Transforming data into intelligence: Mandalay Technologies

Transforming data into intelligence: Mandalay Technologies

Mandalay Technologies’ Facility Analytics & Reporting product is facilitating powerful analytic user experiences and enabling waste managers to navigate between KPI’s, metrics and underlying detail.

The need to develop more extensive and accurate waste data has been highlighted in both the NSW 20-Year Waste Strategy Issues Paper and Victorian Government’s new Circular Economy policy.

Specifically, Victoria’s policy notes that a shift to a circular economy relies on high-quality and transparent data, which at present, is lacking. Add to this the fact that the Federal Government’s 2016 State of the Environment Report – the most recently undertaken – draws on data from 2013, and one notes a widespread issue.

While these instances address data from a waste policy and regulatory perspective, Simon Kalinowski, Mandalay Technologies CEO, says comprehensive and accurate data is critical at every level.

“Quality data is the bedrock for good decision making. Operating without it can leave organisations vulnerable to making poor and expensive decisions or lose their competitive edge,” he explains.

“Unfortunately, the waste industry in Australia is severely underutilising data, partly due to lack of quality data, failure in compliance processes, a lack of proper implementation of reporting and analytics strategies, or a combination of these.”

To boost facility manager’s ability to access and leverage data, Mandalay has developed a new Facility Analytics & Reporting product.

Utilising Mandalay’s existing naus Intelligence platform and Microsoft Power BI, the product facilitates a big picture view of facility operations– right down to the minute detail of individual transactions.

With real data, analysis and insights, Kalinowski says local government authorities and waste managers can better plan and track their strategies for waste diversion, landfill reduction and support planning for new facilities.

“Traditionally, waste facility operators have one transacting system, which multiple stakeholders will then use to extract data from. From there, numerous excel spreadsheets are created for different reporting purposes,” Kalinowski says.

This creates a myriad of issues, namely, that as with any degree of manual reporting, the data’s integrity and history is lost.

“What you’re reporting on changes and evolves. When it’s open to manual adjustment and effort, you inevitability lose some of the integrity of that information, which creates conflicts in reporting,” he says.

“We’ve seen a need from our customers to give them a single point of data truth, which in turn boosts efficiency from a regulatory, financial and mass flow reporting perspective.”

By providing a single point of truth, users can drill in from a high-level report through to the specific data that makes it up – all within two or three clicks. This in turn provides a high level of confidence and trust in the data.

Using a combination of dashboards and detailed reporting capabilities, the Facility Analytics & Reporting product enables flexible access to data across facilities, while maintaining security, such as user permissions, data backup and recovery.

“The product was born over the past 12 months, as we really started to drive our data and analytic capabilities,” Hendrik Venter, Mandalay’s Data Manager, says.

He explains that the product was developed by researching Mandalay’s first-generation web-based reporting tool. Venter adds that a key element of that was looking at reporting commonalities and outliers.

“The product has only been available for three months and has already been taken up by 20 per cent of our client base, which highlights the value of that research and development,” he says.

By utilising Power BI, Mandalay was able to develop more interactivity and navigation options.

“Facility operators and managers are now able to look at what’s happening right now, but also go back and look at what was happening in the past,” Venter says.

“This allows them to draw from trends and variances, thereby giving the user a functionality and feature set that can assess whether the facility’s efficiency is on track.”

Central to the new system, Venter says, is the presentation of data in a single secure form.

“Operational reporting provides the user with an easy to use interface to generate and export tabular style reports based on the transactional data generated at the facility,” he explains.

Also available is Mass Management Reporting, which Venter says captures overloaded vehicle details and presents it in a detailed report, thereby enabling facility managers or owners to more effectively manage compliance breaches.

Venter explains that with large fines for breaches via the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, the ability to effectively manage overloaded vehicles is critical.

“The module enables our clients to set vehicle mass configurations, so when a truck comes through the weighbridge, our system can record and present that information.”

The new system also allows users to configure security groups and permissions on a granular level, Venter says. He adds that this gives administrators the power to define which of their users is allowed to see different elements of data reports.

Furthermore, the Facility Insights tool offers facility managers a powerful analytics user experience, enabling the user to navigate seamlessly between KPI’s, metrics and the underlying detail.

“It provides on-tap access to years of historical data, which provides a deeper understanding of facility performance across a variety of metrics, empowering owners and managers to better manage operations from a client, carrier, product and financial perspective,” Venter explains.

The software also allows users to view information using a mix of the latest visualisation components and navigation controls.

According to Mandalay COO Rex Heathwood, this versatility is a core component of the Facility Analytics & Reporting software.

“The data will say different things to different people. Site operators, for instance, can use it to note transactions at odd hours, whereas a council waste manager might use it to extract diversion rates,” he says.

“Given the product presents data visually, anomalies are more likely to stand out. Finding those anomalies is really triggered by visual tools.”

Additionally, Heathwood notes that many of Mandalay’s clients operate multiple facilities, be it transfer stations, landfills and recycling centres, all in one community.

Using the Facility Analytics & Reporting tool, data from each site can be merged together, allowing operators to examine all movements within their waste ecosystem.

“Data, in many ways, is alive. One of the challenges when clients export it to excel is that it immediately becomes static, but the source of the data is still changing,” Heathwood says.

“When you take data away from the live system it dies – it doesn’t react, and it doesn’t respond. By using a real-time fully integrated system, operators can trust that they are always reporting on the most accurate and timely data.”

This article is the last in a three-part series exploring Mandalay’s Facility Product Suite.

To find out more about how Mandalay can support your business, email: enquire@mandalaytech.com or click here. 

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