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Decision Inc. delivers rich self-service data visualisation tool to Nimble Group

Decision Inc., a management and technology consulting organisation, has implemented a dynamic data aggregation solution for Nimble, transforming its reporting, formatting and data visualisation capabilities.

The implementation utilises the simple and seamless tools built into the Qlik Sense platform and is tailored to suit the specific requirements of the client organisation. As a result, the Nimble Group now has a powerful tool that delivers the enhanced levels of insight, with a low barrier to entry and impressive functionality.

The Nimble Group is a leader in the debt recovery industry with more than 30 years of experience and branches in South Africa, Botswana, Kenya and Namibia. The business provides a number of services across advisory, asset management and outsourcing and has been growing exponentially over the past few years. As a result of this growth, the reporting and information sharing procedures have demanded a revamp to improve effectiveness and efficiency.

“Every morning, since the company started, we have taken a snapshot of the denormalised view of each account in the database. This snapshot includes elements such as balances, outstanding interest, fees and payments, and it reveals a map of activity over the past 12 months,” explains Mari Gaertner, Chief Information Officer of Nimble. “This information is essential to supporting decision making and providing insight into business processes and areas of concern. However, the business and number of accounts to manage have grown significantly over the past few years and performing the calculations and presenting all of these accounts in a spreadsheet format became arduous, lengthy and impossible.”

As the number of accounts increased and the complexity grew, the company needed a solution that would allow people to look at the information they needed, without the delays and inevitable software failures.

andrew2016-small“The client has an impressive database with large volumes of records going through every day,” says Andrew Espin, General Manager: Cape Region, Decision Inc. “Nimble was using another reporting tool to write multiple variations of the data in different formats for different people and they needed to aggregate the data to suit the format of these reports. There was no way for users to go to a lower level of detail or to really drill down into the finer details of the data. They needed something efficient and quick.”

At first, the Nimble Group investigated a number of self-service tools before finally opting for the Qlik Sense solution.

“Decision Inc. showed us how easily our reporting and data aggregation would work using Qlik Sense – it was the first time I have met anyone who has so much passion for a product. They really believed in what Qlik Sense could do and went beyond what was required to show us its potential.” says Gaertner.

“Decision Inc. introduced us to one of their existing clients so we could see their ideas in action. That client highly recommended Qlik Sense as the best of the five prototypes – this saved us a huge amount of time as we didn’t have to go through the whole elimination process ourselves,” says Gaertner.

While the implementation may still be relatively new for Nimble, its impact has been significant. The client has already experienced time savings, improvements in productivity and reliability, and greater insight into the company’s performance.

“We used to generate these reports at head office and then transfer files to each and every SQL server in our various branches,” says Gaertner. “These would be manually distributed to Kenya, Johannesburg, Gaborone and Windhoek every day. Now all we have to do to make the information available to our users is to set up bookmarks. They can go onto the bookmark with the filters required and retrieve the information automatically on the other side.”

Espin adds: “Qlik Sense allows them to access 400 million rows of data, using this self-service data visualisation tool to drill down into the data on individual layers, on a daily basis. And at speed.”

The tool is extremely easy to use a fact which is emphasised by both Nimble and Decision Inc.

“It took just one day for a user to get their head around using the tool,” says Gaertner. “One of our staff started working with Qlik Sense in the morning and by the afternoon she had set up her bookmarks and was teaching other people. It has been an incredibly easy transition.”

Nimble held their annual management conference in Franschoek where Qlik Sense was presented to attendees. For the first time management was able to see operational analysis data in real time which left all attendees impressed and eager to make use of Qlik Sense.

“Our Chief Operations Executives are now able to incorporate live data into presentations, this being a first for the Nimble Group,” says Gaertner. “The integration process has been set into motion across the business and with ongoing training we aim to increase the number of users and ultimately have the option of presenting data to our clients as well.”

Nimble found that their relationship with Decision Inc. made the entire process a pleasant and engaging one. Gaertner is quick to add that Decision Inc. didn’t push them to throw out old systems or spend more money than needed, instead they focused on where the strengths were, helped with training and showed them how to get the most out of their existing systems and software.

“They weren’t just there to sell us a product, they believed in what they were doing and in ensuring that the solution they installed for us was right for our business,” concludes Gaertner.