Data & Analytics Strategy & Data Mart Delivery
Like so many enterprises, this media company’s success was driven by an internal entrepreneurial culture. While this led to explosive growth, it also presented future challenges as well. On the creative side, freedom unleashed the possibilities, however, this freedom also led to isolated support systems that locked up critical data. Fast access to enterprise data was needed to support executive decisions, and the current infrastructure would not support the need.
RCG served as a neutral agent who fostered true collaboration and understanding among the many owners and contributors involved in the BI project. This was a significant breakthrough needed to secure buy-in and commitment to the data mart implementation. RCG outlined the requirements for success and aided in the development of a BI Competency Center within the company’s IT organization.
RCG’s evaluation provided the company with an overall perspective of the BI market and the best practices required to ensure both short and long term success. This cable broadcaster easily reached the decision to proceed with the new BI initiatives fully knowing that core competency and structure exists, coupled with the appropriate technologies to enable sustainable growth.
The company lacked an effective way to consolidate, manage and distribute business data. Data resided in many different sources and in different formats throughout the enterprise, limiting its ability to analyze and deliver it within a single platform.
The goal of this initiative was to build organizational consensus and buy-in implement and leverage a central data repository to support critical decision support needs.
The chosen solution was Business Intelligence (BI) technology as it would provide a single repository for enterprise information. RCG was selected to perform a strategic BI architecture assessment and a data mart delivery.
RCG proceeded to determine the appropriate architecture framework, processes, and technologies needed to support current and future strategic business initiatives. The client also required an overall perspective of how BI would meet their business objectives and how it would fit into their existing IT architecture. An in-depth understanding of the business drivers and the company’s specific needs was critical to the success of the effort.
IT Education Sessions – It was important for the IT community to be familiar and comfortable with BI technology for future efforts to be effective. RCG delivered a number of instructional sessions that outlined the key areas of BI, explained the importance of best practices and demonstrated the technology in action.
Business Area Identification – For BI technology to make a difference, it needed to effectively tackle everyday business problems and demonstrate its usefulness from the outset. RCG immersed itself in this company’s business to identify prime areas to target for the first BI initiative. One of the key components of this identification stage was to develop prototypes using real business data. RCG quickly deployed this data in a setting that enabled business users to see the power of BI first-hand and in a very short time frame. This demonstration helped users visualize the benefits of implementing BI while enabling RCG to understand the main areas of need and viability for future projects.
Tool Evaluation – The long term manageability of any BI effort is highly dependent on the implementation of the right processes, procedures, and tools. For the data mart, the company required the use of robust Extraction, Transformation and Load (ETL) and OLAP tools to ensure success.
RCG led a tool evaluation initiative to identify the tools that met business, technical and architectural requirements. A good metadata strategy is dependent on a platform that will enable the development team to stay lean and effective in the long term. A quality tool evaluation was important to that success.
RCG selected Microstrategy and IBM/Ascential DataStage tools for the implementation. In-house tools that will also be utilized are Crystal Reports and SAP. High-Level Architecture Design – RCG performed a number of requirements sessions to assist in defining both the needs of the user community and help to uncover the true source systems involved in the data mart. Once the key business areas were understood, RCG developed high-level architecture. Major existing initiatives such as SAP/R3 and SAP BW projects were taken into account as part of the overall architecture.