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Business Software

An important component as support for the internal business processes is the so-called Business Software. This is software that can support business units with components such as time registration, sales, HRM, CRM, invoicing and project management. Whereas in the past this was often customized per business unit for each company, which was very costly and actually unnecessary because many of these types of processes within companies look the same, nowadays the packages are so extensive that several parts fall within one system. In addition, the different parts are connected to each other, so no links are needed between these parts and the associated systems. One package that we, i-spark, know well and work a lot with is Simplicate. We use the data from this software to provide customers with insight into their various components, but we also use this package internally as our business software solution.

Business Software and its data challenges

Next to all the benefits of a business software package like Simplicate, there are also some challenges in the sense of creating insights. The challenges we see are in particular creating good insights and the effort you have to make to get it done every time. Basically, you can get all the data you are interested in out there. Usually these are tables or graphs from which you can extract a number of metrics for 1 dimension. For example, per employee the number of scheduled hours, available hours, registered billable and non-billable hours, for a certain period you have filtered on. But if you want to compare one team with another team, maybe from the past year, grouped per month, you will have to export the data and click it together in a pivot table in Excel. Another example is insight into the turnover or possible turnover. Comparable insights can be created for various components such as invoicing, revenue to be invoiced on current projects and sales. If you would like to have this combined in a handy overview, grouped per week/month/year, you need to click and filter the right data together, export the data and copy/paste it into a pivot table in Excel for example. And if you want to do it again next month, then you have to repeat the whole process again.

Solution by i-spark

We have created dashboards for various customers where the necessary insights are brought together in a clear overview as a solution to these problems. The data is accessed by means of an API and finally displayed in Klipfolio. Theoretically, you can make the API calls directly in Klipfolio, but due to limits that limit the size of the data retrieved per call, this is not a very workable approach. The most extreme example is the retrieval of the registered hours. These are large numbers and grows very fast with several employees. To retrieve an entire history, hundreds to thousands of API requests are needed and because you can do one API call with one ‘source’ in Klipfolio you can already see how unworkable this is.

For this purpose, we created a SmartDataPack using a tool that executes the various API calls for us by automatically running them one after the other. Even when the data from Simplicate is growing, the number of API requests is automatically expanded so that all requested data actually arrives. Then we transfer the retrieved data to Google BigQuery where all data is stored. Because Klipfolio has a built-in Google BigQuery connector, retrieving the data is very easy.


Are you interested in what data we can extract from the tools that you are using? Or how we can create a centralized report for you? Feel free to contact us!

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