A leading worldwide underwriter of reinsurance and speciality insurance came to Chateaux looking for a solution to automate the validation of financial reports related to finance, reserves, expenses, and charitable donations. They historically relied on several resources to visually check Excel spreadsheets against the reports which consumed dozens of counterproductive man-hours each quarter.
No matter how many people or different departments were involved the visual validation process was costly, inefficient and prone to errors. Chateaux was already engaged with the client on other BI related projects and also played a trusted advisor role for a number of years.
Chateaux’s core approach to any new engagement is to utilize their Define. Design. Deliver. methodology. The first step is the definition stage, where the Chateaux team began by gathering the requirements from the client based on a series of executive interviews pertaining to a wide catalog of Excel spreadsheets. The team documented their findings and mapped the data elements to be validated against the reports. Next Chateaux designed and developed a Windows forms application using Microsoft .NET. The solution was designed for use by non-technical personnel, but functionally the application extracted the spreadsheet data and compared it to the report data at the click of a button. Chateaux also developed SAP BOBJ Web Intelligence (Webi) reports to display the results and highlight data discrepancies.
The quarterly effort to validate all financial data through the client’s SAP BusinessObjects standard reports was reduced from multiple man-days to a mere matter of minutes for a single individual. The tangible result (Delivery) is a series of validation reports that specifically pinpoint data discrepancies. The validation reports are designed in Webi and can therefore be shared instantly through the SAP BI Launch Pad or emailed in Excel or PDF format to the business/technical owners responsible for addressing the data issues. The better sharing of reports helps correct data issues and streamlined collaboration around the fixing of the issues.
With Chateaux’s help we have been able to signiﬁcantly reduce our data validation manpower and efforts from days to minutes.