Stewart Title uses Power BI with Power ON to Replace Hyperion HFM resulting in Improved Forecasting Speed and Accuracy
About Stewart Title
Founded in 1893, Stewart Title has grown to one of the largest real estate services company in the United States. Persistent innovation and keen business acumen have driven such growth for an astounding 128 years. The company deployed Power ON to bring prescriptive story-telling to its Power BI implementation.
Stewart Title’s business and financial analysts needed a healthier and less expensive forecasting and budgeting tool. Hyperion HFM was too cumbersome, expensive, and inflexible. Shifting markets demanded a more agile environment and one more accessible to business and financial analysts alike.
A modern system of collaboration was needed to improve the speed and accuracy of business decisions.
The current system involved hundreds of hours of manual data entry and manipulation. Employees were required to perform extensive “data gymnastics” within multiple spreadsheets and databases only to produce simplistic Excel graphs. Data errors were frequent and very difficult to remediate.
As a result, financial forecasts and scenarios took days to deliver. Secondary reviews added to the decision-making delay. Quarterly forecasts took 5 weeks to complete; annual budgeting cycles took more than 3 months.
- 100s of spreadsheets
- Multiple databases
- 100s hours manual data entry + manipulation
- Quarterly forecasts → 5+ weeks
- Annual budget cycles → 3+ months
The financial analysts discovered that the well-structured data connections supporting Microsoft Power BI could be leveraged to optimize the process of quarterly and annual forecasting. The BI platform could transform to a safe, and accurate, “what if” tool.
The impact of the switch from Hyperion HFM is in how Stewart Title uses Power ON: as an easy-to-use, very cost-effective and interactive planning/forecast tool available to key team members throughout the organization. Because the platform has robust connections to multiple sources of data, results are available in near real-time. Perhaps most important, internal business subject matter experts could visualize business decisions across multiple areas using both the models and predictive capabilities of Power BI with the write-back forecasting capabilities of Power ON Visual Planner.
With Power ON, the Power BI business analytics and decision-making platform allowed a natural transformation to an innovative replacement for Hyperion HFM.
The results of how Stewart Title uses Power ON are tangible: forecasts are completed in less than half the time required by the Hyperion HFM system, within 2 weeks for quarterly and within 3 weeks for annual budgets. In addition to the gain in productivity and performance, millions of dollars, countless hours, and the extensive Hyperion HFM overhead have been eliminated from the company’s operating cost.
Now, via the Power BI front-end, decision=makers spend most of their time in more valuable planning work. “Data gymnastics” from the former days is a distant memory. No longer must they manually collect, correct, and calculate Excel spreadsheets.
Business managers can perceive implications and outcomes from their own visionary allocations of multiple resources. They can craft a story, such as the likely impact in selected regions from shifts in key market factors. And when they’re done, their budgets and forecast scenarios are immediately available to others in the company via the secure Power BI environment.
The company is now in better position to continue its enterprise transformation. In particular, the new data storage and processing capability of data lake technologies, easily accessible from Stewart Title’s Power ON Visual Planning tool promise even greater opportunity – and competitive advantage – for proactive business decisions.
- 50% less time spent updating Forecasts
- Quarterly Forecasts <2 weeks
- Annual Budgets 3 weeks
- 100s hours redirected to analysis
- Immediate update to Exec Dashboards in Power BI
Power ON Visual Planner is one of the most interesting and effective forecasting tools our leadership has seen.