ennVee integrated its internal timesheet tracking system in NetSuite with Tableau to leverage enhanced analytics and actionable visualizations from timesheet data.

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Some Background

ennVee is a global professional services firm that provides Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) consulting and managed services around Oracle, Business Intelligence, Systems Integration, and Cloud/Digital technologies.

As a professional services company, there is a lot of timesheet data coming from many different employees working across numerous projects — both client and internal. Timesheet data on its own is just data — billable hours, non-billable hours, etc. In an effort to transform the timesheet data into actionable intelligence, an integration to Tableau was required.

A few details about ennVee's timesheet tracking application and process

All employees record and submit weekly timesheets through a custom-built timesheet tracking system that sits on top of our NetSuite OneWorld instance. Basically, the timesheet data feeds directly into NetSuite OW. From there, employees and project consultants can record daily activities and draw transactional reports.

Major challenge

One significant driver for this project was the lack of visual representations for customized records in NetSuite. While ennVee could build saved searches on child custom records and call the parent record fields using NetSuite, the standard saved searches did not support the required format.

The objective of this project

The objective of this project was to integrate the timesheet tracking system (NetSuite) with Tableau using the ODBC driver from CData. The final outcome was to provide the operations and HR staff the ability to create business intelligent reports and visualizations in Tableau using the timesheet data collected from NetSuite.

About this white paper

In this white paper, we explore the steps and benefits of integrating Tableau with NetSuite OneWorld. The integration was built using the CData ODBC Driver tool. The purpose of building the integration was to enhance the data visualization capabilities of ennVee's internal HR and Operations teams. Here's some context. 

About our approach to integrating NetSuite with Tableau

Tableau visualization insights are integrated from NetSuite time sheet records and allow users to be on-time and up-to-date by having access to real-time tracking information at the moment of entry. This provides the number of hours that an employee has logged into the time tracking database and generates a bulk of the activity information required for the day-to-day management and periodic review.

Solution Components

The following technologies were used to integrate NetSuite and Tableau:

  • NetSuite (2017.1) - Access (User ID, Password, Account ID) to establish connecting to NetSuite.
  • Tableau (10.3) - Access to build front-end report information on fields to be displayed.
  • CData ODBC Driver 4.0 - Integration enabler that transposes NetSuite data onto the dashboard in Tableau.

Features and Benefits

  • Seamless Business Analysis
    The joint solution allows management swift access to timesheet records to identify KPIs for each employee or project team member, gain insight into overall business performance in Tableau, and optimize efficiencies.
  • Visual Analytics
    Agile time tracking amenity with a robust implementation that provides comprehensive insights for business performance across projects, departments, and teams.
  • Mobility
    Information can be accessed, entered, and updated at any time, from any device and location. As a result, employees are more likely to submit time sheets on time, which simplifies the time-tracking process by reducing the amount of rework for the back-office staff.
  • Duration Tracking Visualization
    Powerful integration and interactive graphical views that simplify and expedite the working hours reporting process. The end result is increased transparency and ease of identification for any correlations between worked and actual time durations, and the export of critical business data to run trend analyses, regressions, correlations, etc.
  • Configurable to satisfy statistical requirements
    Tableau connects to the CData (ODBC Driver) to pull data and provides user-friendly functionalities like drag-and-drop and drop-down menus, so users can freely explore worked hours while meeting statistical requirements.
  • Unambiguous Administration
    Ensures consistency in system accessibility while meeting requirements, year after year, with timesheet data visualizations to dynamically filter the data, split trends across different categories, or run an in-depth cohort analysis.
  • Elastic Project Budgeting
    A fully integrated solution for project management, service time tracking, resource scheduling, project costing, and client billing.

Read the full white paper here:

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