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4 min read

From PDF reports to a data warehouse containing up-to-date information

As a knowledge and service center for employment matters, CAOP supports over 200 clients, from the Dutch government and commercial companies, to organizations in the education and health sectors. With TimeXtender and Qlik Sense, E-mergo has ensured their financial information is available anytime and anywhere, and visually accessible.

CAOP both advises organisations and carries out research in the areas of employment terms & conditions and employee relations. If that sounds like a broad remit, it is. For example, the organisation trains employee participation councils, but also provides commissioners and secretarial support to new committees. CAOP also recently helped facilitate a committee that is investigating the consequences of the Dutch childcare allowance scandal (kinderopvangtoeslagaffaire).

“Previously, reports here were often shared in PDF format,” explains CAOP IT Manager, Henk Bouwman. “PDFs you prepare as a one-off exercise, which means the figures are in principle already outdated the following day. When I started working here in February 2020, the subject of information provision quickly came up which is when I explained the principles and advantages of a data warehouse to the management team.”

 

From paper to screen

Management was enthusiastic and Henk was given three months to develop a proof-of-concept, for which he brought in E-mergo. “I knew E-mergo from a previous job. Their consultants were able to quickly identify the needs in terms of information provision within CAOP’s various departments. Put simply, we wanted to go from static to visual and interactive. This makes the information current, more visual, and thus accessible and available anytime and anyplace. For example, you will be able to uncover a trend faster when looking at a chart than a list of numbers.”

“Through the proof-of-concept, we got a good idea of the KPIs that needed to be included in the dashboard,” says E-mergo consultant, Jordy Zodenkamp. “In terms of data, it was mainly about timesheets. Initially, we focused on providing insight into the hours and turnover booked per employee in the education sector. All the business logic from the Excel files that were previously used were converted to the TimeXtender data management platform. The resulting dataset can be reloaded into the Qlik Sense business intelligence tool. One of the benefits of a platform like TimeXtender is that all data processing occurs in one location, rather than in separate files. Additionally, with TimeXtender you can connect multiple systems and data in an automated way.”

 

“I knew E-mergo from a previous job. Their consultants were able to quickly identify the needs in terms of information provision within CAOP’s various departments. Put simply, we wanted to go from static to visual and interactive. This makes the information current, more visual and thus accessible and available anytime and anyplace. For example, you will be able to uncover a trend faster when looking at a chart than a list of numbers.”

Henk Bouwman, IT Manager

 

Data extraction

“Extracting the available data was the biggest challenge,” according to Henk. “We use Exact for accounting, but use a different application for time registration. These had to be linked in TimeXtender in such a way that we can see precisely how many hours we should be invoicing for a particular project. Initially, we limited ourselves to financial dashboards, involving the appropriate people from the finance department. That focus ensured rapid success. And it helped, of course, that E-mergo had done this sort of implementation before. Management can now monitor trends in terms of costs and returns on a daily basis.”

 

One central location

“After the start-up phase, we helped with the technical set-up,” says Jordy. “But very quickly CAOP could set up and arrange the dashboards in Qlik Sense by themselves. That’s the beauty of both systems: they’re user-friendly. Which means data is organized much better and in one central location, meaning you don’t see multiple (conflicting) truths appearing. A second advantage is that CAOP no longer has to build complex Excel files, where errors quickly creep in. The use of a data management platform like TimeXtender thus increases the quality and integrity of your data. What’s more, data models in TimeXtender can also be easily reused, so that CAOP don’t have to rebuild the business logic every time, as they had to do with the various Excel files, which in turn means the required information is available more quickly.”

 

Looking to the future

Following the successful proof-of-concept in 2020, CAOP started the implementation of financial dashboards for all departments in a few phases. “More and more team leaders were given access to Qlik Sense” explains Henk. “By the summer of 2021, the financial dashboards were fully operational across CAOP and senior management was provided with an overview of the whole picture. Phase 1 is now complete. Phase 2 involves expanding the current dashboards and adding new ones for other areas, such as Communications, Marketing and Sales.”  

 

Solution overview

Company name CAOP

Industry Other

Challenges

  • Reports were often shared in PDF format. PDFs you prepare as a one-off exercise, which means the figures are in principle already outdated the following day.
  • They wanted to go from static to visual and interactive.
  • Extracting the available data.
Solution
  • Data management platform TimeXtender.
  • Qlik Sense dashboards. 

Benefits

  • Both TimeXtender and Qlik Sense are user-friendly.
  • Data is organized much better and in one central location, meaning you don’t see multiple (conflicting) truths appearing.
  • CAOP no longer has to build complex Excel files.
  • TimeXtender increases the quality and integrity of your data.
  • Data models in TimeXtender can be easily reused.

About E-mergo

The name E-mergo is derived from the Latin proverb ‘Luctor et emergo’ (I struggle and emerge). In Zeeland this signifies winning the battle against water. Obviously, we do not battle water, but we do make sure that companies keep their heads above water in the growing stream of data. Working from the motto ‘Manage your data, innovate your business’ we help you to get the most out of your data.

We do this using software from Qlik, Microsoft, Mendix and TimeXtender, for which we provide software, training, consultancy and support. Together we will help your company to create new business models and to reduce costs.

www.e-mergo.nl