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The Modules | Sales Analysis, Supply Chain Analysis, Finance Analysis & Production Analysis

Matillion BI Key Concepts | The Modules | Sales Analysis, Supply Chain Analysis, Financial Analysis, Production AnalysisFor many considering a Business Intelligence or Self-Service Reporting project, the prospect of defining their analysis requirements is daunting.

  • What do we want to analyse?
  • How should our data warehouse be designed?
  • Where is our data?  And in what format or technology?
  • What are my data quality issues?

As with all significant IT projects, the requirements analysis stage can be time-consuming and painful.  It’s also where the project can be set up to fail before it’s started.

At Matillion we like to deliver value fast.  We also focus on specific market verticals and company types which means we have a really good understanding of our customer’s reporting requirements.  As such, we’ve been able to develop industry ready “modules” of business intelligence functionality designed to deliver all the reporting and analysis functionality you require for a given functional area of your business.


Each module is integrated, tailored and customised on implementation to deliver a high-fidelity fit to your requirements.  So they’re not “cookie-cutter” templates that you have to like or lump. But they do contain all the facts and dimensions that we expect a company in a specific vertical to need to analyse their business.

We have modules available for:

  • Sales Analysis
  • Inventory and Supply Chain Analysis
  • Finance Analysis
  • Production Analysis

So what’s in the modules?

 

Sales Analysis

The sales analysis module delivers all the functionality we expect a mid-size, product-centric business to need to analyse their sales activities.  Customers, products, margins, revenues, volumes, budgets, targets, sales people, geographies, orders, deliveries, invoices and forward order book are all part of the sale analysis module.

The sales analysis module is designed to follow the process of the typical B2B product-centric company’s sales cycle.  As such it contains the following “Facts”:

  • Sales Orders
    • Inbound orders from your customers
  • Order Balances/Forward Orders/Order Book
    • Orders before they are fulfilled, showing your order book forward in time
  • Deliveries
    • Products being despatched and delivered to your customers, usually including on-time-in-full (OTIF) and similar statistics as well as being useful for revenue recognition purposes
  • Sales Invoices
    • Invoicing (and credits), usually including revenue, gross margin and quantity related measures
  • Budgets
    • Target or budget figures by time company/site/division, customer, product, sales person and/or time-period

Each “Fact” contains all the “Measures” or values you need to analyse that business activity.  So for Sales Invoice, you may have measures configured for: quantity sold, unit of measure, net/gross value, cost, others cost, rebates/retros, gross margin and gross margin after rebate/retro/delivery. The financial measures may be expressed in multiple currencies, e.g. local, reporting, budget and spot currencies.

You can have as many measures as needed for your sales analysis requirements, add more at any time during your Matillion BI subscription (at no extra cost) and make use of Matilion’s ETL technology and business rules to perform calculations (e.g. rebates, commissions).

Each “Fact” is accompanied by any Dimensions you may require to allow your users to drill-down, group, filter, slice and pivot through sales analysis data easily and powerfully.  Example Dimensions for the sales analysis module may include:

  • Product (including e.g. Product Code/SKU, Name/Description, Product Groups, Unit of Measure, Colour/Size/Material/Style, Category, Type, Source, ABC Analysis)
  • Customer (including e.g. Name, Code/Account Number, Group, Sector, Status, Credit Limit, Type)
  • Region/Country/Geography (e.g. UK -> Europe -> International, or Manchester -> North West, UK)
  • Sales Person (including e.g. Name, Manager, Territory)
  • Company/Site/Division
  • Date (including e.g. Date, Year, Quarter, Week, Day, Relative Day/Week/Month/Year, Rolling Last 12 Months, Financial Year and fixed-period e.g. 4-4-5)

Other Dimensions can be added to sales analysis and each can have as many elements configured as required.

Matillion BI Sales Analysis - Screen shot of glossary, sales orders

In this way, if a user would like to understand, for instance, the top selling product groups to customers in sector ‘Independent Retailer’, then drill-down to SKU level, compare regional differences and see how this has changed against the prior year, they can do so in a few clicks in sales analysis and without complex queries or special technical skills.

Advanced sales analysis can be performed over any of the data in the module using Matillion’s virtual cube technology.  Examples include:

  • Orders vs Invoicing
  • Rolling LTM (Last 12 Months)
  • Stock vs Sales * In conjunction with the Inventory and Supply Chain Analysis Module

Example common uses and “killer apps” of the sales analysis module within Matillion BI include:

  • Powerful, drill-down analysis of performance of products, customers, sales people and regions over time and by geography
  • Sales aAnalysis of “true margins”, after applying complex rebate and retro calculations or after factoring in costs such as delivery.  This can allow, for instance, more informed pricing decisions
  • Gap analysis across customers – spotting opportunities to sell products a customer used to buy but no longer does, or where they could be expected to buy based on the profiles of other similar customers
  • Measuring performance against budgets and targets
  • Providing sales teams and managers with access to self-service reporting from their office or home computer, their mobile device or tablet.  Also through use of scheduled reports to, for instance, automatically send sales people regular updates of the sales actuals against target –driving desirable behaviour and saving time in sales operations or finance
  • Using sales analysis, for instance on tablet PC, whilst face-to-face with customers.  This can help inform buying decisions and demonstrate a level of aptitude and modernity with customers
  • Spotting undesirable business and data input errors early e.g. orders with gross margin is less than 5% (unprofitable) or higher than 80% (likely an order entry mistake)
  • Avoiding excess stock or missed sales opportunities by analysing sales trends against budgets and inventory positions *in conjunction with the Inventory and Supply Chain analysis module

 

Inventory and Supply Chain Analysis

The Inventory and Supply Chain Analysis module again delivers all the functionality we expect a product-centric business to need to analyse their purchasing activities and inventory.  Suppliers, products, prices, volumes, managers, regions, orders, deliveries, purchase invoices, daily stock positions and stock history are all part of the Inventory and Supply Chain Analysis module.

The Inventory and Supply Chain analytics module is again designed to follow the process of the typical B2B product-centric company’s purchasing activities.  As such it contains the following “Facts”:

  • Purchase Orders
    • Orders placed with your suppliers
  • Goods Receipts
    • Inbound inventory including delivery statistics (e.g. on-time-in-full/OTIF)
  • Purchase Invoices
    • Supplier invoices including current and historic average pricing and statuses
  • Daily Stock
    • The inventory value and quantity in stock now, by product and location
  • Stock History
    • The inventory value and quantity in stock now and back through time, period-by-period and by product and location.  This usually also includes analysis of “ins and outs” – stock movement activity.

Each “Fact” contains all the “Measures” or values you need to analyse that business activity.  So for Goods Receipt, you may have measures configured for: quantity ordered, quantity received, value, unit of measure, delivery against requested and delivery against promised. Again, any financial measures may be expressed in multiple currencies.

You can have as many measures as needed for your requirements, add more at any time during your Matillion BI subscription (at no extra cost) and make use of Matilion’s ETL technology and business rules to perform calculations.

Each “Fact” is accompanied by any Dimensions you may require to allow your users to drill-down, group, filter, slice and pivot through Inventory and Supply Chain data easily and powerfully.  Example Dimensions for the Inventory and Supply Chain Analysis module may include:

  • Product (including e.g. Product Code/SKU, Name/Description, Product Groups, Unit of Measure, Colour/Size/Material/Style, Category, Type, Source, ABC Analysis)
  • Supplier (including e.g. Name, Code/Account Number, Group, Type, Status, Credit Limit)
  • Region/Country/Geography
  • Manager or Buyer
  • Company/Site/Division
  • Date (including e.g. Date, Year, Quarter, Week, Day, Relative Day/Week/Month/Year, Rolling Last 12 Months)

Other Dimensions can be added and each will have as many elements configured as required.

In this way, if a user would like to understand, for instance, what percentage of the current year purchasing originated in China, broken down by product group, or relative delivery performance of alternative suppliers, they can do so in a few clicks.

Example, common uses and “killer apps” of the Inventory and Supply Chain Analysis module within Matillion BI include:

  • Powerful, drill-down analysis of purchasing by supplier, manager, region/country and company/division/site
  • Analysis of supplier delivery and order completeness performance
  • Identification of rationalisation opportunities across supplier and product types or specific SKUs e.g. is the same product being purchased from different suppliers, or the same supplier being used by different parts of the organisation
  • Rationalisation of inventory holding to ensure sales supply but not excess stock based on historical and recent sales trends, current stock and incoming orders *when used in conjunction with the Sales Analysis module
  • Automatic, scheduled reporting to suppliers of stock positions, goods receipts and delivery performance

 

Financial Analysis

Matillion’s Financial Analysis delivers self-serve reporting and analysis functionality over ledgers and financial transactions.  Ledger balances, ledger entries, open items, payments, accounts, liquidity, balance sheets, P&L, cost centres/units and financial ratios are all delivered as part of the Finance Analysis module.

The Financial Analysis module is particularly useful where the business wish to perform analysis beyond what is typically performed by an accounting package or ERP finance module (e.g. drill-downs, trends, graphical analysis or ratios); where the business wishes to share self-serve reports, analysis functionality or data visualisation based on financial data with the business beyond the finance department; or where the ERP or packaged Finance reporting functionality is inflexible, insufficient or difficult to access.

It contains the following “Facts”:

  • Ledgers Entries
    • Journal entries onto accounts
  • Ledger Balances
    • Current and historical balances of ledger accounts
  • Open Items
    • Supplier and customer payments and credits, to be completed
  • Payments
    • Payments made and received, including status and overdue/dunning information
  • Cost Centre/Unit Balances and Entries
    • For use where Cost Accounting is used

Each “Fact” contains all the “Measures” or values you need to analyse that business activity.  So for Payment, you may have measures configured for: value, due date, payment date, overdue days and dunning block.  Again, any financial Measures may be expressed in multiple currencies.

You can have as many measures as needed for your requirements, add more at any time during your Matillion BI subscription (at no extra cost) and make use of Matilion’s ETL technology and business rules to perform calculations, such as the calculation of financial ratios (liquidity, inventory turnover etc).

Each “Fact” is accompanied by any Dimensions you may require to allow your users to drill-down, group, filter, slice and pivot through Financial Analysis data easily and powerfully.  Example Dimensions for the Finance Analysis module may include:

  • Product (including e.g. Product Code/SKU, Name/Description, Product Groups, Unit of Measure, Colour/Size/Material/Style, Category, Type, ABC Analysis)
  • Supplier (including e.g. Name, Code/Account Number, Group, Type, Status, Credit Limit)
  • Customer (including e.g. Name, Code/Account Number, Group, Sector, Status, Credit Limit, Type)
  • Account (including e.g. P&L or B/S, Asset/Liability/Variable Classification, Coding, Name/Description)
  • Company/Site/Division
  • Date (including e.g. Date, Year, Quarter, Week, Day, Relative Day/Week/Month/Year, Rolling Last 12 Months)

Other Dimensions can be added and each will have as many elements configured as required.

In this way, if a user would like to understand, for instance, how quickly retail multiple pay in the UK, current year against prior year, they can do so easily.

Example, common uses and “killer apps” of the Finance Analysis module within Matillion BI include:

  • Powerful drill-down analysis, self-serve reporting and data visualisation of financial transactions by company, customer, supplier, time period, type and account(s)
  • Analysis of customer and site/division/company payment performance, helping improve debtor days and free up cash
  • Monitoring and analysis of key financial ratios e.g. inventory turnover, debtor days, and liquidity, by product group or site/division/company

 

Production Analysis

The Production Analysis module with Matilion BI delivers functionality for manufacturers to analyse their production activities.  It includes concepts such as: Work orders, operational steps/processes/procedures, work cells/production lines/machines, labour, capacity, utilisation and wastage.

The Production analytics module contains the following “Facts”:

  • Works Orders
    • Requests to manufacture goods
  • Operations Steps/Procedures/Processes
    • Steps within the production of a works order
  • Capacity Calendar
    • Theoretical production capability based on working hours, days and throughput

Each “Fact” contains all the “Measures” or values you need to analyse that business activity.  So for Operation Step, you may have measures configured for: planned time, feedback time, planned labour, feedback labour, waste and status.

You can have as many measures as needed for your requirements, add more at any time during your Matillion BI subscription (at no extra cost) and make use of Matilion’s ETL technology and business rules to perform calculations.

Each “Fact” is accompanied by any Dimensions you may require to allow your users to drill-down, group, filter, slice and pivot through Production Analysis data easily and powerfully.  Example Dimensions for the Production Analysis module may include:

  • Product (including e.g. Product Code/SKU, Name/Description, Product Groups, Unit of Measure, Colour/Size/Material/Style, Category, Type, ABC Analysis)
  • Work Cell/Machine/Production Line
  • Company/Site/Division
  • Date (including e.g. Date, Year, Quarter, Week, Day, Relative Day/Week/Month/Year, Rolling Last 12 Months, fixed period e.g. 4-4-5)

Other Dimensions can be added and each will have as many elements configured as required.

In this way, if a user would like to understand, for instance, how much waste is produced by a certain machine on a particular shift and how this is improving over time, this is easy to achieve.

It is worth noting that Production Analysis works best when production lines, factories and machines are partially or fully equipped with data capture technologies – as BI can only report over data that is actually there.

 

Other Analysis Requirements

Matillion’s standard modules provide core, common and comprehensive analysis capabilities over the most common areas of analysis and self-serve reporting need.  That said, if you need analysis over a different area, that’s no problem.

Need self-serve reporting over HR and Payroll?  No problem.  Want to visualise Health and Safety data collated in one of your systems?  We can do that too.

Matillion will build, based on a fixed price model, any bespoke or custom facts to fit your requirements.  If you have a great idea for a new module, we’ll talk to you about developing it, either for your exclusive use or integration into our product line.

Using Modules and our innovative ‘Nexus’ platform (which we use to rapidly create and tailor your BI solution), Matillion is able to deliver comprehensive, easy to use, cloud-based business intelligence, self-service reporting and data visualisation fast and cost effectively – giving you access to the vital information you need to grow your business.

You can learn more about the key concepts of Matillion BI, such as: Reporting, Analysis, Report Scheduling/Scheduled Reports, Mobile Access, Microsoft Excel Integration and the Matillion Data Accelerator, in other blog posts in this series.