Engineering firm CDG, Inc., had relied on manual processes for storing its financial data and project information. To generate monthly reports for analysis, the firm was also manually downloading data to an Excel spreadsheet. These processes were errorprone and of limited use. CDG turned to IT consulting and development company New Era, which helped the firm modernize its data storage and project management and improve its reporting by implementing a Microsoft Azure SQL-driven approach, supplemented by the reporting capabilities of Power BI.
CDG provides engineering, consulting, and development services to public entities, private enterprises, and the petroleum industry. Data is key to its success, but the slow, manual data-entry processes it had been relying on left room for errors. CDG had been using the Deltek Vantagepoint solution for storing the firm’s data and using an OLAP cube to connect the data, but the cube alone wasn’t capable of storing historical data. In addition, the firm also found the overall usability of the data it needed for accurate reporting to be limited, and it couldn’t easily create data visualizations and surface actionable insights.
To act on its job-to-date (JTD) reporting with confidence, CDG needed greater accuracy and improved insights in reviewing its accounting data at the end of each month. As the firm’s data was stored in an additional database and OLAP cube, the data is now extracted using an MDX query from the cube to another database using a linked server. The steps to capture the historical and JTD accounting data are then entered in the stored procedure by combining MDX and Microsoft Azure SQL queries. The project uses SQL to gather multiple datasets to organize accounting cycle cashflows into a pipeline reporting dashboard and .pdf in Power BI.