Database
  13. SAP Business Warehouse Server
  14. Azure SQL Database
  15. Azure SQL Data Warehouse
  16. Microsoft Dynamics
  17. Google Analytics
  18. Social Media Sites

Desired Output

  1. A working tool for transforming and loading various reports.
  2. Excel reports.
  3. PowerBI dashboard.

Benefits of the Solution

The following are the benefits to be accrued after the solution has been implemented:

  1. Reducing the possibility of errors
  2. Freeing up analysts to do what they do best: analyse the data
  3. Time Saved – after the implementation of the solution the time consumed in production of the reports will be reduced drastically to under 1 hour.
  4. Process standardization – the solution will automate 90% of the activities performed by staff thus reducing significantly the dependability of performing the tasks from the staff doing the work. This will ensure consistency in report production.
  5. Personnel Involved – the process will require only one personnel to run it since 90% of the tasks to be performed will be automated.
  6. Properly visualized reports
  7. Accessibility – reports can be shared and accessed on all online platforms
sunesis consulting

Market Intelligence Survey Tool

All FMCGs companies endeavor to build relationships – with consumers; with their customers; with their distributors; and with the communities they serve. This can be enhanced through conducting market surveys. Market survey is a process designed to offer continuous improvement opportunities and a competitive advantage to company’s sales force. The process is based on the analysis of daily, weekly or monthly surveys performed in outlets. The results can then be compared to an ideal situation. This analysis, both for company and non-company products, allows planning, measuring and adjusting the execution key indicators for the outlets to comply with all the defined strategies and provide the consumer with a better experience.

In order to execute this process, a market survey tool is used. It is useful in objectively and systematically collecting, recording, analyzing and interpreting data about existing or potential markets for a product. This tool has the capabilities to gather current data on existing market in order to identify product characteristics, market characteristics, standards and best practices compliance. Systematic use of this tool reduces risks in decision making.

How it works

  1. Collects new and update existing data using a mobile device.
  2. Stores data securely in the cloud or on premise.
  3. Integrates to existing data systems and analyze data in real time.
  4. Produces customized reports in file formats and dashboard.

Issues Addressed

The tool is able to test/align an outlet on the following strategies:

  1. Affordability: Retail price of products should be suitable – make sure all consumers can afford it.
  2. Availability: Make sure consumers can buy the product when they want to buy.
  3. Acceptability: Try to make consumers like and accept their products, and make them feel happy to buy.
  4. Price to Value: Consumers not only can afford to buy products, but also can get benefits over their gives from the products.
  5. Pervasiveness: Make sure consumers can buy the products at any place and at any time
  6. Preference: Try to make the consumers not only like and accept the products, but also be partial to the brands. Make sure given product is their first choice.

Benefits of the Tool

  1. Private database.
  2. Open Web Service Interface for retrieving and updating data from other information systems.
  3. Conflict management during data upload.
  4. Data validation mechanism and customizable validation lists.
  5. Online/ Offline map in device for geo-mapping services
  6. Automatic database cleanup to utilize minimum resources
  7. Draft version management to enable work to be continued later
  8. Customizable reports
sunesis consulting

Data Analysis & Visualization

Sunesis Consulting is focused on helping organizations enhance their capacity to use data to make decisions in the most efficient and collaborative way as possible. This is achievable through development of highly interactive dashboards and/or data models that give relevant insights for better decision making process.

Sunesis exists to:

  • Enable organizations enhance their Business Intelligence.
  • Empower companies to leverage on the readily available tools such as MS Excel and MS PowerBI for their analytics and dashboard reports.
  • Provide companies with necessary IT reporting and Business Intelligence solutions and trainings; thus equipping staff with the necessary skills to make informed decisions for their organizations to move forward.

Data Analysis Services for Ad-hoc Reports

 This is achieved through Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) which delivers online analytical processing (OLAP) and data mining functionality for business intelligence applications.

Since Analysis Services supports OLAP, we are able to design, create, and manage multidimensional structures that contain data aggregated from other data sources, such as relational databases.

For data mining applications, we use Analysis Services to design, create, and visualize data mining models that are constructed from other data sources by using a wide variety of industry-standard data mining algorithms.

Benefits of Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS)

  • Speed: Aggregating (Summarizing) the data for performance
  •  Multidimensional analysis – slice, dice, drilldown
  • Can usually handle more concurrent users than what the data warehouse can handle
  • Built-in advanced time-calculations
  • Easily use Excel – you can use Excel to view data via Pivot Tables
  • Securityyou can use the security setting to give end-users access to only those parts (slices) of the cube relevant to them

Data Visualization – Microsoft Power BI Dashboard

  • Using Power BI, we help organizations transform, analyse and visualize their data. The dashboard is accessible in a number of ways:
  • Microsoft Power BI Desktop – With the Power BI Desktop you can visually explore your data through a free-form drag-and-drop canvas, a broad range of modern data visualizations, and an easy-to-use report authoring experience.
  • Microsoft Power BI Mobile – This allows access to your data anywhere, anytime. These native apps provide live, interactive, mobile access to your important business information.
  • Microsoft Power BI Gateway – With Power BI gateways, you can keep your data fresh by connecting to on-premises data sources. The gateways provide the flexibility you need to meet individual needs, and the needs of your organization.

Benefits of Power BI Visualizations

  • Increased Data Accessibility – Power BI was built to integrate with Microsoft tech, such as SharePoint documents or SQL databases. But it enhances non-Microsoft solutions, too. In fact, Power BI currently connects to more than 60 common software solutions your business already uses and pulls data into a centralized, easy-to-digest dashboard.
  • Ease of Implementation-Very little engineering or IT resources are needed to implement Power BI. If the organization already uses Microsoft systems (such as Office 365), using Power BI will feel natural. It integrates easily with Office 365 Groups and Microsoft Teams. Without steep build costs or extensive training, the financial benefits of implementing Power BI are immediate.
  • Robust Access Control & Security – Power BI sets up access control through Active Directory (AD), the same control panel your organization uses for other Microsoft solutions. But what makes Power BI different is row level security, which allows your team to grant and rescind access on a very controlled level.

Data Visualization – Microsoft Excel Dashboard

We use MS Excel, which is the most frequently used Microsoft medium to create elegant and functional dashboards. Just like Power BI, Excel allows connection to many data sources making it a versatile dashboard tool. In addition to using external data sources in Excel workbooks, we can use data from other business applications, such as SAP and Siebel, in SharePoint lists, pages, and Web Parts.

Benefits of MS Excel Visualizations

  • Flexibility – Excel being part of the Office Suite allows ease of interaction between other Office products.
  • Powerful Analytical Capability – Excel can handle complex statistical calculations, many of which are in-built as Functions which can then be easily displayed on a dashboard.
  • Ease of Distribution – Share Point provides a powerful publishing platform.
  • Ease of Use and Learning.
sunesis consulting

Data Integration

Issues with combining heterogeneous data sources under a single query interface have existed for some time. Given the growing demand for data analysis and decision making, Sunesis exists to help organizations combine data residing in different sources and to provide users with a unified view of them. This is undertaken in a variety of situations, which include both commercial (such as when two similar companies need to merge their databases) and scientific (combining research results from different bioinformatics repositories, for example) domains.

Sunesis’ Analysis Service and Reporting framework uses a data warehousing approach which extracts, transforms and loads (ETL) data from various sources into a single view schema. This framework aims at creating a more flexible and interactive reporting model for organizations by:

  • Provision of interactive online dashboards for organizations main KPI’s ensuring access of report from everywhere.
  • Provision of flexible reporting module in Excel using Data Cubes giving users the ability to view data in multiple user-defined dimensions.
  • Displaying of KPI’s in an easily understandable and user-friendly ways to make decision making process quicker.

The scope of this framework covers:

1. Development of Analysis Service framework for operations data. This involves the development and definition of:

  • Data dimensions
  • Data views
  • Data sources
  • Measures
  • Data cubes

2. Reporting framework tools:

  • Reporting modules in Excel using data analysis service cubes incorporating pivot tables
  • Development of PowerBI dashboard covering the main organization KPI’s as well as departmental KPI’s.
sunesis consulting

Budgeting & Planning Models

Planning and budgeting are essential for management control. Sunesis employs a number of different approaches to budgeting or models which can be applied throughout the public and private sectors. We assist executives establish a formal planning, budgeting, and performance measurement process and create a time phased performance measurement baseline integrating operating, financial, and investment activities. We build customized, interactive organizational models that integrate planning, budgeting, and performance measurement and instruct and coach clients how to use these models.

At Sunesis, we consider budgeting models by themes:

Theme: The Alignment of Budgets with Strategic Priorities

  1. Incremental Budgeting – this involves using the previous year’s budget, adjusted for known factors.
  2. Zero Based Budgeting – presumes that budgets can be recompiled from first principles i.e. from a zero base and focuses on programmes and activities rather than departments or units.
  3. Priority Based Budgeting – this is a modification of Zero Based Budgeting. The focus is on identifying corporate priorities and allocating growth and savings accordingly.
  4. Decision Conferencing – requires decision makers to explore budgetary decision in a structured fashion, aided by software which generates an analysis of costs and benefits for each option under discussion.
  5. Planned Programme Budgeting System – is primarily a system associated with corporate management which identifies alternative policies, presents the implications of their adoption and provides for the efficient control of those policies chosen.
  6. Performance Based Budgeting – the aim of PBB is to connect performance information with the allocation and management of resources.
  7. Participatory Budgeting – where all stakeholders have a say.
  8. Resource Restricted Budgeting – resource restricted budgets are similar to Cash Limited ones but are instead applied to particular resources, e.g. staffing numbers or equipment.

Theme: Budget preparation in conditions of uncertainty

  1. Rolling Budgets – a budget constantly updated by adding a further period, e.g. a month or quarter and removing the earliest period.
  2. Contingency Budgets – provides alternative scenarios.

Theme: The adjustment of Budgets in respect of fluctuations in activity

  1. Fixed Budgeting – are prepared on the basis of a given level of activity which may be expressed in terms of output expenditure and/or sales.
  2. Flexible Budgeting – is one that is designed to be changed with variations in the level of activity.
  3. Activity Based Budgeting – ABC tries to more accurately identify what drives costs by linking overhead costs to activities and provides  more robust information for budget formulation.

Theme: The adjustment of Budgets in respect of inflation

  • November Price Base Budgeting
  • Cash Based (Outturn Budgeting)

For executives who choose to improve their planning, budgeting and performance measurement systems using their own resources, we provide a roadmap to guide them through the process of goal setting, strategy formulation, setting objectives, developing budgets, and establishing a performance measurement baseline. The following models are available on this website and can be copied or downloaded free of charge.

  • A Planning, Budgeting, and Performance Measurement Template
  • A Profit Planning Model

We provide coaching on-site, by phone or e-mail to help or facilitate using these models.