As the Director of Strategy for Dubai's Ports, Customs, and Freezone Corporation (PCFC), Noura Al Shamsi oversees strategy and performance data for various organizations that report to PCFC.

Noura kept a close eye on KPIs to ensure all teams were aligned and working towards the organization's overall goals.

She and her team spent weeks each quarter combing through spreadsheets, comparing year-on-year data to track progress and create reports for quarterly leadership meetings. The company's C-suite and board of directors use that information to guide the company's strategy for the following quarter.

“Every quarter, it took three to four weeks to collect data, analyze it, and calculate all the KPIs and indicators manually through Excel sheets. It took a lot of time and effort from my team and from other departments to collect the data,” she says.

Noura and her team performed extensive QA to validate their numbers to make sure the data was accurate. Inaccuracies could have grave consequences for PCFC.

“You need to be confident in every number that you present to the chairman, the board, and the CEO,” Noura says. “It needs to be validated, accurate, and representative.”

PCFC needed to streamline and automate their strategic planning. By moving away from Excel spreadsheets, they could save time, give company leadership access to more accurate results more quickly, and simplify strategic decision making for all departments.

“As the Director of Strategy, I need numbers, data, and results to make decisions,” Noura says. “If I don't have all of that in one system, I can't evaluate the situation and forecast for the future.”