Board Review

Helped to integrate planning processes across our customer's organizations


What is our primary use case?

Our end user is a chemical industry company, and they did a lot of reports in Excel. We use Board to create reports automatically, instead of with Excel.

How has it helped my organization?

Before we used Board for our customer, they would share the same Excel sheets each in different departments. It was highly inefficient. They needed to wait until other people finished their parts. And it was not easy to catch the newest information in the Excel sheets. After we provided Board to the customer, they were able to put all their planning information in Board and get the newest information from it.

In addition, it has helped to integrate planning processes across our customer's organizations. For example, people from accounting, HR, and production are able to check other departments' information. While it hasn't improved the accuracy of the planning information, as the ERP system is quite accurate, the fact that we can let people from different departments check the information quickly helps them see accurate data.

It also provides us with faster access to information than we had before.

What is most valuable?

By using Board we can do a lot of free analysis. We can change the layout of a table and even the end-user can change the layout of a table. And in Board 11.2 you can save the layout. That's very useful for the customer, it's a very good function. We use this functionality to achieve free analysis.

Another feature is the Procedure environment. It's not a new function, but it's a big function within Board. By using Procedures we can modify the data in a lot of ways. We don't just collect data from the ERP system and show the data to the customer. We can also modify the data. We can do a lot of data entry and also do a lot of deep analysis, by evaluating the data. One of my colleagues has even used the dataflow, the Procedure environment, to build a booking system for making reservations.

What needs improvement?

What could be better is the manual. When I first used Board, I checked the Board manual all the time. It's a website, boardmanual.com, and there is a lot of information on this website about how to use Board and the meaning of each construct. Nowadays, most people use a web client, but on the Board manual website, a lot of the information is only about the Windows client. If they could update that, it would be helpful.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Board for half a year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

In the beginning, Board 11.2 was not stable, but after the patch was released, it became stable. Now it's really stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is great. Our customer is a global company, so in the near future we may need to expand the solution to the branches.

How are customer service and technical support?

I get support from Board's headquarters every week. I get the answers from them. We go through the troubleshooting together and sometimes they are able to answer quickly, in that meeting. But if they cannot give me the answer directly, they will ask colleagues, and I will get the answer in two weeks. It's acceptable.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

There are a lot of reasons that our customer switched to Board. Their previous solution, in terms of functionality, was really limited. It just scanned the data from the ERP system and showed the data in a table. In Board, we can create a lot of reports and do free analysis by changing the layout of the table. We can also send a graph or table to other people or download them. Board has more functions that the customer uses, compared to what they had before.

How was the initial setup?

It's really easy to set up. It's just check, check, check, connect the folder, and finish. If you have already downloaded the software from the website, it only takes about five or 10 minutes to set up Board.

Of course, we also set up the access authority of each person. Different people have different access which determines whether they are limited in checking information in the solution.

While we're not involved in the maintenance side of things, it would probably take two or three people to maintain the solution.

In our company there are 10 people who use Board. In the future, we expect our customer will have 1,000 people in Board. Users would be the leaders of each department, such as the production team, the accounting department, and the sales department.

What was our ROI?

One of the reasons we chose Board is because the performance to cost ratio is high. And we did not only use Board to replace Excel, we also replaced a Japanese BI tool called Dr. Sum.

And if you use SAP and other BI tools, you may need to do a lot of add-on development. That takes a lot of money. But with Board, we don't do a lot of add-ons to collect the data. We just use Board Connectors to get the data from the ERP system. That also saves money.

Finally, a company can improve its productivity and save time with Board.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

With Board you can do a lot of data entry, and by using the Procedure environment you can make complex reports. But with Tableau you can only show the data that was collected. It doesn't have as much functionality.

What other advice do I have?

With Board I have learned how to deal with the master data and how to think about workflow, dataflow. and the structure of the cube.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises

Which version of this solution are you currently using?

11.2
**Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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