Business Problem


Our customer for this chapter is a mid-sized professional services company, with several hundred consultants who work on projects at various large corporate clients. Most of the work they do is on a time and materials basis, with every consultant keeping careful track of the hours he or she has spent working on a project and submitting detailed weekly timesheets.

Problem Statement

The customer's timesheet system was developed in-house several years ago, and the primary issue with the system is that it has no flexible reporting features. To work around this problem, they have developed some ad-hoc solutions to connect to the application's database and query the information. The business operations team is using several complex Excel spreadsheets that run queries against the database and supplements this information with manually captured information such as forecasts. Some of the project managers have also built queries to manage the hours that consultants are billing against their largest projects.

This has led to the following problems:

  • Lack of project information is leading to customer dissatisfaction. Because project managers don't have a clear indication of how many hours consultants are billing until the invoice is ready to submit to the client, in many cases projects have been over budget because the project has not been closely managed.

  • With no standardized key business metrics and consistent categories, different teams are unable to agree on the current state. (Every meeting starts with the question "Where did you get that number from?.")

  • The custom-built solutions need a lot of manual care and feeding especially around month ends, and this is mostly a burden on administrative staff that should be focusing on things such as sending out the bills on time.



Practical Business Intelligence with SQL Server 2005
Practical Business Intelligence with SQL Server 2005
ISBN: 0321356985
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2007
Pages: 132

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