Chris Underwood: Well, good afternoon again, everyone. My name is Chris Underwood, Assistant Vice President and Project Management Team Lead here at EnergyCAP. Today I'm joined by Dave Ulmer, Chief Product Owner and Vice President of Technology. And together we're here to launch our newest product offering Report Designer BI, The Next Generation of EnergyCAP Reporting. I'll be providing an overview of the features and functionality for this advanced reporting tool and how you can begin using Report Designer BI today. Dave will follow with a live demo of Report Designer BI, and then we'll open the webinar to your questions. If you have a question during the presentation, submit it via the webinar control panel and we'll respond as time permits following the demonstration. And as a reminder, this webinar is being recorded. Let's go ahead and get started.
Report Designer BI was designed with customized facility and accounting visualization and analysis in mind, and follows EnergyCAP’s continued efforts to make our products easier, smarter, and friendlier. First easier. Easier than ever to retrieve all of your data in one place. Easy to integrate with other business intelligence tools that you're already familiar with. Easy to connect to the Report Designer BI data model and begin your data visualization and analysis right away.
Next smarter. Built using best in class business intelligence tools and techniques, provides more data than ever before in a format that can be connected with your other organizational data, and offers actionable insights from your data using the power and flexibility of your favorite business intelligence applications. And finally friendlier. Well-documented data model structure and data dictionary, helpful online documentation to get you started with the ability to generate custom visualizations to initiate dialogue and collaboration.
If we take a step back as this slide illustrates, EnergyCAP does a great job of analyzing data with lots of built-in visualization tools. But what if you require a particular data view that just isn't in EnergyCAP yet. Our new Report Designer BI tool is designed to do just that - providing end-users with the flexibility to create custom visualizations using data from your EnergyCAP database. Before we explore the details of Report Designer BI, let's quickly walk through the progression of data visualization and analysis tools available in EnergyCAP.
PowerViews are available throughout EnergyCAP and allow you to quickly see data trends at a glance and access the underlying rolled-up data. They are powerful data visualization and analysis tools, hence the name, but lack the ability for users to customize the data set. Next, we have EnergyCAP dashboards. You might think of these as filterable power views, and EnergyCAP offers a variety of prebuilt dashboard views, aka, widgets for users to choose from. Again, these are powerful at-a-glance visualization and analysis tools for quickly spotting data trends and outliers. However, there are a limited number of dashboard widgets currently available in EnergyCAP, although more are always in the development queue.
Shifting gears a bit let's discuss EnergyCAP bill list, which allow users to set filters and adjust displayed columns to access the data set of most interest. While bill list provided added flexibility over power views and dashboards by offering even more customizable content, they aren't necessarily designed for advanced visualization and analysis, although the export to Excel feature is a step in this direction.
And finally we have EnergyCAP reports. From our legacy crystal reports to our new SSRS based reports there are literally hundreds of different reports that can be generated using a variety of filter options. As a step beyond bill lists, EnergyCAP reports allow users to visualize and analyze their data with just one catch. We don't have a limitless number of reporting options to choose from. So, we talked about the progression from power views to dashboards, to build lists to reports, and the limitations, the customization when visualizing and analyzing EnergyCAP data.
The original version of Report Designer was launched in 2016 in response to this and was offered as a tool for users to create their own custom reports using their EnergyCAP data. For those who aren't familiar with the legacy version of Report Designer, it's based on Microsoft Excel and Power Pivot technology. While Report Designer does provide greater flexibility for users to generate custom reports using their EnergyCAP data, it has two limitations itself. First it requires installation of a proprietary EnergyCAP plugin, which could be problematic depending on your installed version of Excel or your computer admin rights. And second it required manual download of the data model to your laptop or PC which could limit performance depending on the size of your data set. In contrast, Report Designer BI represents the next level of customization in EnergyCAP reporting, an upgrade that is based on commonly used and requested business intelligence technology.
Report Designer BI is designed to overcome the limitations associated with the legacy version of Report Designer. It's ideal for more advanced organizations with BI expertise that want to take EnergyCAP reporting to the next level. And it gives you the most customization and flexibility when visualizing and analyzing your data. Report Designer BI organizes your data into an easy-to-understand data model for analysis and reporting. With Report Designer BI you'll have access to 30-plus data tables composed of your EnergyCAP data. Each data field included in the data tables is documented in an online data dictionary, and the data model follows a consistent structure and format and won't change with future EnergyCAP database upgrades. Report Designer BI is also built with industry standard data modeling tools and services. You'll have plug and play compatibility with your organization's visualization and analysis tools, plus the data is hosted on EnergyCAP servers, so you'll see consistent performance across computers and devices. And Report Designer BI is ready for your organization. You can now take advantage of your organization's business intelligence expertise when you connect the Report Designer BI data model to the reporting and analysis tools that you're already using, like Power BI, Tableau, Cognos, and Excel.
As a peek behind the curtain, we chose Microsoft as our business intelligence platform when designing and developing Report Designer BI. Why? Because we wanted to build upon industry leading technologies that would continue to grow, and we recognize that Microsoft's data formats are widely supported across the industry. As shown, Microsoft is viewed as a visionary that can execute to their goals. And we expect that their advances will benefit Report Designer BI for years to come. However, our choice of Microsoft doesn't limit your reporting options, although we're using Microsoft services to publish your data, you can use the tools you want to analyze and visualize your data. Microsoft services are what feed your business intelligence tools.
To get you started with the Report Designer BI, we've assembled a number of help resources. First, we have a descriptive data dictionary for all fields included in the data model. Second, we've published online documentation in the EnergyCAP user guide. How to narratives are available for users to access now and an EnergyCAP academy training video that includes Report Designer BI is in the works.
As an added benefit, we've created a portal for EnergyCAP users to submit ideas to inform future Report Designer BI template development, as well as submit requests for support, training, and consultation. And as they will present shortly, we have example Power BI and Excel files available to demonstrate ways to make the most of your Report Designer BI subscription. Let's take a closer look at these help resources on the following slides.
The Report Designer BI data model is illustrated here. As mentioned, there are 30 plus data tables each logically joined to others to allow you to effectively create your own custom visualizations and reports. While many of the data types included in the Report Designer BI data model are similar to those included in the data model used by the legacy version of Report Designer, there are now new and highly requested functional data types, such as building and meter groups, GL sub code and accounting export information, greenhouse gas emissions, meter channels and interval data, and daily weather data.
Here's an excerpt from the data dictionary, which is published in our online help documentation. In this example, we're looking at the commodities data table, which has two data columns or fields - commodity and commodity code. For each field, we provide a basic description along with data type and max length. You'll also see prior version column name, and prior column no longer available, which helps serve as a crosswalk between the data model used by the legacy version of Report Designer and the new and improved data model created for Report Designer BI. Next, we have examples of our how to help documentation, which includes an overview of Report Designer BI and helpful hints to get started. And finally, we have example files available to demonstrate the art of the possible with Report Designer BI, which again, Dave will be reviewing in more detail after just a few more slides.
So, after all this background and detail surrounding the new Report Designer BI, I'm sure you're asking how do I access this next gen tool for customized EnergyCAP reporting? Well, I have some good news for existing Report Designer subscribers. You can upgrade to Report Designer BI today. All you need to do is contact EnergyCAP’s technical support team, and submit a request for your data model connection and login information. Looking ahead, our plan is to sunset the legacy version of Report Designer on October 31st, 2021, six months or so after today's official launch. This timeline has been set to give existing Report Designer users plenty of time to become familiar with the new data model and help documentation and work through the conversion of any existing custom reports that you've created. On the other hand, if you're not currently a Report Designer subscriber, signing up is easy. Although there is one requirement, your database must be hosted by EnergyCAP to access Report Designer BI. If you're interested in subscribing to Report Designer BI, simply contact your account manager and they can walk you through the process. Pricing for new subscribers has been set and is tiered based on the number of licensed meters. Before Dave begins the demo, I wanted to thank you for your attendance and interest in Report Designer BI.
We value each of you as clients and we're always thinking about the next ways to provide more value from your utility bill data. From our perspective, Report Designer BI is the next step in that progression and allows you to take your EnergyCAP data visualization and analysis to the next level. After months of rigorous design, development, and testing, Report Designer BI is available now and we've published the help resources that help you get started. With that I'll pass the controls to Dave. Again, once Dave wraps up the demo, we'll plan to answer your questions related to Report Designer BI as time permits.
Dave Ulmer: Thank you, Chris. Appreciate that background. Let me go ahead and share my screen here. Great, Chris, can you just confirm that you see my screen?
Chris Underwood: Thank you.
Dave Ulmer: Great. Alright. Well, hello everyone. Good afternoon to you on the East Coast, and I guess happy almost lunchtime for those of you on the West Coast. It's really a pleasure to get to be with you today. It's been really hard I'm sure for you all as well, but for us, one of the things we love is connecting with our customers and not being able to hold our typical catalyst conferences and some of our other training conferences in person. We miss you. So, it's great to at least have these opportunities where we can get together and share some time. I'm really excited to be able to share the culmination of a year's worth of work, which is Report Designer BI. This is not a minor upgrade, this is not just a minor tweak, this is a completely redesigned system, really leveraging some of the best industry leading tools that are available to really help you get the most out of your EnergyCAP data. So we're going to be walking through just some examples of that. And I have to admit, trying to show this information can be a little tricky because what we're really providing is access to your date, right, but we're providing access to your data in a very convenient way.
Now, I'm going to show you some different tools and things that you can use, but in no way limited by what we're showing today. We're just using some example tools. Everything that I'm going to show you is using out of the box tool and we haven't done anything special. There are no back doors into the data. This is taking Report Designer BI with commercially available tools and building some visualizations. Now I have to admit, first of all, one of the reasons I love this presentation is I get to use Penn State's data, and we want to send a special thank you out to Penn State for letting us use some of their data in our presentation today. For those of you who have visited our catalyst conference, you're probably familiar with Penn State's hospitality already. And if you've ever attended one of my conference presentations in particular, then you've probably heard me go on and on about how Penn State has the best ice cream in the world. And I won't even talk about that today. We're going to jump right into what is Report Designer BI.
Well, for many years, we've had requests from clients who want to get direct access to their data. They're probably most familiar with database access, right. But how does that work when your data is in the system EnergyCAP that we're hosting? You know, and maybe you want to get that data because you want to perform some calculations outside of EnergyCAP or maybe you want to integrate some of your existing data that's not EnergyCAP data with EnergyCAP data, or maybe you have requirements that someone on your team really wants something to be branded a particular way. Those are all valid reasons why you might want to have access to your EnergyCAP data. But if we gave you direct access to the database, that can really be problematic. I mean, first off, we update our database schema with almost every release that we have. Every new feature we're making tweaks and changes, and it would just be really difficult to try to stay on top of that without breaking something, right. So then the next best thing is to think about our APIs and our APIs is provide access to EnergyCAP data in a way that is standardized and it is supporting, that’s great. But if you're not a software developer that might not get you very excited.
And different from Report Designer version one or two, which were limited by Excel and maybe even your own computer's limitations in terms of memory and processor speed, this service does the crunching behind the scenes so you don't have those limitations anymore. We are doing the hard work and we're letting your local machine or your browser actually do the visualization for you. So those are some of the advantages of Report Designer BI, but I'm going to dig into those a little bit different than what we've talked about so far. First off, I mentioned that you can use multiple tools. I am going to be doing some demonstrations today with tools like Microsoft's Power BI tool and Microsoft Excel and Tableau. Those are just a small sampling of the tools that are available to you and your team. If you're using BI tools already to visualize or analyze your data, you will likely have a plugin that can allow you to retrieve data right from Microsoft's analysis services and that's what we're using. We're using an industry standard service so that it's easy for you to connect, it's easier for you to get access to your data.
We've named everything in this system in a very consistent way and we fully described every field, everything that's available so that you can get to the data quickly and you know exactly what you're getting. There are no surprises and we support this. So even as I mentioned, as our database changes under the covers, this is going to continue to be a supportive product that we're going to maintain, so you have stability as you go through time and you know that any investment you make in visualizations or analysis isn't going to go away with the next release of EnergyCAP. So enough of me talking about it. Let's look at it, alright. So here, what I've done is I've pulled up data as I mentioned before from Penn State and I'm using in this particular case, Microsoft Power BI. Microsoft provides a free tool via Windows called Power BI desktop. So, if you're just getting started with this, that's a great place to just try it out, see what it's like. And if you subscribe to a service like Microsoft Power BI.com, you can actually take those files and upload them to the web.
So, you'll notice I'm in a browser. I'm not using any type of installed tool; I'm just using my browser to access my data. And when you use your visualization tools that you're probably familiar with, you have the ability to do things like provide linking within your tools itself. Here, you can see we've taken some of the data from this EnergyCAP database and we've displayed at some ways that look similar to things you might've found in EnergyCAP, but others that may be a little bit different. We're also combining a lot of data together in one place, similar to a dashboard. One of the things that's great about using a lot of these BI tools is you have the ability to have instant filtering or the ability to do drill in or drill down into information.
So, if I for instance click on electricity, you'll notice that the charts and graphs here update to reflect that, right. That's not unique to this particular tool, but it is an advantage of using some of these BI tools because you can have some instant analytics that allow you to see your data in maybe a slightly different way without having to build a lot of UI or other things behind it. So here, you've got some -- because this is EnergyCAP data, it's going to use some of the same terms that you're familiar with. You can do filtering by top most place. You can choose your date ranges. You're going to see your buildings listed in the same way that you see them within the application.
Next, I'd like to show you how you can integrate with maps, right. This is a common request that we have, we have mapping in EnergyCAP's dashboarding tools. But some people like to go a little bit further. So here's an example of how we've used EnergyCAP data and the location information that you've stored on your buildings to put that information on a map. But we didn't just put it on a map, we also are actually changing the size of each of the different circles based on the EUI of a particular location. So this is just one example how you can do this. Now, maybe you have a team that's already using GIS, maybe you even have your own custom campus maps, things like that. You can use data through Report Designer BI to lay on top of your GIS system in a way that really makes sense and connects with your users or the people in your organization.
And again, this is interactive, right. So I have the ability here to do some things that are kind of neat. For instance, if you used Report Designer in the past, you'll know that one of the limitations we had, we weren't able to make grouping work; it was a limitation in Excel. We now have the ability through Report Designer BI to make building groups and meter groups work. You can use them as filters, you can use them throughout your visualizations. So, I can take this visualization that's using a building group called University Park, and I can change that to a building group called area two, and it zooms right in and I can see my data. And again, it's interactive. I can click on it and I can see the data change live. Let me switch to another part of campus. I can go to area 3, again, I'm dynamically filtering and seeing this information in a way that's very intuitive. Again, all driven by the data that's being served by EnergyCAP Report Designer BI. So, I'm going to actually click on one of these buildings here. We've got this building electrical engineering west. I'd like to go a little bit deeper with this building. So we're going to go into starting to take a look at the meters that are on this facility, right. So I can see the different commodities that are here.
Again, I'm not here to show you the data, right, because you're familiar with your EnergyCAP data. What I want to show you is the capabilities - the abilities to do things like compare current year versus a base year. You can have that flexibility and you can even change your base year as you go. Maybe you have modeled particular goals or targets that you're trying to hit. Maybe that's even saved in a file that's outside of EnergyCAP. You can actually bring that in and merge that date together because we're just giving your EnergyCAP data, whatever you want to do with it is your choice. So in this case, we can see some of those base and current year comparisons, which are really helpful. We can drill in a little bit further, right. So let's say that we wanted to go into interval data. Yes, interval data, that was not something that was available in Report Designer in the past, but we've been able to integrate interval data into Report Designer BI. So if you have interval data that you're tracking on channels within your EnergyCAP database, that data automatically flows into Report Designer BI. And what's really neat about that is you can look at your data in different ways. This happens to be a heat map, this is a meter that's tracking data every 15 minutes, right. So there's a lot of data here.
Again, I’m not limited by the resources on my computer, because it's actually Microsoft servers that EnergyCAP is using, that's actually doing all the crunching, right. It's just showing the information here in my browser. But you can do things like click on a particular day of the month and say, you know what, I want to go a little bit deeper, right. That's one of the really neat things about being able to build your own visualizations and your own -- use your BI tools for analysis. So, here I can see my interval data, I can see it charted. I could actually do some different filtering. And in this case, I wanted to show you just out of the box, Power BI, this tool from Microsoft provides smart analytics and it actually gives information in a text format. It's trying to analyze your data and maybe even draw your attention to things that are important and I didn't have to do that. I didn't type that in there. That's just the power of being able to use modern BI tools on top of what EnergyCAP already provides to you.
You'll also notice here at the bottom of the screen we've integrated weather data. That's been a request from people for a long period of time. You now have daily weather data for all of the weather stations that you are tracking buildings at in EnergyCAP. You now have that information available in Report Designer BI. Here's another view. We've also brought GHD data in so GHD data that you're tracking on your facilities. Again, you have all the same filtering. You could filter on building groups, you could filter on top most place, all those different things. You can filter by scopes. If you want to look at particular scopes and reporting and you get to set the parameters for how long of a period of time it is. And again, if you have particular targets. You could integrate your own data with what's being provided with EnergyCAP and show that all on the screen in one particular place.
The last screen that, well, actually I have two screens. The second, the last screen that I want to show you here is an example of how you can bring your own data in and compare it with the data from EnergyCAP. So for this particular set of data, we have a budget file that is outside of EnergyCAP. It's actually an Excel spreadsheet. And we just said, hey, we've got this feed from EnergyCAP, combine it with this spreadsheet, put it into Power BI and see what happens, right. So, now I'm able to compare an external budget that was provided in an Excel file with my EnergyCAP data and I'm able to put it all in one place. Again, that's one of the really flexible features that you have available to you when you're using Report Designer BI, take EnergyCAP data, and then the sky's the limit. You can do whatever you want to do, including comparing it with some of the data that's external to your organization. And you still get the ability to drill into the data in the same way that you would be able to drill into other data that's coming from EnergyCAP. The last few that I'd like to show is a bill line details. So, those of you who've ever tried to do reports on bill lines, you know, it can be expensive. Bill lines -- there are a lot of them, right and those types of queries can take a lot of time. But again, we're leveraging the power of the servers that are provided by Microsoft.
In this case, we're doing analysis by observation types and it's doing it across all the bills that match our filters. And we're able to do, again, an interactive display that is quick and it's again, not bottlenecked by the resources that I have on my computer. And if you're familiar with using report or Microsoft Excel, you may be familiar with the fact that really the plugin only worked previously, if you were running Windows. I am currently running a Mac. All of this that I'm doing today right here is in a Mac because I'm actually using this in my browser. And I'm going to show you some tools and windows and just a little bit but again, you have the flexibility to use the tooling that makes the most sense for your organization. And that's a lot of nice show and tell, but I have to tell you I'm a little bit of a nerd and I like seeing the data. I like to know how it works. So, I'd like to take a moment and show you, how does this really work under the covers? Okay. So, I'm going to switch over here and we're going to look at this same file that I was just looking at and I was just looking at it in a browser.
Now I'm going into like the designer tools, right. So, you may be the type of person who just looks at data for analysis and maybe you're using the browser version, like what I just had, or maybe you're the person who actually builds visualizations for the rest of your team to use. That's what I'm in right now. I'm in the tool where I can build these visualizations. This is Microsoft Power BI desktop. So, here you can see that the tabs and things that you just saw me walk through, through the browser, but what I wanted to draw your attention to is the data model. And that's really the value that you're getting out of Report Designer BI is this data model. We're taking the information that's in your EnergyCAP database, and we are presenting it in a very standard model with standard naming convention in tables that make sense to you if you've ever dug into the EnergyCAP database, you might've been a little surprised by some of our naming conventions and things like that. We've simplified that here because we would like all of our users to understand what their data looks like and be able to connect it and combine it as they see fit.
So, you'll see every one of those little blocks is a little table of data that's coming from your EnergyCAP database and it's being hosted through those Microsoft services that we talked about. All of those little lines are connectors that we've made that help make all of your data make sense. You don't have to build that yourself. It's all here. So, when you pull bill data in, and then you say, you know what, I'd really like to see it grouped by my meter groups, right. Those little lines are what make all that happen. And that's all part of the model. And regardless of which BI tool or analysis tool that you're using or visualization tool you're using, all of that's in this model that you're getting with Report Designer BI. Again, I'm a nerd. This gets me excited. Excuse me. I know I said I got excited. I didn't realize I got that excited. But again, all of this comes, regardless of the tool that you're using, you can dig into this data model. This is really the backbone of what Report Designer BI really is. It is this model hosted in a service that's standards based that you can connect to with a lot of different BI and visualization tools. This is one tool.
Again, your organization may use a lot of different tools. I'd like to show you a very common tool that most people are familiar with - Microsoft Excel. When we moved to Report Designer BI, we didn't leave Microsoft Excel in the dust. You can still use Microsoft Excel to use pivot tables and pivot charts and things like that. And the data model and all those connections connect in the same way. You can connect in dynamic and hit, refresh and get the latest data. So here what I'm showing you is a pivot table that I've put together very simplistic, its location and its cost over a certain period of time. And as I drill into this data, one of the things you're going to notice is I'm actually going to be prompted, actually, I guess I had already loaded it. Sometimes it'll prompt you for your, for your credentials. All your data is stored in a secure location with the credentials that we provide to you. So, each customer's data is separate and independent from everyone else's and you have the ability to refresh that data as you see fit.
So, as you're working in Excel, you have the ability when you load up to say, hey, let me go get the latest data, because I'd really like to see the bills or the information that may have been added over the last month, as an example. Over here on the right-hand side, you'll notice that all of my pivot table fields that I have and all of the different tables that are available, these look very similar to what we saw in Microsoft Power BI. In fact, it's the same thing, right. So, this data model, this is just one example of how you can use the same data model, whether you're using a tool like Microsoft Power BI or using something like Microsoft Excel, which many people are familiar with. Now, I've got this data, but I'd like to add some commodity information here. So, I'm just going to scroll through my list. Boy, there are a lot of fields here that I can choose from. Here we go. Commodity, let's say you wanted to add commodity to your pivot table. I can simply drag that to down. Again, for those of you who are familiar with pivot tables, you're very familiar with what I did. I'm not going to try to explain all of it, but just know that just like I can connect a different BI tool or visualization tool, I can connect to Excel in the exact same way.
I can pull my data in and if you're familiar with using pivot tables, or maybe you're familiar with using pivot charts, all of that functionality is available to you with Report Designer BI. Because again, we're not dictating the tool. We're providing your data in a format that makes it easy for you to get at, and you can use whatever tool you're most familiar with. I'm going to show one more tool while we're here. Tableau, we know a number of our clients use Tableau. I just want to make sure that you're aware. This demonstration is not a Microsoft only demonstration. You can use whatever tool that you are most familiar with. IBM Cognos is another example, but you can use Tableau in the same way that I've been showing you these things with Microsoft Power BI or Excel. One of the different connection types that it's available is Microsoft analysis services and that's what we're using under the covers. We're using the power of Microsoft analysis services to provide the data to you. And when I connect here with my credentials, here I can see the dataset that I'm working. Here I can pick the model when I pick that, you'll notice this is all the information that we just saw in Excel, and we just saw on Power BI. And in fact, I can come over into Tableau. You can see over here. It looks a little bit different, but it's the same information. These are all the different types of tables and information that were available.
Our measures are available here. So, let's say for instance, that I wanted to show some account information. I could pull my account numbers over into Tableau. I could also grab my account name and bring it over as well. So I wanted to make sure you are aware we are in no way restricting the types of tools that you can use to get at your data. We are providing your data in a standard format and any of these BI tools that can connect to Microsoft analysis services can get at your EnergyCAP data with Report Designer BI. So, those are just a couple of the tools. I wanted to also just demonstrate some of the help resources that are available to you. Chris mentioned this in his presentation, but our user guide has already been updated with Report Designer BI information. This is already out here. There's an overview page that you can use to understand what types of data are available to you to maybe help explain this webinar content to one of your colleagues. What's the difference between current Report Designer BI in prior versions? All that information is here. How do you get started, et cetera? Next, I'd like to show you our data dictionary. And I I'm really proud of this because I think one of the ways that this is truly successful is by making sure that you understand the data that you're getting access to. This data dictionary describes every field, every table that is available through Report Designer BI. So, you can go through this and you can see through from my scroll bar over here, this is a huge set of data.
Every field is described what it is, what it means, the data type that's available. If it was in the prior version of Report Designer, we've also indicated that so that you can easily make the transition from prior versions of Report Designer to Report Designer BI. And finally, there's another page here that talks specifically about how do you connect? We give an example here with Tableau, as well as Power BI and Excel, how you can connect. And we also have some example files that we're going to be making available to you. So, you can use those example files to get a feel for what's included in this data model, how does it work? You can also see some of the ways that we've used visualizations to show data in a way that maybe is built into EnergyCAP itself, right. It's not wrong that your organization may ask for something that's a little bit different than everybody else. We all have different needs. Report Designer BI puts the power into your hands so that you can get at the data, use the tools that you're familiar with, integrate with your own data sets and really, again, the sky's the limit. And what's really neat about some of these BI tools is that you also get access to some of their advanced features. For instance, one example, with Report Designer excuse me, with Microsoft Power BI is that you can take these types of visualizations and you can export them directly to PowerPoint, right.
So, you can build something that you're going to use on a regular basis. And maybe you need to have a report that you're producing every month. You can build it as a visualization. It's interactive if you're using it on the screen, but you also have the ability then to export it into PowerPoint and maybe send it off to a colleague as well. Again, different BI tools are going to provide different functionality, but you're not limited by EnergyCAP. You're really limited only in your imagination in terms of where you want to take your data. That ends the demo portion of our presentation, but just as a wrap up, we wanted to just mention again, I'm going to go back to what Chris said before this is available now. If you currently are subscriber to Report Designer, you can contact our technical support team and we'll set you up. We'll get your database set up, feeding data on a regular basis. So that that's available to you and we'll provide you with your login information and credentials. If you're not yet a subscriber for Report Designer, then please contact your account representative and they can help you walk through that process of getting it turned on in your database as well. Here are a couple of questions that we've had from folks as we've been working through the design process. Can I connect Report Designer BI to the BI tools that our company already uses? Absolutely. That is the power of Report Designer BI. You don't have to learn something different.
Again, we use Microsoft's analysis services and that is a standards-based service that almost every BI tool that's out there has a plugin for. So, you can just grab the data and bring it directly into your BI tools that you're using today. There's no reason to switch to something different. So, how do you access Report Designer BI data model? Well, once you're subscribed, then you use the EnergyCAP provided connection information from our tech support team. That's what you're going to use to be able to grab your data and bring it into whatever tooling that you want to analyze it in. So, maybe this is all new to you, right, maybe you're excited by this, but someone in the boat of this last question here. What if I don't have the knowledge or the expertise to create my own Report Designer BI visualizations? We are here to help. Okay. So again, you can reach out to your account representative. We have options that are available and we'd be happy to work with you to build visualizations.
One of the great things about this tool is it's very flexible. And there are definitely paid services, right. People who are using BI tools, there are paid services you can use for BI tooling, but there are also free options like Power BI desktop from Microsoft, that's a tool that's free and available and you can start using that today and getting your data. But we are here to help. So, feel free to reach out and we can assist you with that. That concludes our formal presentation. We'd like to transition over to some questions and I see that some are coming in the background. So, Chris, if you want to answer any as well, feel free to do so. Let's see.
First question here is there historical weather data there too? Yes. The same weather data that powers the services within EnergyCAP is the same weather data that is publishing information into Report Designer BI as well.
Can Power BI use custom fields or user defined? Yes. That was another limitation that we had in the prior versions that we have been able to overcome. So, now, if you add custom fields to your buildings or your meters or your accounts or your vendors, et cetera, those custom fields come with your data into a Report Designer BI and you can use those as filters. You can use those to analyze your data, et cetera. The same is true of GL sub code information. We know that that has been a very popular request. GL sub code information is now brought into this model as well. So, you can do reporting, you can do grouping, you can do analysis based on GL information. The next question will Report Designer BI ever be a possibility for self-hosted clients eventually? And the answer to that is no. We are really taking advantage of cloud services that are integrated into the Microsoft or into the EnergyCAP ecosystem that we already have. So, this service is something that we can only provide to clients that we host because there's really a lot of different pieces and parts that go into making this work. If you are an on-premise client, you have a particular reporting need, I recommend that you reach out to our team about maybe having us create a custom report for you, or maybe working with our APIs that are available to you. But this particular product that we're talking about today, Report Designer BI is limited to clients that are hosted by EnergyCAP.
The next question is the data live or refreshed on a schedule? Great question. The data is refreshed every night. So, every night the data is refreshed with the latest information from your database. That allows that's part of what allows us to have very responsive and interactive analysis is that we're doing that refresh at night. We're actually allowing things to kind of populate and analyze during the off hours so that when you come into the morning, the next morning you have all the data from yesterday and going back in history. How hard is it to set up the backend connections? How long does that typically take? Well, on our side, if you contact our tech support team, we should have you up and running within a couple of days. Now I'm expecting that we're probably going to have a bunch of people today who reached out to us. So, give us a little bit of time to respond. We do need to set up each database and make sure that you've got the correct connection information.
But typically, it's going to take us just a couple of days from when you contact us to when we can get you access to your system. Can multiple users from the same organization view the same custom reports? Yes, the connection -- the information that we're giving to you is really what we would call a system ID. So, it's an ID that is allows you to access all of your data directly. But then from there, it's up to you to decide how you want to disseminate the information. So, for instance, if you're using Microsoft's Power BI tooling, there's the ability to bring all that data into a common data set, and then multiple users can use that data set to analyze data. That's really up to your organization. You saw that I was using a browser to view some of this information before that I could publish that within my organization and others in my organization would have access to that.
If you were a Tableau subscriber, as an example, you could take the Report Designer BI data, and you can publish it into Tableau, and then all of your Tableau users within your organization would be able to see that. So, there are lots of different options that are available to you in your organization. Again, we're putting the power in your hands to decide how you want to use it. The next question, is there anything that is available in the EnergyCAP database that's not available in the model? There is some information that's not fully there, especially if we think about some of the information that was really dedicated towards version six. So, some of those things that are in version six, like budgets. Some of that's not there. Our full unit system is not in the model. We provide the units that make sense for you and we provided common units and roll-ups and things like that. But there is some data that's in the database that isn't here that just doesn't make sense to publish in that way. Over time, we are going to continue to expand this model. We want to continue to provide information to you so that you can use this tool to its fullest. So, I would say that all of the primary data types, again, if you look at, I'm going to go back to our help page that I had referred to before you can see here a list of the major data elements. But I say major because there are over 30 different tables that are available in the data model.
I'm just highlighting here some of the most salient ones that make the most sense. But yes, there is some limited data that's not available here. If you find that there's something that you'd like to that’s not here, let us know about it, and we will continue to adapt and adjust and expand the model, especially as we expand the use cases for EnergyCAP and we continue to provide more ways for you to track your data in EnergyCAP but we've hit some of the major ones that people have asked about in the past - interval, data, weather, data, GHG data, GL sub code data, the groups, and the custom fields. Those are the ones that we had been asked about the most. All of those are currently available in Report Designer BI. There's another question coming through. Can you combine outside organization data with Report Designer BI? And the answer is absolutely, yes. In fact, that was the example that I was showing here. I understand that you probably don't know the data set as well as I do. But here the orange line is depicting actual cost information that's coming from EnergyCAP. This blue line is budget information that isn't in EnergyCAP at all. This was actually stored in a separate Excel file and it was brought into Power BI in order to do this analysis. So, that is one of the really great advantages of Report Designer BI is you can integrate your data from EnergyCAP with any other data within your organization. So, again, another use case that a number of people have asked about is maybe you have GIS information, custom map information that you would like to use and put your EnergyCAP data on top of, you can now do that with Report Designer BI as an example.
Alright. I see no other questions at this time. So, with that, I'm just going to summarize quickly. Today, we are launching Report Designer BI. It is not just an incremental improvement to what we've provided before with the Excel plugin of Report Designer. This is a completely redesign built from the ground up solution, using the latest technologies that are available in the business intelligence and analysis space. This information allows you to do analysis that maybe it would be really hard to perform on a laptop or on some device that you're using at your desk, because we do a lot of the crunching behind the scenes. Not only that, all of the data that's here we've described, we've documented in our data dictionary so that you can see it, you can read through it. You know, that you have stability because this is a product that we're going to continue to support even as an EnergyCAP grows. And as our data model changes under the covers, we're going to continue to provide a consistent data model for you so that you can build other solutions on top of this. This connects with multiple business intelligence analysis and visualization tools. So if your organization is already using things like Tableau or IBM Cognos or Microsoft Power BI, or maybe you're a strong Excel shop, all of those are supported by this. And there are lots of other tools that you can use to get at this data. You're not locked into a particular tool set that EnergyCAP provides. It's really up to you and your organization to decide what's the best way to use your data.
And if you're already a Report Designer, a subscribed customer, contact our technical support team, we'll get this set up for you. We'll get your login credentials, the connection information, so that you can begin using this right away. We want to just thank you for the time that you spent with us today. Again, I'll just go back to what I said at the beginning. We're missing all of you. We're missing the opportunity to be able to connect with you more personally. We are excited about seeing the way things are starting to open up, and we're hoping that in the future we'll have more opportunities to connect more personally with you. But in the meantime, we hope that you and your families and your organizations are safe. And if there's anything that we can do for you, please reach out. Great talking with you today. We'll talk to you soon.