US division of Forbo Flooring has been using Cognos software for a very long time. Unfortunately the implementation did not keep up with the latest software versions as well as design trends to effectively model business data.  As a result the system has become hard to manage, error-prone and inflexible in terms of providing new data driven insights.

Some of the main challenges and short-comings:

  • Reporting based on Impromptu and Impromptu Web Reports – outdated software
  • Report formatting was very simple and very hard to change – not user friendly
  • Data issues were hard to discover and even harder to fix – user distrust
  • Extensive use of scripts and macros to deliver data and reports – complex maintenance
  • Database based on .TXT extracts and combined into multitude of views – data redundancy

The vision and plan to execute it...

Forbo learned about BII Consulting experience and asked them to help manage the system. After few months of managing the existing solution and understanding the struggles and needs of business users – a vision of new solution started to formulate.

BII Consulting presented the solution to Forbo management and IT department and won their approval. The scope of the project included:

  • Completely rebuilding reporting database using Kimball Methodology of Star Schemas
  • Simplifying business rules whenever possible and consolidating these rules to single point of maintenance
  • Discovering and eliminating existing data issues
  • Deploying highly flexible and self-serving BI with Cognos 8.4 which offers wide variety of tools and analytical functionality
  • Delivering original and new content in sophisticated user friendly environment
  • Providing training to end users and IT as well as on-going support
The project proved challenging because of the complexity and dependencies among the variety of views used to provide very specific reporting. In order to provide one common view of the data we had to summarize all business rules, analyze them and rewrite them to satisfy all reporting options. We knew that this is the key to a successful completion of the project and proper foundation for future development.
— Ladislav Onhajzer, Lead Architect, BII Consulting

Delivering on the promise and setting the stage for future development...

The project was successfully delivered and reports are distributed to sales people on daily basis. Regional Managers, senior management and analysts are able to pick from a number of self-serving studios and perform data analysis and reporting not available before.

BII created custom training materials on Cognos Connection, Query Studio, Analysis Studio and also produced detailed documents for new report authoring and overall system support and maintenance to guarantee customer self-sufficiency post production.

Forbo now has a BI platform on which it can build as their business grows and changes with their success.

Our IBM Cognos environment has been transformed. Not only has our performance improved and the data integrity increased significantly, which were key drivers for the project, but we can sustain our environment. We own it – finally.
— Erica Nash, SAP/Cognos Support Manager, Forbo Flooring NA