A reporting solution that synergised Power BI, Power Apps and Azure for performance insights and commentary capability.

The Problem

Our utilities client created an initiative to enable their Finance team to be a “value-add” department. They wanted the Finance team to be experts in business performance and provide insights based on analysis. The client wanted a reporting solution that caters to the Finance team’s month-end reporting activities and allows their team to add commentary analysis. These insights would then support the Leadership team’s month-end review meetings. Being a large corporation with different departments and business streams, the visibility and security of the data is a big focus. Users should only see data that is within their field of work.

The Solution

Exposé developed a solution by leveraging the synergy between Microsoft’s Power Platform and Azure technologies. Power BI was used to model and visualise the data. Reports were designed to give the users different granularity and perspectives of the data to build insights on a holistic view of the business. A Power App was created to allow report users to write and review their insights. This Power App is embedded within the Power BI reports and integrates with a SQL database hosted in Azure where the commentary is stored. Row Level security in the data is managed within Power BI. Exposé has worked closely with the business in defining these security rules. To manage user movement and access, the team used Azure Active Directory, security groups. Users are added/removed in one or more security groups depending in their areas of interest.

Business benefits

The solution created by exposé evolved how the Finance team conducts their month-end activities. It allowed the Finance team to focus on helping support the Leadership team rather than simply creating reports.

Some of the benefits included:

  • Manual intervention to recreate the reports is no longer needed, thus allowing the users to focus more on analysing the data and writing insights.
  • Reporting inconsistencies due to silos have been almost eliminated as more users have adopted the reports for month-end activities.
  • Users of the report are limited to their areas of interest. However, changes in user access are easily managed.
  • The solution helped garner a deeper understanding of their data which prompted the client to enrich the solution by adding data from other parts of the business.
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