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Business Intelligence Re-imagined

Concept Evolution

26/12/18 | Sally Wotton

In an ideal world, the current and historic data that lives in different business programs ranging from CAFM to HR and including corporate financial information would be seamlessly interconnected...FSI is joining them up.

The trick is being able to access the data in a timely manner and turn it into information of real-world value, providing business intelligence (BI) specific to the roles of the managers and directors who need it.

FSI is known for its Concept Evolution CAFM system. In the last few years, FSI, in collaboration with partner company Intuitive BI, an established specialist in data drilling and visualisation tools, have tapped into BI in a big way.

Going BI

Having crossed paths and established a relationship through a common customer, the two organisations developed a data visualisation facility o sit within Concept Evolution. BI access is therefore available here without additional login.

The beginning of 2019 saw a significant reimagining of the BI facility's Dashboard Designer function, incorporating a new features stemming from new technology developments.

At-a-glance presentation

Drawing on common BI requirements, gathered over time from a wide customer base, this simple, built-in CAFM system tool, designed for business users, delivers an at-a-glance "presentation layer" of graphical BI dashboards (pie charts, bar charts, performance against targets etc) to individuals across an organisation. This capability dispenses with many of the complex and laborious analytical functions once actioned by data analysts. It places power in the hands of the more business-oriented role of the "dashboard designer" and business user.

The pre-built dashboard functions are customisable and allow integration of data from other sources within an organisation. Access is via PCs, tablets and smartphones. Users can also drill down to expose the data behind the dashboards, enabling even greater informed decision making.

The dashboards cover:

  • Helpdesk Call Analysis.
  • Customer Satisfaction.
  • Finance.
  • Task Analysis, including Supplier Performance.
  • Assets & PPMs.
  • Resource Efficiency & Workload.
  • Facilities Booking.
  • Management Overview.

Unification across platforms

The launch pad for the new version is the migration by developers, internet-wide, to HTML5 coding language. HTML5 eliminates the role of the array of quirky software plug-ins needed to make many web applications work across different browsers and operating systems. Apart from the loss of, potentially malware-carrying, plug-ins (so providing enhanced IT security in corporate environments), the simplification and standardisation resulting brings new opportunities to extend the feature set across the BI tool.

In pursuit of further personalisation of each dashboard to suit specific circumstances, in addition to the graphical visualisations other functional elements can now be added, such as SMS/Twitter feeds and explanatory widgets.

As a reflection of the influence and prevalence of smartphone culture, the dashboard interface is now capable of configuration to provide familiar, user-friendly, icon-driven navigation through to the reports that are relevant to the user.

Cloud cost savings

Data-drilling and processing capabilities have been enhanced to speed up and simplify access to not only the CAFM data but relevant financial, HR and other sources that need to be combined to deliver meaningful information. Core "data keep" retention to achieve this has been reduced by 30 per cent, bringing associated memory usage cost savings that will particularly benefit organisations paying for cloud rental hosting.

Do away with experts

The system can do more for the end user without recourse to expert database personnel making use of specialist database manipulation applications.

This is exemplified by new "linked dataset filters" which draw from these separate core database sources and present new information derived from those sources directly within the dashboard. A pivot data facility is also now directly available within the tool to allow recasting of information between dimensions such as cost, type, location and period in the search to spot trends of significance that can be vital to disciplines such as planned maintenance provisioning.

FSI's pre-built, BI dashboard tools can eliminate up to 80 per cent of the consultancy time previously required to put in place relevant BI reports for a new CAFM implementation. This speeds implementation times and delivers meaningful, valuable BI to customers much sooner.

Audit Now

Prior to Christmas 2018, FSI was also busy releasing Audit Now - a flexible, quick and easy auditing tool. Audit Now allows users to carry out Audits whilst on the go. Users have full control and are able to add images, capture signatures and record results.

Data is then stored in your Concept Evolution system, making it fully accessible and reportable at any time.

Article written by Brian Shillibeer