In the fight against climate change, renewable energy is poised to be one of humanity’s strongest weapons. In an effort to move away from fossil fuels, many forward-thinking businesses are investing heavily in alternative energy sources such as turbines, solar, batteries, and inverters.
Leading this charge is the UK-based company Renewable Energy Systems (RES). With over 16 GW of green energy in its portfolio and the expertise to develop, engineer, construct, finance, and operate projects around the globe, RES is the world’s largest independent renewable energy company.
“RES Group is a global renewable energy company which has been active in the renewable energy industry for over 30 years,” explains Panagiotis Tsaknis, Data & Reporting Manager at RES. “Our core business is to develop, construct and operate large-scale, grid-connected renewable energy projects worldwide.”
However, RES’s rapid growth and international footprint were causing some significant challenges around financial reporting. RES was reliant on simple spreadsheets to monitor its key performance indicators (KPIs), but with business units and projects spread out across numerous regions, it was difficult for RES leadership to see the bigger financial picture and plan investment for the future. “Our growth and subsequent diversity has led to a distribution of key operational data across numerous systems and geographies,” notes Tsaknis. “This caused complexity and operational inefficiencies.”
To unify their financial reports and unlock new forecasting capabilities, RES engaged Agile Solutions. Agile Solutions is a UK-based consultancy specializing in data management, data analytics, and cloud migrations, operating as a service provider and technology reseller. They are a Microsoft partner with a gold competency for Data Platform in the Microsoft Partner Network. Agile Solutions has a record of successfully delivering solutions in many industries such as finance, government, retail, utilities, defense, manufacturing, engineering, travel, housing/real estate, and non-profit. With its expertise in data and a culture geared towards progressive technology, Agile Solutions was an ideal partner to help RES through this digital transformation.
Setting goals for the new solution
To begin this transformation, Agile Solutions worked with RES to identify their goals for the new financial reporting solution. The key abilities that RES wanted to enable were:
- Analyze and compare key financial metrics at a country, business unit, and project level for the current financial year, comparing actual financial performance against budgeted performance.
- Visualize, model, and compare these same metrics as a forecast for the next three years.
- Compare key development and construction metrics at a country, business unit, and project level for the current financial year, comparing actual financial performance against budgeted performance.
- Visualize and analyze these same metrics as a forecast over the next three years.
- Attain a standardized view of data attributes to model and understand scenarios supporting the above metrics.
In summary, RES’s main goal with this new solution was to drive decision making for their leadership and to improve their understanding of key financial trends across the entire RES portfolio.
Choosing the right tech
For this project, Agile Solutions and RES chose to use Microsoft Power BI. The Microsoft Power Platform makes it easy to generate data visualizations and insights while providing baked-in, world-class security—an absolutely essential component for an enterprise like RES. Agile Solutions knew that by developing the right set of Power BI dashboards, they could deliver the type of financial reporting RES needed to support strategic decision making and investment for the long run.