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Learn how Haerens Group revolutionized their Business Insights with Power BI "Out-of-the-Box"


Meet Haerens Group, a dynamic and influential conglomerate that specializes in the production of technical glass, museum-grade showcases of exceptional quality, and a comprehensive range of wood-joinery products such as doors and partitions. With a strategic focus on manufacturing excellence, Haerens Group has established itself as a one-stop-shop for all your technical glass and wood-joinery needs.


Why did Haerens Group choose the Power BI "Out-of-the-Box" solution?


Haerens Group had been using Dynamics Navision ERP system for reporting their revenue. However, as they planned the transition to Business Central, they needed a new reporting system to incorporate data from their new and legacy sources. They also wanted to update the look and feel of their existing reports. To address these requirements, element61 deployed the Finance domain from the Power BI "Out-of-the-box" solution for Navision & Business Central. This allowed business users to gain comprehensive insights and analysis of their revenue quickly and easily. The manual actions and patience required to get up-to-date reports were no longer necessary.


With this Out-of-the-box solution, the Finance department could quickly respond to situations by accessing information on actual general ledger postings. They also implemented their P&L structure in the solution, making it easier to work with the structure they were already familiar with.


The management team was provided Power BI dashboards to help them track revenue and compare it to weekly targets. Additionally, Dynamics 365 CRM data was added to the data warehouse solution, allowing Haerens Group to visualize necessary data for every group despite having different companies and ERP systems.

How is Haerens Group accelerating its crucial business processes with Power BI and a Data Lakehouse?


Haerens Group decided to replace their old reporting system with element61's Power BI "Out-of-the-Box" solution. This pre-defined solution enables the integration of various source systems into one Business Intelligence solution. In the case of Haerens Group, we used this solution to include historical data from Navision and more recent data from their Dynamics 365 Business Central system. The "Out-of-the-Box" solution leverages Microsoft Azure Cloud technology to create a Data Lakehouse, which acts as a source to start developing reports with Power BI.


The pre-packaged nature of the "Out-of-the-Box" solution allowed element61 to deliver the solution quickly and efficiently. Furthermore, the successful implementation of the CRM module facilitated the smooth addition of it to the already existing Finance module to the solution. Finally, any customization requests by Haerens Group were promptly resolved by element61.


The Azure Cloud is an excellent platform for adding new resources to your solution. An example is the budget data managed by Haerens Group, which is stored on an Azure Data Lake Storage account. All this data is orchestrated seamlessly through Azure Data Factory, ensuring that the data is delivered to the right place for later processing by Databricks.


The data is processed through several layers, namely bronze, silver, and gold, also known as the medallion architecture. Each layer prepares the data for visualization by Power BI, allowing for a more streamlined and efficient process.

Eventually, Power BI will make it possible to view the reports from any location and with any device, giving you easy access to the data you need when you need it. With this architecture in place, you can be sure that your data is secure, organized, and easily accessible, making it easier to make informed decisions based on the insights you gain from the data.


Why is implementing the Power BI "Out-of-the-Box" report solution scheduled ahead of the ERP migration?


The Power BI "Out-of-the-Box" solution can aid in transitioning from a legacy ERP to a newer version by deploying a Modern Data Platform / Data Lakehouse and setting up Out-of-the-Box reporting, which provides clear business benefits. For example:

  • Having reporting ready prior to an ERP migration removes the need to focus on reporting during the migration, allowing businesses to solely concentrate on the ERP migration.

  • Reporting will seamlessly extend to the new ERP system upon its launch, ensuring continuity of business management reporting.

  • Simplifying the migration project by focusing only on migrating active transactions. Historical data from the old legacy system is already contained in the data lakehouse for all data up to "Migration Day minus one".

  • Shifting forward in time, the Power BI upskilling before the ERP migration: a time during which these people typically need all their focus and attention on the migration itself.


Conclusion


After conducting the implementation process, we have been able to gather some crucial observations that are worth discussing.

Firstly, it was found that Haerens Group was able to replace the existing JetReports with the new Out-of-the-Box implementation in an impressively swift and efficient manner. This reflects the competence and dedication of the team involved in the implementation process.

Secondly, the group has transitioned from an on-premise solution to a more advanced, cloud-based system. The new solution not only ensures a future-proof setup but also provides the added advantage of flexibility in terms of easily adding new data sources. This means that the group can now seamlessly integrate new data sources without any technical hiccups or delays, which can significantly impact the overall productivity and efficiency of operations.



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