🤖💬 Pyramid expands AI-Driven Decision Intelligence with new OpenAI integration [Read the Press Release.](https://www.pyramidanalytics.com/company/news-room/pyramid-analytics-chatgpt-openai/) 🤖💬
🤖💬 Pyramid expands AI-Driven Decision Intelligence with new OpenAI integration [Read the Press Release.](https://www.pyramidanalytics.com/company/news-room/pyramid-analytics-chatgpt-openai/) 🤖💬

CRU Group

A leading commodity market analysis company uses global data to increase efficiencies and grow revenue.


Key Figures


Untapped revenue opportunities are easier to identify


Quarterly reports are now monthly


Faster access to data makes the business more proactive than reactive webtelligence


Improved visibility builds trust in data sets for clients


CRU is a leader in commodity market analysis, providing unrivaled business intelligence on global metals, mining, and fertilizer industries. The last decade has seen the company transform from a paper-based publisher to a digital operation, making actionable data-driven business analysis available from its website through subscription.

As part of its digital transformation, the company looked to move away from SQL Server reporting services. “The real pain point was availability and doing manual reporting in Excel,” explained Will Blake, Director of Technology and Analytics. “We wanted to make the data available as a ‘single source of truth’ to finance and sales. They were reporting numbers independently, and it was difficult identifying the accurate ones.”

As well as squeezing efficiencies out of back-office functions, there was also an opportunity to work with a business intelligence company that uses a sophisticated analytics platform to help with client market analysis.


Will Blake chose Pyramid because of its easy integration with its Microsoft stack and the combination of features and price. The company started with the Office BI product and upgraded to Pyramid 2018, but not before considering Microsoft Power BI and Tableau. Will explains these other tools “…lose out on the whole data governance and data management piece, which was very important to us,” he said. “With Pyramid, we can build dashboards centrally and push them out to users, who have some self-service, but it’s still controlled.”

CRU Group took advantage of Pyramid’s increasing support for cloud and hybrid environments, particularly its integration with Microsoft Azure. “One of the big reasons I went with Pyramid is that it fits onto our Microsoft stack, and it’s helping move with us to the cloud,” said Will. His priority is to have a platform where different systems in the underlying architecture – on- and off-premises – can come together as a single source of truth for business analysis.

The main goal is to create consistency in numbers across the business while giving different business units individualized dashboards to dive deeper into data for their own analysis.

A big win for the sales team, for example, is how Pyramid’s data automation makes it easier to track customer subscriptions. Previously it was a manual process, reliant on each salesperson logging in to see when one of their customers was up for renewal; now, it’s automatically updated every hour.

In finance, improved efficiency means reports that were painstakingly produced every quarter are now published monthly and require much less effort. “Pyramid has moved finance away from reactive reporting to looking at what they can do to impact the future,” said Will. “If numbers are low, we can react quickly and do something about it for the next quarter.”

Pyramid has also become part of the toolbox for CRU’s market analysis services. CRU covers around 30 commodities, each generating millions of data points, which can, for example, be used to forecast the price of raw materials for anything from electric vehicles to manufacturers in the steel industry. There is truly an application for this software in almost any field.

“We could have developed our own reporting solution, but building and maintaining it would have been onerous, so it’s a lot easier to put Pyramid on top,” explained Will. “Within a couple of days, you can build dashboards that aggregate all the data together.”


In the last decade, the CRU Group has more than doubled its business, which Will Blake partly attributes to the insights from Pyramid’s business intelligence and analytics software. As opposed to reinventing their business model, CRU is able to running existing operations more efficiently and Pyramid has played a significant part in the change.

“The cadence of our reporting is much faster. We used to get insights a month later than we needed them, whereas now we see constant updates,” said Will Blake. “A lot more visibility means we don’t miss anything.”

In sales, because subscription renewals are updated every hour, every single subscription renewal is chased down in real time. This has not only provided more accurate, up-to-date infomration, but has fostered more competitiveness in the team because they can all see each other’s numbers.

In finance, the improvements in reporting efficiency and the required effort to complete them have freed employees up to work on tasks with more business value, instead of inputting data into spreadsheets.

The cumulative outcome of these improved insights is an executive team that has a better view of the financial position and performance of the company at any given time. Sometimes it’s as rudimentary as identifying products being sold to one company in a sector but not to others, but nonetheless it is the kind of information that was hidden before processes were automated and the data centralized.

Pyramid has also enabled better data governance, something that has become important with clients becoming more circumspect about how insights are derived. The ability to track sometimes complex combinations of data sets is much easier with Pyramid. “It’s about putting metadata on data sets for clients who want to know more about our data supply chain. Pyramid has helped us to build trust in our data sets,” he said.

“One of the benefits of seeing where we are month-to-month is that we can make decisions and take actions to improve the situation. Pyramid allows all the data residing in databases to be much more accessible. It gives us visibility very quickly and data in a usable form that is actionable. It has definitely helped with our revenue growth,” said Will.
The decision to go with Pyramid has been vindicated in many areas by the decision intelligence software itself, and the company’s partnership approach to the engagement has made the experience even more rewarding. “They are fantastic to work with,” said Will Blake. “I deal with a lot of different suppliers and Pyramid stands out as being approachable, honest, and transparent.”

They are fantastic to work with. I deal with a lot of different suppliers and Pyramid stands out as being approachable, honest and transparent.

– WILL BLAKE, Director of Technology and Analytics at CRU

Analytics Innovators Series: CRU

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