Leveraging SQL, SSRS, and BI Technologies for Dynamic Dashboards in Investment Operations

Project Overview

A mid-sized asset management firm faced a multitude of limitations stemming from its outdated, fragmented reporting systems. These limitations went beyond those mentioned previously and included:

  • Lack of Self-Service Capabilities: Business users and analysts were heavily dependent on IT staff for even minor report modifications or new visualizations. This created bottlenecks and delayed crucial decision-making.
  • Version Control Chaos: The reliance on spreadsheets led to multiple versions of reports floating around, raising concerns about data accuracy and the potential for errors in critical calculations.
  • Regulatory Reporting Challenges: Generating complex regulatory reports was a cumbersome task, often involving manual data aggregation from across the organization, heightening the risk of non-compliance or delays.

Key Challenges

  • Scope Creep – Clear requirements definition upfront and a change control process are essential to manage stakeholder expectations.
  • Resistance to Change – Proactive user training, showcasing quick wins, and identifying internal champions can help overcome resistance.
  • Legacy System Complexity – Detailed documentation of legacy systems and potential data quality challenges may take more time than anticipated.


Empaxis, experts in data management and technology, worked closely with the asset management company's stakeholders in various departments to flesh out the specific BI solution components:

  • Centralized Data Governance: Formal data governance processes were established to define clear data ownership, quality standards, and access controls. This was critical to ensure long-term integrity and trust in the BI platform.
  • Master Data Management (MDM): While not a primary focus, aspects of MDM were addressed to create consistent dimensions across reports (e.g., ensuring a unified client reference list).
  • Role-Based Security: SSRS's security model was carefully integrated with the firm's Active Directory to provide granular access controls over dashboards, reports, and even specific data elements.
  • Change Management Strategy: Comprehensive training materials, targeted workshops, and dedicated support resources were crucial to driving adoption and minimizing disruption during the transition to the new reporting paradigm.

Development Timeline

  • Data Quality Remediation: Depending on the state of the legacy systems, a significant portion of the timeline might be allocated to identifying and addressing data quality issues (missing values, inconsistent formatting, etc.).
  • Iterative Prototyping: The dashboard development phase would benefit from rapid prototyping with mockups to gather early feedback and ensure alignment between user expectations and design direction.

Team Structure & Skillset

  • Business Analyst: A dedicated business analyst from the asset management firm played a crucial role in bridging the gap between technical implementation and business requirements.
  • Data Quality Specialist: Depending on the severity of data quality problems, a specialist might be engaged to assist with profiling, cleansing strategies, and the implementation of automated data quality monitoring.
  • UI/UX Designer: For particularly complex dashboards or if client-facing reports were a central need, a UI/UX designer could improve the visual appeal and overall usability of the dashboards.


  • Competitive Advantage: The ability to uncover insights faster and tailor client reporting gave the asset management firm a distinct edge in an increasingly data-driven market.
  • Proactive Risk Management: Dashboards incorporating real-time alerts and risk metrics enabled proactive monitoring & potential mitigation of investment risks.
  • Cost Savings: The long-term reduction in manual labor and potential reduction in licensing costs for outdated reporting tools yielded significant cost benefits.