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Data for everyone at NorSea.

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by Anja Loug Helland

28. Apr 2021, 4 minutes reading time

Data for everyone at NorSea.

An Interview with VP Digital & Innovation, Kristian Stapnes.

NorSea has developed an impressive data warehouse solution – providing insightful data to the entire organization minute-by-minute – this is data warehouse automation at its best!

After some introductory chatting about recent hikes, runs, and skiing and on Covid-related themes such as home office, vaccines and restrictions, we dive straight into the topic of the call: An insight into NorSea’s Data Warehouse and BI solution. Kristian explains how the entire organization is getting value from the solution by having a ‘one-stop shop’ to all relevant operational, sales and forecasting, and administrative data. We discussed both the user perspective and the technical perspective and below are some insights into their solution.

Operational focus
The data warehouse and BI solution at NorSea has a more operational focus than most BI solutions. To run the base operation efficiently there is a need for a complete overview of data from a range of different data sets. Both minute by minute for each working shift, but also for planning purposes for the next days or weeks. This includes ongoing lifting operations, planned operations and work orders, potential delays, human resource allocations, asset/vehicle resource allocations, vessel routes for incoming vessels, etc. With near-real-time data updates from various data sources, all relevant users from the site managers to the crane operators can have full control of all of these factors using their mobile phone or tablet.

“We are able to deliver data to the organization faster and cheaper through the data warehouse with Xpert BI and Power BI, than building/ordering custom reports or visualizations in the respective business applications. And since we are also combining data sources and adding business logic and calculations we provide more details and more value to the users than the respective source system” states Kristian.

In addition to the daily operations of moving tonnage and controlling resources, planning is an important part of the solution. It is important to have full control over employee utilization and overtime to ensure regulatory compliance and to be able to foresee deviations from scheduled plans. Also, integrating with external data sources enables an even more holistic view and better predictability. External data sources are also used for identifying new customer leads, project leads, and other planning and prognosis activities.

Sharing data
Kristian-Stapnes--Foto-Stephan-Wetaas-1050x675-2Digitalization has a high focus in every industry, and one part of this is data sharing between vendors, customers, owners, or other compliance requirements for data sharing. NorSea has a lot of focus on data sharing. They are sharing data through always up-to-date Power BI reports with customers for full transparency in operations, as well as through REST APIs generated by Xpert BI.

Having a standardized and automated way of sharing data eliminates previous manual data gathering and sharing processes, as well as increasing data quality of the data shared. A win-win for all parties involved” says Kristian.

Technical solution
The solution architecture is clean and simple, as is the technical toolset. Data is stored in SQL Server with different storage layers from raw data to dimensional models, which are used in Power BI for consumption and distribution. Xpert BI is used for all data integrations and data processing, end-to-end data lineage, and documentation. Standard T-SQL is used for business logic and modeling.
The solution has about 30 different data sources, including ERP data, in-house built applications, and various internal and external cloud applications.
Data is loaded at various time intervals, some daily and some every 5 minutes, resulting in 1500 job schedules every day.

The Power BI portal holds over 320 reports with over 300 active users, where many are daily users. Kristian is very clear in pointing out one of the success factors to keeping the data warehouse up and running at all times:

It would not have been possible to operate and maintain this solution without the automation, standardization, and automatic documentation we get from Xpert BI. It is easy to expand and make changes to the solution and test and add new data sources, which is very important.”

It is impressive what NorSea has achieved, and it is really inspiring to see our customers getting great value from data warehouse automation.

For more insight into NorSea, visit their website or check out the NorSea video on our Success Stories page.

Anja Loug Helland

Anja Loug Helland

Anja is Head of Advisory and co-founder of BI Builders and has worked with data warehousing and data platforms for over a decade. Having experience from a range of different clients, Anja is an expert in understanding our customers' needs and map that to data and data models to get business value.

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