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Architected Data Warehouse / MDM for a Fortune 100 firm
 
The Client
The client operates two global companies that handle 26 million car rental transactions every year, and operate 6,000 car and truck rental locations.
 
Introduction
Dr. Basham was the Chief Data Architect at this Fortune 100 company. Being a renowned knowledge architect with over two decades of experience in developing information architecture, infrastructure, systems and applications, Dr. Basham defined the detailed data architecture for the complete Data Warehousing (DW) effort. This included developing and documenting the entire Metadata Strategy as well as the complete Extract-Transform-Load procedure and suites of data management and query tools.  A roadmap for development and hardware to support future growth over the next several years was also recommended.
 
The active Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW) consists of a data warehouse and several super-fast data processing data marts.  The EDW has been in continuous use for over 10 years, and has processed one trillion transactions. Through these efforts, the client saved millions of US dollars every year due to timely reporting and improved data accuracy, leading to improved profit-related decision making.
 
Dr. Basham’s team then successfully implemented a similar data warehouse and data marts for the client’s newly acquired global company, and seamlessly maintained the two complex data warehouses, serving multiple user communities.
 
The Need for an Expert
After two attempts to implement a data warehouse, the management team, with its futuristic thinking, made a third attempt and invested in data warehouse SUN hardware and Oracle software licenses.  The IT team, learning ‘on-the-job’, continued with two activities:
 
  • Developing a conceptual level model for the corporate data warehouse and its data
  • Extracting and loading data into the tables of an actual database for their users
 
Due to lack of expertise to handle the increasing demands of the users, the data model and the actual database started to deviate. At this point the client required an expert, who could examine the model in terms of technical and business perspectives and provide collaborative support to build a data warehouse.
 
At about this same time, when the data warehousing field was young, Dr. Basham devised a foundational new model for data warehouses. This business oriented model constructed data warehouses from the infrastructure point of view (ie how to combine platforms together) and delivered it from the dimensional point of view (ie how to relate data to each other across the infrastructure).
 
Winning Confidence
Under Dr. Basham’s leadership, ‘job one’ was to win the client team’s confidence in Information Architects’ expertise and the proposed solution.  Initially, time was spent convincing the IT team about the reasons for prior failures, flaws in their current approach and to re-orient them to a successful way forward for their data warehouse.
 
The second job was a thorough review and understanding of the client’s existing infrastructure – architecture, tool sets and resources. This knowledge was used to maximally leverage existing resources in the new design.  
 
Thirdly, work began on the DW itself. The data warehouse, data structure, data mart, extract-transform-load architecture and development methodology were developed.  Existing Sun platforms and Oracle software were used.  Consultants were hired and trained.  Tasks were aligned, with sensitive inter-organizational issues involving the client in mind.  Sponsorship was procured from the business side.  Business users and end users were then actively involved in the process.
 
The first phase of the project was completion of a central data repository called the ‘Enterprise Data Warehouse’ containing complete client corporate information: defined, cleansed and loaded.  Having done this, work got underway on data marts required by specific user groups so they could access their own data sets and quickly retrieve the information they required.
 
Building Data Marts
The first data mart – Executive Information System Mart – was successfully completed.  This mart facilitated business executives in making revenue and profitability decisions on closed client rentals.  This was hugely successful and impactful. And the biggest reason for the success was a business reason: there was unanimous agreement from each department on a single rental profitability/ contribution formula.
 
Following the Executive Information Mart, the Reservation Mart was established providing insight to the ‘pre-rental’ process.  It identified and established data to support current and future reservation reporting allowing decisions to be made regarding fleet, pricing, advertising, promotion, yield, sponsorships and sales activity against rental trends.
 
The treatment of rentals and reservations as both separate and combined entities was the unique requirement of this business.  This new mart provided truly liberating information on profitability that was previously inaccessible.
 
Then a Marketing Mart was built as the solution to Marketing’s need for customer segment views and marketing program analysis.  The marketing team is now able to develop tightly focused advertising campaigns.  These focused campaigns are more relevant to their customers and therefore increase customer retention. Such important insights were provided by the system that individual customer buying patterns were used to create personalized marketing campaigns.  This had a direct impact on profitability per customer.
 
In order to leverage economies of scale and realize cost savings in operations of both subsidiaries, Fleet Mart was then delivered.
 
The Fleet Mart integrates two previously separate sets of costs and revenue calculations into one. It primarily calculates the profit contribution at the vehicle level, providing complete revenue, profitability and cost analysis across multiple dimensions such as corporate customers, locations, vehicle make/model, and sales performance. As managers of asset intensive organizations know, information at the asset level is needed to create profitable maintenance and use schedules.
 
Replicating the Data Warehouse for a newly acquired subsidiary
A new global subsidiary was acquired during the development of the data marts. This new entity had its own data warehouse with an architecture and decision support system different from the client.  But since the client’s Enterprise Data Warehouse was built by Information Architects with a strategic view to the future, it offered a flexible architecture that accommodated the new subsidiary’s data warehouse in its entirety.  Therefore, the subsidiary’s data warehouse was reconstructed on the client’s model.  Although the two data warehouses are treated as separate entities and are maintained independently, they are kept in an identical environment to streamline business processes and to improve efficiency.
 
Moving Off-shore
Offshore outsourcing is seldom practiced in data warehousing due to the daily transfer and maintenance of massive data, different time zones, complex processes, discrete working norms, and communication issues.  However, offshore development capabilities offer outstanding value to the IT budget, delivering significant savings and faster time-to-market… if well managed.
 
The slump in the IT business post Y2K in the US, made it infeasible for parent company to continue data warehousing in the existing environment.  It weighed the options of in-house development, hiring consulting firms, or outsourcing the entire project to an end-to-end service provider.  The strong belief and confidence of the client’s top management in Information Architects, made the decision easier for the 10% on-site, 90% offshore model.  Using cutting edge management tools, the onsite-offshore model dramatically reduced the cost of developing the client’ four data marts and creating the new subsidiary’s data warehouse. In addition, maintenance is achieved in a well defined and cost effective manner.
 
The client’s data warehouse is now a thriving hub with up to 15TB of data.
 
Benefits
The client benefited dramatically, across a spectrum of areas, from the data warehousing solution, including:
  • The data warehouse empowers business users across the enterprise with a swift means to access previously inaccessible large, historical and rich data sources, thereby providing an accurate, timely, trustworthy and usable set of reports to run the business better – from marketing, to operations, to finance and asset management.
  • The reduced time to obtain this information translates into an exponential productivity increase.
  • Business users have extensive use of analysis with the ability to not only report on events, but to forecast future trends based on historical data.
  • The DW optimizes query time and reporting because of its ability to analyze data, in multiple ways, often from disparate databases.
  • Outsourced maintenance has ensured cost effective management of the data warehouse, reducing opex and putting those savings directly to the bottom line.
  • The flexible architecture of the data warehouse facilitates future enhancements as it is easily adaptable to rapidly changing business requirements.
  • Data warehousing provides all the necessary parameters for productive marketing. It provides deeper insight into customer behavior and their changing needs.  This enables the company to generate or maintain high levels of customer satisfaction, therefore increasing and retaining valuable customers and improving its marketplace reputation.
  • Development of the successful DW also improved the relationship between IT, business users and management.

 

Collectively, all these factors have helped improve the reputation of the company, making it one of the leading companies in the travel industry.

Industries We Serve
Industries served include:

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Our Partners Are
Our channel and technology partners are:

>> SAP
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Big Data Solutions

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Data Integrity Solutions

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Office Automation Solutions

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Building Databases

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Building Intelligence

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Sed egestas, ante et vulputate volutpat, eros pede semper est, vitae luctus metus libero eu augue. Morbi purus libero, faucibus adipiscing, commodo quis, gravida id, est. Sed lectus. Praesent elementum hendrerit tortor. Sed semper lorem at felis. Vestibulum volutpat, lacus a ultrices sagittis, mi neque euismod dui, eu pulvinar nunc sapien ornare nisl. Phasellus pede arcu, dapibus eu, fermentum et, dapibus sed, urna. 

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Building Your High Performance Office

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Sed egestas, ante et vulputate volutpat, eros pede semper est, vitae luctus metus libero eu augue. Morbi purus libero, faucibus adipiscing, commodo quis, gravida id, est. Sed lectus. Praesent elementum hendrerit tortor. Sed semper lorem at felis. Vestibulum volutpat, lacus a ultrices sagittis, mi neque euismod dui, eu pulvinar nunc sapien ornare nisl. Phasellus pede arcu, dapibus eu, fermentum et, dapibus sed, urna. 

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