5 Data Challenges Fire Services Face (and How to Overcome Them)

In a world constantly evolving with technological advancements, it is crucial that every industry adapts to ensure they aren’t left behind. This is no different for UK fire services.  With a constant pressure to increase efficiency, despite tight budgets and high ...

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Microsoft Fabric: The Data Superhero You Never Knew You Needed

Looking for the lowdown on Microsoft Fabric? Here it is:  Microsoft Fabric is a SaaS solution that will take your data to the next level. It's like the data superhero you never knew you needed!  Fabric can help you:  Break down data ...

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Answering your questions – Demystifying Microsoft Fabric

Ever since its highly anticipated release in late May, Microsoft Fabric has taken the data world by storm. As a dedicated Microsoft Solutions Partner, we recognised the need to delve deeper into specific technologies which we did on our latest ...

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What does Fabric Mean for Me?

What does Fabric Mean for Me? In our last blog post we explored the functionality and workloads of Fabric, so now the next step is to consider what this means for your organisation and data needs. A quick recap, Microsoft Fabric is ...

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Unlock the power of Data Maturity: Transforming your organisation’s data into gold

How to understand your data maturity position and why it matters?  Like many innovations in organisations, data maturity is often described as a journey, and if you don't know where you are on that journey, how can you know where you’re ...

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The fear of missing Microsoft Fabric

We’re sure you’ve all seen the latest Microsoft launch – Fabric. We want to use this blog to give you a high-level overview of what Fabric is and how it could be used by businesses to meet their data needs. At ...

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Energy Usage Monitoring, Energy Reduction and Cost Savings

Energy Usage Monitoring, Energy Reduction and Cost Savings In recent years, the importance of reducing energy usage has become increasingly apparent. Buildings, in particular, are one of the largest consumers of energy, contributing significantly to greenhouse gas emissions and costing ever-increasing ...

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Enhancing Healthcare Operations: Why it’s Time to Move Away from Legacy Databases

As a complex organisation, the NHS heavily relies on its IT infrastructure to manage patient records, appointments, and medications, among other things. However, the NHS has been using legacy databases for many years, despite advances in technology, much of this infrastructure ...

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Unlocking Databricks to Improve UK Police Services

Police forces throughout the UK generate enormous volumes of data, from incident reports to crime statistics, witness statements, and internal HR records.   As a force generates larger and more varied datasets, they face the increasingly complex task of effectively managing, processing, ...

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How your council can ensure Power BI is configured to support your needs

Power BI is an excellent tool for local councils to visualise and analyse their data. It’s flexible, powerful and user friendly. However, a side to Power BI that is not often discussed is configuration. The Power BI service, where reports ...

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How data can help improve student engagement

Life in the higher education sector can be challenging, with increasing costs and shifting funding, not to mention rising expectations from students and intense competition for their applications. Institutions will have to balance all these factors and more to be ...

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Predicting Cancellations in the NHS with Machine Learning and Data Science

As the NHS continues to strive to become more efficient, the ability to accurately predict cancellations is becoming increasingly important. Cancellations can have a significant impact on patient experience and the overall efficiency of the service. Understanding which patients are ...

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The Benefits of Using Azure Synapse Analytics in Healthcare

While the majority of NHS trusts make use of Microsoft’s data products, be that Power BI, or Excel for analysis or SQL Server for data storage and manipulation, very few so far have been making use of what is one ...

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Why (and How) UK Police Forces should be using Demand Forecasting

Demand forecasting enables organisations to plan effectively for the future and understand the composition and seasonality of demand or other business quantities and metrics. In the policing context, demand forecasting helps forces understand how the composition of their expected policing ...

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Anticipating and Reacting to Evolving Data Needs

In order to keep your data solution running smoothly, there are a few things you should try to anticipate to give your solution the best chance of handling change driven by evolving business needs. Obviously, there is no way to ...

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4 reasons your council should consider a Power BI Cabinet Dashboard

Does your organisation spend a lot of time manually gathering data and creating reports? Do these reports tend to be non-interactive, with the potential for risks around quality, human error and responsiveness, limiting your ability to drill-down and extract actional ...

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Integrating Azure Synapse and Power BI: How and Why?

Most people in the data space have heard of Azure Synapse Analytics. It is the premier service that brings together data warehousing capabilities, data integration and data analytics – including machine learning and AI capabilities. It has become one of ...

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Data Science: Proving the Concept

The popularity of data science has never been higher, both to solve business problems, as well as for academic study. Searches for ‘data science’ reached record levels in early 2022, almost double where they were less than 12 months prior. ...

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Delivering Supporting Families insights with a trusted Single View of Child and Family

For those working in the Local and Regional Government sector, chances are you’ll know about the Supporting Families programme (previously Troubled Families). With a new vision for 2021-22, the programme aims to build the resilience of vulnerable families to allow ...

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The Data Solution Workshop Manual

A data solution is just like a car. Perhaps not an obvious comparison at first, but bear with me and I’ll explain. I’ll also explain why, like your family wagon, it’s important to make sure that your data solution is properly ...

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How to get value out of your data as an NHS Trust: translating ideas to reality

Most Healthcare organisations and NHS Trusts in the UK have established data and analytics resources in place along with a team of skilled and experienced professionals –these experienced teams are a crucial part of the NHS system enabling better care ...

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Introducing the Data Powerhouse

‘A hybrid Modern Data Platform with Power BI’ William Rathbone – Data Analytics Practice Manager Simpson Associates During my time in the Data and Analytics space (a couple of decades so far) there has been significant change.  Most notable has been the ...

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Five top tips for getting ahead when using Microsoft Azure services

Microsoft Azure Data Services can help organisations to unlock the insights and intelligence that their data holds, but there are so many factors that go in to managing the Azure stack effectively and these differ hugely, dependent on the needs ...

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Optimising Social Housing using Data Science and Microsoft Azure Cloud Technologies

Housing Associations in the UK are continuously striving to deliver a good quality of life to their tenants by providing them with safe and good quality homes, whilst overcoming challenges such as repairs and rent arrears. To manage and improve social ...

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Best Practices for Power BI Visualisations

With more organisations using Power BI for its powerful reporting and analytics capabilities, it’s important to understand the balance between using it to your advantage, and getting carried away with the colours and visualisations. Following best practice use can help ...

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What is a Modern Data Warehouse?

A Modern Data Warehouse is, in simple terms, a way to streamline data workflows to make them more efficient. Key to the Modern Data Warehouse is, of course, technology enhancements; however, this is not the only thing that makes a ...

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How a Single View of Citizens Debt & Financial Health can Boost Revenues whilst Supporting the Most Vulnerable

A common struggle within local councils is how to identify and engage with citizens with multiple forms of debt, such as council tax, housing rents, business rates and parking fines. When the data for these different forms of debt are ...

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6 Reasons Why your Organisation should consider a Managed Data Science Service

As data becomes an increasingly sought-after asset, data science for business is on organisations’ minds more than ever. While it may be tempting to build an in-house data science team like many large companies, this isn’t necessarily the best option ...

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How better data insights can transform Adult Social Care

The pressure on Adult Social Care As life expectancy increases and reproduction rates fall, most of us are acutely aware that we, as a society, face a significant challenge of ensuring that quality and affordable care is accessible for all of ...

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5 hints & tips to get the most out of Power BI

It's no secret that Power BI is one of the most useful data analytics tools out there - the possibilities are endless, especially when you discover some of the lesser-known tips and tricks. Here are five of our favourite hints ...

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Introducing Power BI Spatial Anchors

The latest Microsoft Business Application Summit showcased some exciting new features coming to Power BI in the near future, and one that we're particularly excited about is the announcement of Power BI Spatial Anchors. Now, for a lot of you reading, ...

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5 Ways Data Science Can Benefit Your Organisation

Data science is all about bringing the power of algorithms, statistics and machine learning together with an organisation’s data, to test hypotheses, extract insights and build innovative products. Data science methods can inform decision-making by generating sensible predictions, creating products ...

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Power BI Goals: What are they and why should I use them?

The Power BI Goals feature was only recently announced in May 2021, but if you’re not already using them, you’re missing out. It’s essentially a KPI tracker built into the Power BI service, providing a central place for you to ...

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Life as a Graduate Data Consultant

Starting a new job is daunting at the best of times, let alone mid-lockdown during a global pandemic. I received a job offer from Simpson Associates during my third year studying Maths at York University, and before long it was ...

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The old way of planning and forecasting doesn’t cut it anymore!

I once worked with an organisation that took 18 months to complete its annual budget process. I thought they were pulling my leg. I compared it to getting up before you’d gone to bed but was met with stony silence ...

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Help! The data in my reports isn’t complete or accurate

I’ve built a beautiful insights platform, but users are now telling me our data is rubbish.  Sadly, this is an all too familiar scenario. Organisations wisely invest to ensure their BI and Data Science projects are properly scoped, developed and deployed, but often never ...

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The FP&A Challenge for SMEs

No matter what size of business or the organisation you work in, it is important to plan and forecast intelligently to stay ahead of the curve. The challenge for many small and medium-sized enterprize (SME) organizations looking to deploy a planning ...

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Five top tips for when you can’t afford to hire a Data Scientist

Within the Data Science space, we speak with so many organisations daily, who are increasingly experiencing issues when it comes down to recruiting Data Scientists.   The first issue is that the job title ‘Data Scientist’ has been a catch-all job title. Some organisations are unclear as to ...

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Three top tips for a successful IBM Planning Analytics / TM1 Project

Gain User Buy In Business change or transformation can be difficult for any organisation. As with any implementation of any new software or business solution, there is an element of fear of the unknown and therefore resistance from users. Good change management ...

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Are you using Excel for business planning and business forecasting?

Let me rephrase that. Are you using Excel, that brilliant personal productivity tool, for business planning and forecasting? And with that biased question, I have given away my opinion right at the start of this blog.  You shouldn’t be using ...

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Thirty Years of Simpson Associates

It’s a special year for myself and the team at Simpson Associates as we celebrate our 30th birthday. We’ve come a long way and so much has happened within the past 30 years, including huge advancements in technology and people’s ...

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Five steps to identifying your organisational dragons and taking action.

"It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him." - J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit If ever there was a quote for our times, then this is surely it. Though what you wish ...

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 Why cash is king (or reality) for your business

Don’t run out of money. Always good advice, but with so much else to worry about, I am starting to see some companies take their eye off the ball. All business comes down to money, yet most companies spend so ...

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Azure Purview – Unified Data Governance

Data has never been more important to an organisation. The last 9 months have shown the importance of data as organisations have had to suddenly replan, reforecast, and adjust to the dramatically changing landscape that we all found ourselves in. For ...

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Goodbye “Business as Usual”

For any Financial Director involved with Planning, let me start by saying sorry. Sorry that you find yourself having to plan in today’s environment. Sorry that whichever accountancy qualification you have did not quite prepare you for our lockdown world. ...

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Azure Analysis Services Vs. Power BI Premium

Is that even a valid question? A friend of mine from Microsoft wrote a blog questioning Azure Analysis Vs. Power BI Premium a few years ago, but at that point, I think it was a little easier to answer and ...

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Digitising the boardroom: Driving better decision-making with Board Solutions

A backdrop of globalisation, digitisation, and an uncertain marketplace is placing great pressure on today’s business world. To stay competitive, decision-makers across all departments need access to the right information at ever-increasing speeds, at any time - and from different ...

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Financial Planning is like sailing a boat

Financial Planning and Analytics professionals make a living from looking at huge amounts of information about an organisation and then making sense of it. Big changes in the figures are prioritised, investigated and analysed until there is an understanding of ...

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Five Top Benefits of IBM Planning Analytics.  

For businesses looking to take planning one step further, I can tell you that I have not found a better tool to do this than IBM Planning Analytics (PA) powered by TM1. Having worked with PA for many years, I’ve designed ...

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How a Managed Service provider can help your business stay scalable

You don’t buy technology because you want it. You buy technology because it empowers you to run your business. It’s about what the technology, and from our perspective, the data it provides, can bring to your business. Of course, needs ...

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Migrating an On-Premise SQL Database to Azure – Is it right for my organisation?

“Should we migrate our databases into Azure?” is a question many Database Administrators? (DBAs), IT Managers and IT Directors have contemplated during the last decade and more than likely right now!  The decision to migrate is not straightforward, so a ...

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Power BI and Teams – The best of both worlds

You have some great reports which deliver the insights that everyone is asking for. You have set up permissions and given access for them to consume and make more informed day to day and strategic decisions. Yet, not everyone is ...

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Projects: The best way to avoid failure is to plan your success

Defining success Back in the day, delivering a successful Performance Analytics project was achieved by finishing your project on time, on budget and to a high level of quality. Today, the final result is no longer the single measure of project ...

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Service Management Simplified: How to save time and reduce risk

The Service Charge opportunity Studies have shown that up to two hours per day can be saved by eliminating paperwork and streamlining workflow, along with cutting out unproductive travel[i]. It comes as no surprise then that in the face of today’s ...

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The best way to skin the SQL: The difference between a good developer and an awesome developer

Performance tuning is essentially using various techniques that make SQL code run in the quickest possible time and is the difference between a good developer and an awesome developer.  After the SQL is written, it gets tested for syntax or ...

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The five key new features of IBM Planning Analytics Workspace

On 2nd October 2020 IBM released a major update to Planning Analytics (PA) with significant changes to the “Planning Analytics Workspace” (PAW) component. PAW is the web enabled user interface where application content is created and consumed, and where much ...

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The power of business analytics in achieving organisational success

What is business analytics? Industries today generate a staggering amount of information and data, which has resulted in an ever-growing need for organisations to readily interpret and analyse information. With this key business need comes business analytics: a powerful tool at ...

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Connect, Explore, Visualise: 5 top tips to get started with Microsoft Power BI

Connect, explore, visualise: 5 top tips to get started with Microsoft Power BI. As one of the largest business intelligence clouds in the world, Microsoft Power BI enables users to quickly go from data to insight to action. It has the ...

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Accelerated Graduate Development at Simpson Associates

Accelerated Graduate Development at Simpson Associates Over the past 25 years, Simpson Associates have worked tirelessly to curate a Graduate Development scheme that provides each and every one of our graduates with the best possible mix of hands-on client experience, paid-for ...

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The Importance of keeping up to date with the latest IBM Release Packs

Common Customer Challenges - Just why is it so important to keep up to date with the latest IBM Release Packs At Simpson Associates, we receive many calls and messages into our managed service and support desk daily from customers who ...

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Data: Going back to basics to stay ahead of the curve.

Data: Going back to basics to stay ahead of the curve. Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), and automation are three of the most advancing technologies many organisations are looking to adopt. However, savvy business leaders know that in ...

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Demystifying the myths around IBM Planning Analytics

According to Greg Adams, Vice President Developer, and Distinguished Engineer, IBM Business Analytics, a number of IBM competitors are trying to sow doubt about IBM’s commitment to IBM TM1 and IBM Planning Analytics. Being one of the longest-serving IBM consultancies in ...

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Five Facts About G-Cloud That Will Make You Think Twice

FIVE Facts About G-Cloud That Will Make You Think Twice We understand that the G-Cloud is an invaluable tool for UK public service organisations, helping to make procurement for public service IT easily accessible. Read on to discover the benefit of ...

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Support Services – Frequently Asked Questions

How can I log into the portal? - Email help@simpson-associates.co.uk and provide your email address, they will create a new userid and set your password. I have forgotten my password? -  Email help@simpson-associates.co.uk and request a new password. I have forgotten my login details? ...

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