Blueline Telecom Revs From Monthly to Daily Insights

Executive Summary

Since 1998, Blueline has provided TV and internet services in Madagascar, recently adding mobile services. For internal reporting purposes, the company ran different homegrown systems within each department, providing inconsistent answers to the same question and creating interdepartmental friction.

Nacer Adamou-Saidou, Director of Information Systems, realized that they needed a BI tool that could help them get a handle on their data downfalls. Using Sisense, the Information Systems Department was able to create a single version of the truth and move from monthly reporting into daily insights.

Challenge: Connecting Disparate and Disagreeing Data

Blueline’s biggest problem was figuring out which budget allocations were connected to which sources of revenue.

That’s because a single marketing campaign could bundle together various lines of business. For example, a TV promotion might include two months of higher speed internet for free, meaning that resources were used up in one department, while revenue flowed into a different department.

On top of this, there were many sub-products within divisions, including premium TV channels, channel packages, and staggered internet tiers. It was extremely hard to get a clear picture of the bottom line of these promotional activities, or to break down the revenue of product bundles by product and sub-product.

The company lacked a way to combine data sources from different departments, which often led to standalone reports that didn’t match up. Nacer was struggling to produce the timely, accurate insights his managers needed to make better decisions, or to guide future strategy. All the confusion meant that the company was making inappropriate investments, pulling in the wrong directions, tackling problems reactively and missing out on lucrative business opportunities.

As Blueline prepared to launch their mobile initiative, Nacer decided it was time to address the problem once and for all. He anticipated high volumes of transactions and suspected that, if they didn’t set up better infrastructure fast, it could cause the company enormous problems.

The Search is On

Blueline’s CEO had taken a look at one possible BI solution, but wanted Nacer to compare and evaluate more options before making a decision.

With 50 million rows of data in various SQL databases, and a variety of CSV files from partners to test with, Nacer needed a product that could reach across numerous networks and file formats, tying them all together. Pricing and support were also key considerations. He also needed something that he could trial without investing in any new hardware. Sisense was perfect for this: he was able to run analyses using a simple Octa-core CPU with 16GB of RAM (now considered the desktop standard).

Shortly before deploying Sisense, Nacer implemented a new ERP system – used primarily for procurement, inventory management, and customer support. Within the first week of using Sisense, the Information Systems team was able to link to this ERP, building dashboards from scratch with minimal training.

Even better, business users who previously didn’t want to be involved were now interested in, and capable of, building dashboards for themselves – purely because the process was so easy.

“Today I am able to provide visibility on any new area of business within a couple days. We simply couldn’t do it previously because of how difficult it was to combine the data.”

Results: A Single Source of Truth

Today, Blueline uses Sisense as a data warehouse, coupled with a dashboard solution.

Their ERP system was quickly attached to Sisense, in addition to several custom-built application and data silos. They could then make their sales efforts more agile, with greater payoff. The team can figure out what’s working (and what isn’t) with just a day’s notice.

They can also cross-check information across departments, harmonizing and cleaning data within Sisense to produce far more accurate reports. Now that there’s single version of truth, Nacer has managed to put to rest any fights over which department’s report is right.

“Sisense is providing features of a data warehouse combined with a dashboard solution for us.”

Hero Moment

With the help of Sisense, the Information System team can now aggregate data sources, cross-check information and provide meaningful insights for all business units. As well as boosting revenue and efficiency generally, this helps in three huge ways:

  1. It relieves IT staff of frustrating, time-consuming, error-prone tasks, freeing them up for other projects;
  2. It ensures that all reports are in agreement, and;
  3. It updates management daily, instead of monthly.

This final point is a major asset. Using the Sisense environment, Blueline can turn around a new dashboard in just a few days. Looking forward, the company is also working with Sisense to build a more robust data analytics infrastructure for predictive analysis.

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