Patrick Putman started as a CIO at DP World Antwerp three years ago. He was surprised that the company was using three different BI technologies at the time. With only one person responsible for the whole BI environment, it was impossible to have in-depth technical knowledge of all platforms. One platform was responsible for generating textual reports to external actors. The second tool was used to provide internal staff with their figures. In addition, they used the Qlik platform for visual reporting in the form of dashboards.
Mr. Putman soon saw the need to drastically simplify the BI landscape at DP World Antwerp and to consolidate it into one technology. A request for quotation was sent to the three partners who were already cooperating with DPWA at that time. After a written proposal, the vendors were given the opportunity to present their technology as a complete solution for all forms of reporting needed at DP World Antwerp. Functionalities and capacities were extensively studied and weighed.
Building such a data warehouse would take a year. That meant a year of investments without any form of return from their data at that time.
An important selection criterion turned out to be the combination of static and analytical reporting within one platform. One of the vendors could not meet this requirement and had to leave the competition. The second vendor was excluded because he was dependent on a data warehouse. Building such a data warehouse would take a year. That meant a year of investments without any form of return from their data at that time. For the CIO this was a no-go in these times of Agile BI.
In the end, the Qlik platform proved to be the most suitable choice for DP World Antwerp:
- static and dynamic reporting combined within a single platform
- reporting environment can be built without a data warehouse
- adding additional data to existing reports while retaining existing relationships without any adjustment
- faster development than competing technologies due to mentioned reasons
Next to the choice of technology, there was still the choice of a reliable implementation partner. Qlik Competence Center At Once turned out to meet DPWA’s expectations the most. The vision of the implementation process of operations manager Neil Vets appealed to them the most. The close follow-up during the selection process and a strong interest in the business and BI challenges within DP World Antwerp have certainly contributed to this.
Mr. Putman soon saw the need to drastically simplify the BI landscape at DP World Antwerp and to consolidate it into one technology.
At Once proved to be the right choice: qualitative deliveries during migration and implementation of projects. The right consultant was always deployed at the right time. Continuous communication with all stakeholders involved in the various projects was indispensable. Thinking together with the customer, applying their own ideas and encouraging users to make proposals themselves. All this aims to automate and facilitate daily operations. Besides that, the BI environment makes it possible to outline insights in the longer term as well.
Today the IT department of DP World Antwerp is still developing new Qlik reporting with the support of At Once consultants. The end users are employees of various departments: Finance, HR, Operations, Sales, CEO’s Office, etc. By providing users with all relevant selection criteria, they can create personalized overviews that provide answers to their specific questions. External stakeholders are also served to their liking. With the help of Qlik they can follow the movements of their shipments and containers almost in real time.
Nowadays DP World Antwerp has a view of what happened, why it happened and what is happening at the moment. The objective for the future is to be able to better predict what will happen. Simulating exact consequences of specific measures, initiatives or events must help them.
This is not yet our final destination, says the CIO. As a Data Believer, he sees a wealth of possibilities to obtain even more value from their data. He thinks aloud:
- correlate data that has nothing to do with each other at first glance
- adding Big Data and IoT sources to expose new insights
- linking data generated by PLCs
In short, at DP World Antwerp many valuable things have already been achieved in collaboration with At Once. Many challenges will undoubtedly follow in the future.