Blue Margin - IT Company

Blue Margin used Power BI and R to help Initech, an IT and software development company, to get control of their data and provide actionable insights to their people.

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IT Software Company

Initech (name changed for privacy reasons) is a software development company with several offices throughout the United States. Blue Margin worked with Initech to provide a view of their operational performance to drive focus and productivity in its various service categories.

The Problem

Initech had a difficult time keeping up with the status of their many projects in the areas of business development, hardware, software, and support. If a Senior Executive wanted the status of a project, the Project Manager would have to manually assemble data from various sources and people to generate a (somewhat speculative) answer. The process was cumbersome, the information was not reliable, and the result was that projects would get off track too late to inform the client or make needed changes. The company found itself asking clients for forgiveness, rather than permission. And it was unable to effectively increase the utilization of its people, which hurt profits.

Initech Executives needed answers to critical questions, such as:

• What is our current WIP contract value?

• How do current versus prospective contracts compare in terms of profit?

• Is there sufficient staff hired to meet contract requirements?

• How is cash flow and profitability trending, and are we on track to meet our goals?

Initech’s Executive Team needed a single source truth for its financial KPIs and operational performance. Project Managers needed easy, visual indicators when projects were getting off track, and an easy way to update and report on project status.

Solution

Using Power BI, and integrated R scripts, Blue Margin took data from several sources and transformed it into intuitive, actionable visualizations that allow both the Executive Team and Project Management team to navigate their business from a single pane of glass. We developed regression charts in R that show the trend of key financial indicators, and their goals, so users could easily see if they were on track to meet objectives.

Now, users can easily:

• Gain insight from a high-level management dashboard with combined data from all projects across all geographic locations.

• See projects broken down by job type – software, hardware, support, business development.

• Determine the profitability status of each project, by marginal range, and at the project level.

• Keep track of a full list of status updates, by contract.

Now, Project Managers update their project plans online, every day. If not, the status report alerts the Executive Team to ensure the project is performing on track and on schedule. Everyone receives the right information at the right time.

Value

Using Power BI and the integration with R for statistical analysis, Blue Margin transformed Initech’s data into a strategic asset, empowering both the Executive and Project Management teams to make informed decisions about the status of their projects across their business.

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