Our goal is to ensure that the solution delivered not only satisfies requirements, but also is extendible and supportable.
We aim to deliver a robustly architected system that considers future requirements that will arise as the enterprise matures in terms of business growth. We provide complete meta-data and documentation to allow customers to move forward independently. As requested we also:
- Support customer evaluation and selection of integration partners
- Provide training and coaching in design and build
- Perform architectural review of ongoing projects
With our head office in Toronto, we often work on projects executed outside of Canada. This normally entails a combination of on site work with the integration team as well as remote work from our office.
Even companies that rely on a single ERP solution for operational systems find that managing master data involves unique challenges. It is rare that the master data required for daily operational needs is sufficient for analysis and planning. In reality, BI requires master data to be managed beyond what is appropriate for an ERP. MDM does not only support hierarchies for BI, but also may be used to manage the integration of multiple data sources. Integration may involve ‘internal’ systems such as CRM or WMS, or ‘external’ partner systems such as those used by distributors or survey companies. Master data solutions may also involve ‘authoring’ to multiple downstream applications, including ERP.
We have experience from multiple MDM implementations supporting BI analysis, planning systems such as Manugistics and APO as well as systems supporting the integration of mission critical operational systems.
Business Intelligence (BI)
Business intelligence (BI) is much more than delivering BI reports. Any data warehouse solution that can survive normal business changes and scope expansion must be well modeled and architected from the outset. Often the real value of a data warehouse solution is not in the reports identified in the first phase, but in the cross functional analysis that is possible only after the later addition of new subject areas or hierarchical information. Building a solution that facilitates this requires planning and experience; an ability to model and build the solution to be both flexible and reflective of business definitions, rather than the specific characteristics of one source system or the needs on one specific user group at any point in time.
With multiple cross functional / enterprise data warehouse solutions to our credit, we have effective practical experience to bring to any implementation. This experience includes ‘back end’ data warehouse design and build, and also extends into the realm of OLAP and the delivery of end to end business analytics solutions.
Planning and Forecasting
Delivering successful planning and forecasting systems requires an understanding of both the tools and forecasting process. Planning systems are often seen as configuring a model and building a history feed, but in reality there is typically a need for hierarchy management, conformance of ongoing historical data to the planning hierarchies, as well as the ability to handle new subjects to be planned. This has to be managed in the context of business structures and hierarchies that are likely to change frequently. System agility and adaptability is key for both planning and forecasting routines. They require the ability to quickly adjust to ever-changing structures, industry trends and legal requirements while taking into account data volatility and time variance.
Effective accommodation of business needs and data analysis in a fast-paced environment is challenging and potentially impossible without well architected systems designed on principles of supportability, adaptability and extendibility. From multiple implementations using different planning tools, we have the experience and ability to assist your business in building an adaptable solution.
Meta Data and Governance
A data warehouse provides value if the measures, KPIs, and hierarchies have consistent and clearly defined meaning. This is part of the meta data that must be delivered with any BI or MDM solution along with clear and meaningful documentation that allows the solution to be extended and supported after the initial go live. Governance is also crucial and applies to the data, the meta data, and the actual data warehouse model, objects and reports.
As part of our BI and MDM solutions we have endeavored to deliver comprehensive meta data and documentation to facilitate business understanding and ongoing support. Additionally, we strive to lay a foundation for a governance process that will sustain the value of the solution as it is altered though normal business changes.