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Gain Valuable Cross-Functional Insights with Power BI Dashboards

ZS Case Study Collectiv

ZS Associates, a major analytics consulting and professional services firm, works with industry-leading clients every day on transformative business strategy and implementing the technology to support it. However, within their own operations, some areas of the business continued to rely on more traditional analysis methods.

Ryan McConnell had been the FP&A Manager at ZS Associates for several years, then his role expanded to include reporting processes across finance and human resources. Ryan quickly discovered that working with Excel to collate, normalize, and analyze financial and HR data wasn’t the most efficient option.

Ryan’s team is responsible for reporting management results, so it’s essential that reports are standardized for the C-Suite to gain fast insights and make informed HR decisions. Since his team was constantly bogged down with manual ad hoc tasks, Ryan noticed their decentralized reporting method was forcing executives to review three or four reports to gain insights.

Ryan knew Power BI would standardize, simplify, and automate reporting so he brought the idea to his team. Ryan’s team started getting excited about adopting the new tool. They knew exactly what they needed in their dashboards, and they’d even crafted the wireframes to illustrate how they wanted the dashboards to look.

With a team of experienced analysts in-house, Ryan expected that setting up Power BI would be simple. But he faced an unexpected hurdle. Even though many of Ryan’s team members had used Power BI before, they didn’t have the right skillsets to create robust dashboards and data models.

Ryan searched for a boutique consulting firm that deeply understood their business needs and Power BI. Collectiv was ready to step up to the plate.

Creating A One-Stop-Shop for Management Dashboards

Ryan knew that his C-Suite stakeholders and managers needed both financial and HR data readily available to make rapid decisions. From an FP&A perspective, it’s critical to consider HR and financial data together for planning, but these data sets don’t always work well together.

Without access to real-time data and centralized reporting, Ryan’s team was manually generating tons of reports to help different business leaders understand what their business looked like from a financial and a people perspective.

“Ultimately, our goal was to move as much of our standard reporting onto Power BI as we could,” said Ryan. “We had done little things here and there with dashboarding and data modeling, but nothing of the caliber that Collectiv was able to put out.”

Collectiv worked with Ryan to design customized dashboards that aligned with his team’s existing wireframes, providing business leaders a clear baseline and immediate cross-functional insight into team performance, utilization, and resource management at any given moment.

“Collectiv did a lot of work behind the scenes on data modeling to bring together financial and HR data,” said Ryan. “Now, every single month, our managers know they’re going to get the same information, that they’ll be able to easily digest this information, and that they can use this data to work with their business partners to get the resources they need.”

By developing these dashboards and data models, Ryan’s team decreased reporting time by approximately a full week. Now, Ryan’s stakeholders can make the speedy decisions they need to best leverage their people and resources.

Going Beyond Development to Establish a Long-Term Partnership

Beyond Collectiv’s development capabilities, Ryan’s expert team received substantial value from Collectiv’s deep industry expertise and consultation, which formed the cornerstone of a true partnership.

By showing Ryan’s team what was possible with Power BI, Collectiv demonstrated how Power BI works with other substantial digital transformation initiatives happening across the enterprise to align various parts of the business.

Collectiv worked with Ryan’s team to iterate on their wireframe designs and offered strategic guidance to help take advantage of all Power BI had to offer. After creating three dashboards with Collectiv, Ryan knew he had found the support he needed to make his vision of standard reporting and a single source of truth into a reality.

Empowering ZS Associates with Better Resource Management

Financial planning and HR needs must be directly linked for effective resource management. However, examining financial data alongside HR data isn’t always easy. With the right data models and reporting capabilities through Power BI, business leaders at ZS Associates now have full access to the insights they need to make the best HR decisions at a moment’s notice.

One of the benefits of automated reporting and real-time data is gaining valuable, actionable insight into team performance and utilization. Now that Ryan’s team has sped up reporting by an average of seven days, his team performance and utilization have dramatically shifted too.

Now the ZS Associates team is able to focus on the day-to-day reporting needs that drive business success and empower the C-Suite to make critical revenue-driving decisions quickly.

“As a super boutique consulting firm, Collectiv gives off a small shop feel. We weren’t left floating out in the middle of nowhere, waiting for a response. We did a Proof of Concept with Collectiv and felt confident that the team could offer the partnership we were looking for.”

Take the first step toward simplified reporting by partnering with Collectiv. We offer several popular enterprise programs that help support your business goals and we invite you to consider some of these solutions:

  • The Launchpad Program – Launch your most important initiatives quickly and effectively with our new introductory 3-day program.
  • Visioning Program – Learn expert best practices and recommendations to guide your data vision in this intensive 4-6 week program.
  • Power BI Training Bootcamp – Tackle the industry-leading tool (Power BI) with experts by your side in this 4-day program.
  • FP&A Visioning Program – Transition your FP&A team from scorekeepers to valued advisors over the course of 4-6 weeks in our signature finance program.

Our team is standing by to answer any questions you might have about our programs or services. Reach out if you need guidance.

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