Automatic financial reporting via Alteryx – DELA

We helped with

Data Governance

DELA stands for “Draagt Elkanders Lasten” (Supporting Each Other’s Burdens) and is part of a cooperative. DELA specializes in everything related to farewells, providing comfort to individuals before, during, and after a funeral. While DELA is primarily recognized as a funeral insurer, it also operates 65 highly qualified funeral centers at over 120 locations in Belgium, 3 crematoriums, and a repatriation center at Zaventem Airport. Additionally, 26 bereavement care consultants are available daily to assist grieving families with practical and administrative matters following the funeral.

The briefing

The finance department of DELA has called on Cloubis to assist them with their monthly reporting:

  • DELA creates reports in Excel with data extracted from their systems. Various manipulations are performed on this data, and then the processed data is uploaded to the accounting system and reported on. 
  • Excel is also used for analyzing reserves. The data is kept in master files where, occasionally, analyses are performed using filters to extract additional insights. Since this is a time-consuming process, outliers or exceptions are not always quickly detected.

The current processes of DELA require many manual actions and are therefore time-consuming and sometimes unclear. Errors can always creep into their own calculations and formulas since these are manually created. It is then difficult to trace which steps were taken during the processing of the data, i.e. there is no clear ‘data lineage’.

Our solution

The financial department of DELA consists of controllers and financial experts, but they have limited knowledge of data processing and data transformations. Because the team needed a solution in which they can work autonomously without having to follow a weeks-long training course, it is important not to implement a too technical data tool. This is how we came to Alteryx. Alteryx is a user-friendly tool with drag-and-drop capabilities and Excel-like formulas that is accessible to a wide audience and predominantly has a short learning curve.

With Alteryx, the financial department of DELA gets a clear (visual) overview of all the steps taken and these can be traced one by one. Exception reports have also been built in so that the department receives a notification when something is not going as it should and this can be quickly resolved.

Whereas previously, manipulations had to be performed in different Excel files because there was too much data for one file, all information can now be uploaded together in Alteryx. Here, one gets an overview of all financial data and this can be edited, manipulated, and analyzed in various ways. Moreover, it is faster to upload data and perform analyses in Alteryx than in Excel.

The result

Before the solution with Alteryx was implemented, the controllers had to work for several days to build complex reports in Excel. Now this is solved in a few seconds with the push of a button since the entire flow is now robustly built. This gives them a clearer picture of the ‘data lineage’ and also gives them the opportunity to go even further in their analyses with better decision-making and advice as a result.

The overview of the data, reports, and insights is much clearer and faster since DELA started using Alteryx. In addition, various stakeholders within the company now have access to the data and no longer have to understand the logic behind the self-made Excel filters to interpret the data. This system is ultimately more performant and scalable than working in different Excel files.

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