Armscor leverages Qlik to bolster financial data management

Christopher Tredger
By Christopher Tredger, Portals editor
Johannesburg, 19 Apr 2024
Armscor building in Pretoria.
Armscor building in Pretoria.

The Armaments Corporation of South Africa (Armscor), the arms procurement agency of the South African Department of Defence (SANDF), has implemented Qlik technology to gain better insight into and control over financial data reports.

As a state-owned company, visibility on finances is essential for Armscor’s stakeholder reporting, said Zimasa Fayo, Armscor’s business intelligence manager.

Prior to the Qlik rollout, the agency struggled with disparate, legacy systems in place, with no central view of financial data, and no policy to offer direction, he said. It required a data analytics solution that could provide it with better management of its data and corresponding insights.

“We had a pressing requirement for clean, accurate data that could be trusted and would allow for timely insights as, at that point, it would easily take two weeks to share month-end numbers with our executives. Even then, the source of the data was often unclear, as many people are involved in this time-consuming process, and accordingly there was little trust in the numbers provided,” said Fayo.

Qlik Sense and Qlik NPrinting are being used within Armscor’s finance department.

“Now, we have one version of the truth available, with well-documented and tested business rules in place, and users who can deliver insights on the data with which they’re working.

“These users are able to confidently use data for insights without having to question its quality or accuracy, and our turnaround time on management reporting has been decreased from weeks to just one day,” Fayo explained.

The decision to adopt Qlik was based on the self-service and visualisation functionalities, data integration abilities, user friendliness, and scalability, he said. “Another critical consideration was the fact that their implementation partner, Direct Insight Consulting is well established locally and can provide the right level of support.”

He added that moving from a very much legacy-driven reporting environment to an analytics-driven platform was a big jump for both IT and business users alike. “A large amount of time was spent on extrapolating and testing the business rules, getting them into a process and then documenting this, which meant that serious change management was required. This was driven from the top by Armscor’s executive team,” he explained.

The agency plans to broaden its use of Qlik within the business for its budgeting and planning features, as well as the rollout of targeted data literacy initiatives beyond the finance side. It is also exploring the building of a data warehouse to leverage data from all Armscor’s departments and entities for real-time analytics and improved decision making, potentially using Qlik Talend Data Integration to alleviate the high costs and need for resources associated with traditional data warehousing.

Tuna Yemisci, Qlik’s regional director for Middle East, Africa, and East Med, said the comonay is proud of how its solutions have transformed Armscor’s financial operations. “We hope that this success will pave the way for more opportunities with other similar businesses, as they recognise the importance of data in achieving efficiency, transparency, and strategic decision-making.”