Transforming Data Reporting and Analytics With a BI Tool

By September 24, 2020No Comments

Qlik Sense has made one treasury risk manager’s team more efficient and nimble.

A financial risk manager at a manufacturer with a decentralized global treasury told peers at a recent NeuGroup meeting that the self-service BI analytics platform Qlik Sense has transformed the company’s data reporting and analysis.

  • A comprehensive report that used to take the member’s team several days to prepare can now be done in a matter of hours with Qlik Sense.
  • “[The data] impacts recommendations to leadership for currencies and commodities,” the member said. “The on-the-fly app creation can lead to on-the-fly analysis.”

More efficient. “We became a lot more efficient,” she said. “This has made us a lot more nimble and provided additional value to the organization as well.”

  • The BI tool has made the difficult task of melding data from different regions for reporting far less cumbersome, in part by transforming data from the company’s multiple treasury management systems (TMSs) into a format that’s easy to use.
  • “It helps us organize, show rankings, visualize and pull basically any analytics,” the member said.
  • That’s especially important because the manager’s team is being asked to do more analysis and management reporting, including knowing the drivers of FX exposures down to specific product models and volumes.

How it works: inputs. In broad terms, Qlik Sense takes data inputs from a variety of sources and allows the company to analyze and output the data in a multitude of reports. The inputs include:

  • FXall
  • The company’s TMS
  • Exposure templates
  • Essbase (product volume data)
  • SAP

How it works: outputs. Once the data has been processed by Qlik Sense, the risk manager can “slice and dice” information using multiple parameters and filters to produce reports and dashboards showing:

  • Exposure analysis. Qlik Sense allows the team to monitor monthly product volume forecasts to identify potential exposure changes between collection periods, a feature the member called extremely useful.
    • Filters include countries of production, and dashboard pages show the country of sale.
  • Hedge position on a forward, 12-month, forward basis. Dashboards can be exported for management presentations.
  • Counterparty performance.
  • Share of wallet.
  • Volume analysis.
  • Cash flow at risk (CFaR)—period to period analysis, including which currencies and commodities contributed the most to CFaR.
  • SOX control performance.

Learning curve. The risk manager taking advantage of Qlik Sense has a technical background which has made learning and using the tool relatively easier than for some members of treasury who find it intimidating. A small subset of people within treasury use Qlik Sense, the member said.

  • This underscores the need for companies to provide appropriate training to employees who have a range of technical skills.
    • Treasury professionals will in all likelihood need to learn how to use self-service BI analytic tools to stay relevant as more finance teams are asked to do more work with fewer resources.
  • The risk manager is trying to learn more about other BI tools, including those used by many NeuGroup members: Power BI and Tableau.
  • Another member whose treasury team will be using Alteryx, said everyone the company is hiring seems to have a deep knowledge of Python, a programming language.
  • The member using Qlik Sense said she is teaching herself to use Python to keep up, saying, “I don’t think you’re going to get out of Python.”
Justin Jones

Author Justin Jones

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