The route to success? Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics and Power BI

The route to success? Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics and Power BI

Cloud Services has helped Air Astana reduce financial reporting time and increase productivity

Elly Yates-Roberts |

Air Astana offers services across 64 routes in Europe and Asia. As the leading airline in Kazakhstan, the business must maintain impeccable finances and accounts. However, month-end closing was consuming a lot of the firm’s resources and created bottlenecks for these departments. The team often had hundreds of reports in the queue, and with the enterprise resource planning (ERP) system’s processing capacity capped at only ten reports at a time, Air Astana needed change.

The airline began working with business consultancy firm Cloud Services to deploy Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics and Power BI to obtain timely financial information. Now, reports are generated within seconds, boosting the team’s productivity and efficiency.

“When I saw a presentation about Azure Synapse Analytics at a conference, I asked our partner, Cloud Services, to see if we could use it to optimise our reporting,” said Roman Bogdashkin, director of enterprise applications and e-business at Air Astana. “They said it could and helped us to launch a trial. We had one requirement, to generate reports in less than one minute. With Azure Synapse Analytics, that goal was reached. Now, report generation takes only 30-40 seconds and sometimes they appear immediately.”

Since Air Astana’s ERP system is no longer burdened by producing time-consuming reports, its performance has increased and, in turn, has sped up month-end closing operations. The team no longer wastes time waiting hours for reports, so can concentrate on other productive tasks. In addition, the firm can now start creating analytics and forecasts based on the data coming from Azure Synapse.

“We wanted to visualise our data in dashboards with specific filters,” said Bogdashkin. “We deployed Power BI and Azure Synapse Analytics and easily configured it to our requirements. The overall management is also quite straightforward.”

The finance and accounting departments soon realised the value of these new dashboards, and after just two months, Air Astana stopped processing heavy reports in the ERP system and switched over to Azure Synapse Analytics and Power BI for reporting.

“Now that we have freed up our resources and have this massive parallel processing tool, we can finally do more,” said Bogdashkin.  

This article was originally published in the Autumn 2021 issue of Technology Record. To get future issues delivered directly to your inbox, sign up for a free subscription.

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