Foresight Group

Business Intelligence

Foresight Group

Foresight Group

Foresight Group are a leading, independent infrastructure and private equity investment manager with a global presence.

Technologies Used:

Services Used:

Foresight Group are a leading, independent infrastructure and private equity investment manager. They are owned by their partners who have combined investment experience of over 200 years across a wide variety of sectors. Their reputation has been built through a history of strong performance and has since evolved to encompass private equity and infrastructure investments in the UK, USA, Southern Europe and Australia.

It’s All in the Numbers!

As a prominent financial institution, it was essential that Foresight have live reporting so they could provide their senior stakeholders and investors with clear and transparent information. With Tableau already installed, Foresight originally approached InterWorks to support them in building a Tableau web connector to access data from Xero software – a cloud-based accounting platform. Xero does not currently have a native connector for Tableau, so the work was completely customised.

Having analysed their data repository, we also assisted Foresight in building a MySQL, cloud-hosted version of this connector to help them connect to and manipulate multiple tables. These tables were produced in a manageable format that Tableau could digest. From there, they could easily create and connect to views that gave them much clearer visibility of key KPI’s and see how these compared to expected figures.

Tableau at Work

Moving away from traditional Excel reporting and using an intuitive, resilient and user-friendly platform such as Tableau has already empowered Foresight to understand their data with greater clarity and provided them with speed to insight.

“Tableau has enabled us to bring together several discrete data sources and present this data in a seamless and understandable format to stakeholders around the business.”

-Danielle Strothers, Infrastructure Portfolio Associate at Foresight Group

Steps to Success

  • Utilize Tableau over Excel
  • Begin comparing expected values to actual values
  • Focus on best practices with help from InterWorks

Digging deeper, Foresight wanted to compare the expected values to their actual values and used Tableau to do so. With the new data repository in place and an API built for Xero, the data was readily available for Tableau’s intuitive upload.

InterWorks supported this work by building queries that connect to the database. These were custom SQL queries as the data was not in the optimal structure. To aid adoption, InterWorks consultants spent time on-site with Foresight advising and tweaking some of their dashboards in line with best practices. This is an on-going process that is guided by Foresight’s in-house centre of excellence along with InterWorks consultants.

The Value of Teamwork

When Foresight were reviewing Tableau partners, it was important to know that they could call on them for support and knowledge share with little notice. A key example is Foresight utilising our InterWorks Assist service – ad hoc support available to all customers through an online booking system. This has ensured that they have not been halted by any hurdle and that they have a sounding board for advice and support.

“InterWorks’ support is essential as we continue to meet the ever-growing list of reporting requirements across the business. Stakeholder requests are becoming more and more complex, so InterWorks’ support allows us to satisfy these whilst also building our own Tableau skills. These points will then also mean that we’re constantly building our own knowledge and getting more and more value from the product every day.”

-Danielle Strothers, Infrastructure Portfolio Associate at Foresight Group

Foresight have big plans for the future as they review their software integrations and build new reports to meet the demands of stakeholders who have recognised the power of intuitive data. The group has expanded rapidly since InterWorks first started working with them and have replaced Xero with Microsoft Dynamics NAV – a more scalable software package with a native connector for Tableau. Automation is next on their agenda, and InterWorks will be there to support them every insight at a time.

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