21/09/10

By Robert Gothan, CEO, Accountagility Ltd

Accountagility’s research highlighted the need for a serious rethink of how data is processed at the sharp end and led to the development of new software.

Experience shows that data users, in many organisations and industry sectors are facing a number of key challenges:

• Process performance problems

• Limited report-based data availability

• Unwieldy and unstable spreadsheets

• Processes can not be delegated effectively

• Long and complex project-based process formalisation

Robert Gothan says “My experience of data crunching and reporting activities is that they cause a great deal of frustration at the coal-face. Historically, data processing systems do not report and reporting systems do not process data, causing process management problems wherever the two interface. We developed ORYX to offer an agile alternative to endless spreadsheet-based data processing and reporting. We are providing the end user with the facility to combine data manipulation and reporting in a single, robust and intuitive environment

Whist working alongside operational departments and with data users over a long period we have experienced first-hand the frustration that often results from the lack of data availability, suitable processing tools and also the customer service gap that exists between technology suppliers and business-facing users.”

There is significant evidence to suggest that spreadsheet-based processing has reached its natural limits. At the same time attempts to provide technology-based solutions, especially at enterprise level, are repeatedly failing. Accountagility has spent a number of years researching the painful experience of process failures, project delivery issues and general dissatisfaction with the imposed solutions.

Our research has shown that the ideal requirements identified, time and time again, by organisations and users are:-

• Guaranteed out of box performance

• Data processing and reporting in one environment

• Self-service and on-demand data processing

• Agile processes that meet changing requirements

• Desktop OLAP for complex analysis

• Separation of design and execution activities

• Process delegation via properly controlled publishing

• Process with built-in data validation

• Intuitive data tools, rather than endless reports

• Rapid and agile development rather than constant re-invention

As a result we developed our ORYX solution which is proving to be a winner, particularly with end users. ORYX is a powerful, intuitive Windows based suite of data processing and reporting tools that automate information processes rapidly, reliably and intelligently. Users are provided with powerful data and extraction tools without the need to develop endless reports. This means information requests within a business can be satisfied promptly even in the most demanding of environments. The delivery path is shortened and full process automation is provided on demand. Complex spreadsheet reporting and overnight data processes are transformed into single click on demand operations.

Further information about ORYX is available via contact@accountagility.com but the key features include

• A powerful intuitive working environment

• A suite of 45+ tools. Processes are assembled by combining tools into logical units.

• Highly stable and robust even under intense data pressure

• Comprehensive logging system to ensure that errors can be easily tracked and resolved

• Processes run on-demand and are easily parameterised

• Studio (design) and Reader only versions cater for different users

• System is multi-threaded so that multiple processes can be run or monitored simultaneously

• Processes can use data from multiple data sources without complex configuration

• OLAP on the desktop delivers true end to end data analysis and reporting

• Via scripting, highly customised tasks can be accomplished easily

• Offline data processing is available via the built in database tool

• Instant data pivot directly from source data

Most business functions will benefit from ORYX to meet the challenges created by exponentially increasing data volumes and both internal and external information requirements. ORYX technology, together with Accountagility expertise and support is adding considerable value to business intelligence activities. Clients report that they are enjoying greater operational stability, more successful project delivery, increased employee satisfaction and of course that outstanding return on investment.

Robert Gothan is a Chartered Accountant who has worked with major organisations as a consultant bridging the gap between Finance and IT functions. After repeatedly experiencing the challenges highlighted in this article he established Accountagility Limited and leads a highly experienced team of professionals that provide innovative solutions for a growing client portfolio across multiple sectors.

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