Business Intelligence & Data Warehouse Consulting

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Transforming Raw Data into Business Results

In the rapid pace of today's business environment, businesses must be able to adapt to changing customer needs and quickly refocus resources to meet market demand. Business Intelligence (BI) systems can be indispensable in identifying strategies that are most likely to yield success. BI systems can transform a company's operational data into usable information that can help managers identify important trends, analyze customer behavior, and make intelligent business decisions quickly. The ability to analyze information in real-time has become increasingly critical as decision-making cycle real-times have been drastically reduced. Competitive pressures require businesses to make intelligent decisions based on all of their available resources — and do it quickly. In addition, new compliance regulations are creating greater demands to access and analyze data. Simply put, the ability to turn raw data into useful information in a timely manner can add hundreds of thousands—up to millions—of dollars to an organization’s bottom line. For example, financial institutions can improve customer and channel marketing, risk management, compliance, reporting, and corporate performance management.

Telecommunications companies can improve customer value management, self-service, corporate performance management, and the quality of service metrics. And, retailers can improve merchandising and floor management, price/promotion management, purchasing and transfer management, and supply chain management. As illustrated in Figure 1, raw operational data from business applications such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is typically maintained in a format that is optimized for transaction processing. This data can be exported to a separate repository called a data warehouse where it can be optimized for decision support and analyzed without impacting the performance of operational systems. Business Intelligence systems rely on Data Warehouses as a cost-effective means to store and manage optimized decision support data.

A combined Business Intelligence Data Warehouse (BIDW) solution can:

• Provide an end-to-end approach that integrates the entire process from extracting operational data, to optimizing it for query and analysis, efficiently managing the data, and providing analysis and reporting tools to support business decisions.

• Analyze internal business activities to improve processes, increase efficiency, and reduce costs

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Figure 1. BIDW solutions provide the means to transform raw operational data into business results The Need for BIDW Infrastructure

As BIDW systems have evolved in recent years to meet additional business requirements, the task of implementing a BIDW infrastructure that can deliver on these requirements has increased in complexity. The following BIDW trends explain how new requirements that enable better support for business decision making are also driving increased complexity for deployment:

• Rapid increase in “information democracy.”

Businesses are putting BIDW tools and data in the hands of large numbers and types of users, not just an elite few. More people are getting more information in more detail on more devices. In addition, data is doubling every 12-24 months and there is demand for more types of client interfaces (PDAs, cell phones, etc.). These requirements for large data sets, increased numbers of users, and a broad range of devices require a highly scalable BIDW infrastructure and the use of portal technology to cost-effectively support many device types. • Increased security

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Businesses are required to make more decisions, more frequently and more accurately in shorter time periods. The amount of time between when a decision is made and when feedback is received (requiring a new decision) is becoming shorter and shorter. To support managers in making intelligent business decisions quickly, businesses must provide real-time access to decision support data and a BIDW infrastructure that can deliver good performance for a high volume of user requests.

• Enormous diversity of data

Organizations must store and manage data from multiple different sources such as ERP, CRM, text, images, voice, video, unstructured data, and more. The BIDW infrastructure must support efficient storage and management of large files and be able to scale cost-effectively with data growth.

• Data is being customized on a mass scale

Personalized information such as portals, digital domains, recommendations, and news feeds are commonplace. All of these access methods require that data warehouses be flexible enough to provide different views to different people.

• Increased Regulatory requirements

New legislation and compliance regulations have made BIDW mission critical. Regulatory requirements (such as Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA, Gramm-Leach-Bliley, etc.) put greater demands on determining and maintaining business intelligence and have made access to information and analysis data a critical requirement. Data must be captured, retained, and managed in a way that will satisfy courts and regulators including strict adherence to archival procedures, audit trails, and retention of records. These trends require that the BIDW environment offer flexibility, scalability and performance, high availability, and tight security. Whether implementing a BIDW solution for the first time, or upgrading the IT infrastructure to support a growing BIDW installation, organizations should carefully consider these requirements for the long term success of their BIDW environment. The architectural design of the BIDW infrastructure can have a big impact on its ability to support these requirements. An efficiently designed BIDW infrastructure can also impact how quickly a new system can be brought online. By choosing system components that are known to work well together, installation and testing time can be reduced, enabling the system to begin generating business benefits right away. The success of any BIDW implementation is dependent on its ability to deliver a quick return on the initial investment, and its ability to offer a long term foundation that is cost-effective to maintain and expand as business needs dictate.

Designing and Implementing Business Intelligence Solutions

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and managed using the PrimeX Deploy design methodology in Customer Technology Centers and customer environments around the world. Businesses can also take advantage of PrimeX Technologies’ vast network computing know-how and BIDW experience by leveraging PrimeX Technology’s BIDW service offerings.

Comprehensive Services for BIDW

PrimeX Technology provides a continuum of expertise, technology, and global coverage to architect, integrate, and support business solutions such as BIDW, helping companies realize the full value of their IT investments. PrimeX's experts can help integrate solutions quickly and efficiently and provide the operational support and management capabilities to result in optimized solutions that meet robust scalability and service level requirements. PrimeX also offers a comprehensive portfolio of consulting services and workshops that are specific to the needs of BIDW implementations:

• BIDW Executive Briefing — A two hour overview of the services and products available to assist with Business Intelligence and Data Warehouse implementation.

• BIDW Workshop — Facilitates collaborative teaming with customers to drive out BIDW business and technical requirements in an efficient manner. The requirements will be used to measure expected results and create the appropriate BIDW architecture.

• BIDW Justification / TCO Analysis Workshop — Comprehensive study providing a foundation for assessing the costs and benefits of deploying BIDW solutions.

• BIDW Planning and Configuration — Helps ensure all aspects of deployment are planned and managed appropriately. Clearly defines project vision, requirements, tasks, risk analysis and service level objectives. • BIDW Training — Teaches IT professionals BIDW implementation and integration techniques to satisfy business objectives for warehouse deployment and management.

• BIDW Architecture and Design — Provides a solid BIDW architecture, design and infrastructure for the entire data warehousing framework, to meet customer’s business requirements. From the architecture, the appropriate design can be created.

• BIDW Implementation and Delivery — Leverages highly skilled and trusted consultants to lead and manage the BIDW solution build and deployment.

• BIDW Migration — Provides risk mitigation while moving a processing environment to a new architecture and solution comprising of new operating systems and/or database technologies.

• BIDW Performance Tuning — Identifies performance gaps and provides recommendations for improvements for existing BIDW solutions.

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integrating/delivering BIDW solutions. The following is a brief case study as an example of a consulting project delivered by PrimeX BIDW Consultants:

Pharma

A Pharmaceutical Company was receiving and loading large volumes of prescription data monthly and was only able to load this data during a long 24 plus hour weekend cycle. PrimeX Consultants redesigned the architecture and prototyped the environment showing how this same volume of data could be processed and loaded in 1 hour and 15 minutes. Transitioning from a long weekend process and load to a long lunch process and load had a major positive impact on the Pharmaceutical companies business.

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