A wind turbine

Agile Solutions case study

Agile Solutions helps leading renewable energy provider RES plan for the future with Microsoft Power BI

RES, the world’s largest independent renewable energy company, needed help unifying its financial reports

RES’s financial reporting across different countries, business units, and projects was inconsistent—to guide investment, RES needed a unified view of its finances.

Seeing the bigger financial picture and forecasting into the future with Agile Solutions

Agile Solutions, a Microsoft partner, helped RES pull all their financial reports into one set of Power BI dashboards, unlocking new forecasting abilities and empowering decision-makers.

Better financial reporting to enable better decision making and investment

With consistent financial reporting, RES can now apply analytics across all of its projects, informing key investment decisions for the long run.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Visualize, model, and compare these same metrics as a forecast for the next three years.
  3. 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.
  4. Visualize and analyze these same metrics as a forecast over the next three years.
  5. 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.

“The Power BI engagement at RES is a great example of how Microsoft technology and Agile Solutions can help businesses at the forefront of changing markets by improving the use of data and driving more informed decision making.”

— Owen Lewis, CEO, Agile Solutions

Building the solution

When it came time to actually build the solution and its eight accompanying dashboards, Agile Solutions worked side-by-side with RES stakeholders to ensure they were on track every step of the way. According to Agile Solutions, the functional richness of the Microsoft Power Platform was significant in demonstrating the superiority of the new solution over RES’ existing methods and systems.

A key component of this new solution was implementing Master Data Management (MDM), a process used to manage and organize an enterprise’s data from end-to-end. “In order to centralize the management and visibility of our core data, we embarked on a technology program to implement Core MDM, utilizing the Microsoft Power BI toolset to provide data insight and visualizations,” recounts Panagiotis. “We engaged Agile Solutions to help us deliver key visualizations through the implementation of Microsoft Power BI dashboards for each of our core domains: Turbines, Solar and Battery storage. With the support of onsite consultants from Agile Solutions, we designed and developed what were very complex dashboards, using an Agile delivery methodology.”

Delivering results with Microsoft Power BI

Upon completion of the project, Agile Solutions delivered a new financial reporting solution to RES that was custom built on the Microsoft Power Platform to meet their needs. Now, RES can easily analyze and report on the deployment of their turbines, solar and battery storage around the world. Finally, RES can see the entire financial picture in one view and forecast financial impacts years into the future. With these new tools at their disposal, RES can invest in their business with confidence that they’re making the right decisions.

RES is quick to credit these important outcomes to Agile Solution’s hard work, “Agile Solutions had a thorough understanding of our data landscape and were very well positioned to support us with taking the platform to the next level,” notes Tsaknis. “Combining MDM and BI expertise, both from a technology platform and project approach perspectives, the Agile Solutions team delivered a well-thought-out set of reports and dashboards on Microsoft Power BI which are continuing to deliver value to our stakeholders.”

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