A solid foundation for analytics, reporting and AI was constructed in the cloud
Voimatel previously had a reporting solution in use. However, it was approaching the end of its useful lifespan, and the system did not contain certain solutions, such as a data warehouse. ICT Development Manager Arto Nyyssönen explains that a clear need for new reporting functionalities, such as solutions for the management of finances and job orders, was beginning to appear on the business side.
Voimatel also wanted to develop opportunities to leverage data analytics, AI and IoT solutions. The company wanted to create a data platform that would allow for the utilisation of new technologies and the development of new business activities. The third goal was to have the partner take a larger role than before in the further development of the system.
Nyyssönen explains that the solution offered by Digia stood out among the other offers. In addition to immediate concerns, it also looked to the future and took business development needs into account.
Voimatel and Digia had collaborated in the past to develop of a mobile application and integrations.
“We already had the view that working with Digia is easy, you can trust what they tell you and things will progress smoothly,” Nyyssönen says.
The project was launched in March 2020 and progressed quickly.
“Digia had described the project accurately. Its contents did not expand significantly, and, right from the start, there was a clear vision of what the project entailed. Because of this, it was completed within the agreed specifications,” Nyyssönen says.
The construction of a modern and cloud-based data platform for Voimatel was commenced, which would utilise Microsoft Azure cloud technology and the innovative Snowflake data warehouse.
The data platform was constructed in layers. Raw data is first collected in its data warehouse from internal and external sources. The data is then edited in a controlled way in the different layers of the system. This creates a good basis for reporting and processes such as data analytics. Once the data has been effectively modelled, it is significantly easier to combine and process than data compiled from isolated sources.
The data platform has been designed so as to allow it to be used in very different applications with varying technical requirements. Solutions can also utilise the ever-increasing toolsets of Azure and Snowflake in order to, for example, make use of AI. Flexibility that allows for the efficient processing of large amounts of data has also been built into the data platform. Nyyssönen comments that Voimatel has even received praise for the modern implementation of the data platform from external sources.
Reporting utilises Microsoft’s Power BI solutions. Additionally, the modern K4 Analytics solution is used to enter data, which improves the efficiency of business and financial management and the maintenance of Voimatel’s project portfolio.
“The solutions increase the visibility of our business activities and their forecasting and make budgeting easier,” Nyyssönen says. K4 Analytics makes the process of entering data systematic and contains features such as a useful history view that displays changes to financial information and forecasts.
The system also utilises modern IaaC (Infrastructure as a Code) technology. For example, thanks to IaaC, test and development environments can be transferred to production with just a few clicks. Nyyssönen explains that this sort of DevOps thinking significantly eases the deployment of development subjects and reduces errors.
The first part of the project was completed in autumn 2020.
“We stayed on schedule, and the project progressed smoothly in general. The project plan was well thought out, and we were able to work through it without any major problems. The collaboration went swimmingly,” Nyyssönen says with satisfaction.