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City Property enhances reporting with Decision Inc.

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Assisted by Qlik partner Decision Inc., City Property has integrated QlikView into the finance team’s reporting structure. Access to near real time data is critical to any finance based organisation, and the implementation has resulted in a significant improvement in reporting efficiency. Previously, it took three people two weeks to generate the required reports, information is now available immediately on demand for whoever requires it.

City Property is a residential and commercial property management company whose managed portfolio consists of 433 buildings, including 9 963 flats, with a combined lettable area of commercial space in excess of 1,5-million square meters.

The properties are diverse in nature, ranging from traditional shopping malls, convenience shopping centres, industrial workshops, warehouses, offices, retail shops, and residential flats. The company is headquartered in Pretoria with a supporting office in Johannesburg.

Major clients include two listed property investment companies (Premium Properties and Octodec Investments) and a number of private clients.

“We had already selected QlikView as our analytics platform and needed a partner with solid QlikView experience to assist us. Decision Inc. was a logical choice as they have a long pedigree in working with the software,” says Helga Olivier, project manager at City Property.

Decision Inc. needed to connect to the organisational data of City Property and provide the Client with a solution that would eliminate its need to manually capture information. The existing process was not only very time-consuming, but also prone to human error.

“The project was not a typical QlikView implementation. The client required a solution that would replace their existing spreadsheet system that was manually driven and highly complex. These spreadsheets were integral to determining the arrears outstanding, so it was essential to improve their efficiencies in generating reports,” says Nick Bell, CEO at Decision Inc.

Bell says City Property needed the QlikView solution to assist with improving the turnaround time of its reports. These reports provided insights into late-paying tenants and was therefore critical to the company’s operations.

“With QlikView, we were able to give them a solution that could easily use different business rules to filter the discrete requirements from a commercial property perspective and that of private clients. The client also has stretch target reports where they track how they are doing against where they should be. So there was a lot of complexity involved in the data and integrating QlikView with their systems,” he says.

According to Bell, testing the implementation was complex as it was a live environment that needed to run all the time.

“However, we were able to replicate what the client wanted. They had very specific requirements that had to be fulfilled in terms of data sets but our team really came through.”

The QlikView implementation has resulted in significantly improved efficiencies when it comes to the generation of reports. Through Decision Inc. City Property can now compile a reporting pack in a matter of minutes as opposed to the almost two weeks it took previously.

“There is massive value in that. We now have the foundation to build detailed dashboards and visualisations on top of the implementation. We now have an evolving relationship with Decision Inc. and will be walking a journey together,” says Neil Saffer, head of Strategic Logistics at City Property.

Bell adds that other benefits for the Client includes the fact that QlikView is easy to use and provides transparent reporting and analysis.

“With the solution, we are able to provide City Property with data visualisation in a meaningful way. Additionally, it is highly scalable and has the flexibility to present various types of data quickly. We have also begun another project with them and are looking forward to continuing the relationship,” he concludes.