Improving Financial Analysis with Power BI – Syros

We helped with

Azure Synapse
Power BI

Syros is a leading company specializing in avocados and guacamole. They deliver high-quality products to the food service, food industry, and retail. With a strong presence in both private enterprises and branded products in European supermarkets, Syros also offers meal boxes and meets the needs of various restaurant chains. Syros’ range is focused on highlighting the healthy and nutritious benefits of avocados, with guacamole as their main product.

The briefing

During the discussions with Syros, it quickly became apparent that there was a need for an automated financial report. After our first meeting, we promptly delved into action and presented several proposals, which served as the foundation for our subsequent work.

Our solution

Our solution consists of two essential parts, the first of which focuses on “data engineering”.

Within the domain of data engineering, the initial focus was on bringing in data. We chose Azure Synapse Analytics as a solution to extract tables from Business Central using the REST API protocol. In addition, this solution was used to transfer the JSON files from the source to the destination. An additional functionality of Azure Synapse Analytics was utilized to create a manual process, activated via the Power BI play button, resulting in an end-to-end operation of pipelines with a renewed Power BI report as the outcome. The developed pipeline can be called by using the Microsoft Power Automate flow, integrated into the PowerBI report.

The pipeline itself comprises four consecutive activities, starting with calling the source (1) and calling the destination (2). Subsequently, the Power BI pbix dataset is refreshed (3), and finally, an email is sent to the end user to confirm successful execution, with a Azure Logic App being deployed for this purpose (4).

In addition to bringing in data, there was also a need to find a solution for adjusting the mapping. The project group chose to manage master data of the financial dimension codes within Airtables. Airtables serve as tables that can be adjusted/filled in as a spreadsheet and can be unlocked as databases in the background using APIs. This offers the advantage of being able to dynamically deal with the reporting hierarchy based on tables in Airtables. These Airtables are directly addressed in Power BI via APIs and show the updated reporting hierarchy after a refresh in Power BI.

Finally, several tabs were created to obtain the right financial insights. In addition to well-known overviews such as the P&L and the balance sheet, these tabs provide a structured view of the cash flow and bring deeper insights into revenue. Budgets are integrated into the report, and a forecast can be made based on a forecast.

In close collaboration between Cloubis and Syros, the definitions were first made clear, approved, and widely communicated. This ensures that a single source of data is recognized within the organization, without room for differences in interpretation. In addition to clarifying the definitions, we also gained deeper insights that were previously out of reach. This now enables Syros to keep track of their financial data effectively and respond to it.

To ensure good coordination and exchange valuable insights, weekly meetings were held with the client.

The result 

Thanks to this solution, Syros can:

  • Quickly respond to financial changes..
  • Use dashboards in which the key figures and insights are correctly displayed.
  • Make comparisons with their budget.
  • Make future predictions based on the forecast.

The collaboration with Cloubis has helped Syros take further steps towards a more mature data environment. All data-related issues are addressed in a uniform and integrated manner, allowing for continuous value creation.

In this way, Syros and Cloubis work together to promote a data culture.

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