Azure Data Platform – Enabel

Cloubis hielp met

Azure Experience
Data Architecture
Business Intelligence
Power BI
DataOps

Enabel is the Belgian development agency of the Belgian federal government. They implement the governmental cooperation of the Belgian government in its 14 partner countries.

Furthermore, Enabel contributes to sustainable development in the least developed countries, mainly Africa. Some examples are climate change & environment, mobility, peace & security, social & economic inequality. 

Depending on the project, Enabel is active in different sectors. Projects can focus on digitalization, energy, gender, health, agriculture, education, etc.

The briefing

Enabel would like to gather insights about data that resides in different systems. In the initial solution, there were frequent problems with: 

  • Daily refresh
  • Contaminated data model 
  • Comply with the proper reporting requirements 

We noticed that the limits of the initial set-up of reporting were reached: structure was missing, refresh was unreliable, transformations were difficult to maintain and not all reporting needs were met.

We, from Cloubis, developed and proposed a plan that fit within Enabel’s data architecture and needs. Our goal: to set up a state-of-the-art data platform (incl. data model) on which reporting can be done easily and efficiently from different perspectives of the organization.

This resulted in our targets:

  • Single version of the truth
  • Self-service BI

Our solution

Cloubis provided an efficient and scalable data platform in the cloud (Azure native). We extracted the data from the different systems on a daily basis, transformed it and provided it in an appropriate data model (Kimball). In addition, we helped Enabel to set up their reporting needs and provide governance in terms of reporting.

On a weekly basis we discuss the status and determine the priorities together with the customer. We follow up on these in Azure DevOps. In tandem (teams of 2), we translate the business needs into concrete actions and each consultant focuses on a different area:

  • Data engineer: focus on ETL and data warehousing
  • BI consultant: provide structure and set up proper reporting in consultation with the business side of Enabel.

Since we now connect directly to the data sources as much as possible, we can bring in data faster and more efficiently. In addition, we built the data model to meet current reporting needs and to be scalable into the future.

During the project we used the following Microsoft technologies:

  • Azure Data Factory: daily data load data
  • Azure Data Lake Storage: staging low 
  • Azure SQL Database: data warehouse solution
  • Azure DevOps: visionizing and release management
  • Power BI: reporting & monitoring
  • SharePoint: central portal to make all reports available
Enabel_Azure_Data_Platform

The result

By creating the above architecture for Enabel, we were able to:

  • Getting the relevant business users to focus on analysis resulting in better insights
  • Set up a central SharePoint portal in which business users can navigate to all daily-loaded, user-friendly, relevant reports.

Cloubis succeeded, by implementing self-service BI, in making Enabel more data-driven as more end-users use the central data platform.

Upon completion of the project, we can say that there is an impact in terms of:

  • Scalability: no limits in terms of transformations and additions of data.
  • Organization: all data can be found in an ideal format in a central solution
  • Centralization: central portal to which business users can navigate to find the right data and filter it dynamically on the relevant parameters. Business users can make a request via the portal if certain data does not meet their needs or if certain data needs to be added.

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