In-Depth

Nominees for Data Warehousing

2006 Innovator Awards ADT's annual Innovator Awards recognize IT development teams who have solved their company's business problems by deploying unique solutions. This year 31 nominees entered their application development projects in the five categories listed below. Each week for the next month, a new category will be added to the mix until the winners -- based on judging by a group of consultants at Keane -- are announced in the May issue of ADT. Tell us who you think should win. Scroll down and vote for the best project in the data warehousing category.


Categories

  • Application Engineering

    Emphasizes the use of software engineering tools and practices. Includes the use of Extreme Programming (XP) concepts, the Unified Modeling Language (UML), Computer-Aided Software Engineering (CASE), object-oriented analysis and design tools, automated testing tools, methodologies, project management, process management, configuration management tools and/or productivity measurement tools in an innovative corporate development project.

    Click here to see the Nominees for this category

  • Data Warehousing

    Emphasizes the design and development processes and tools used in enterprise data warehousing projects, including: data mining tools, online transaction processing systems, data extraction and transformation tools, database management systems, universal data management systems, query and reporting tools.

  • E-Business Application Development

    Emphasizes efforts to develop a corporate application architecture that incorporates legacy systems, client/server systems and the Internet. The judges will evaluate how the finished application affects business processes, as well as the tools and technologies employed. This category also emphasizes the use of multi-tier development tools for development of enterprise-wide applications that can include Web-based and wireless clients. Examples include RAD tools, data modelers, visual 4GLs, Java tools, Internet tools, wireless development tools and development frameworks.

    Click here to see the nominees for this category.

  • Middleware/Application Integration

    Emphasizes the use of middleware, integration and messaging technologies within an application architecture. Relevant tools can include transaction managers, object request brokers, RPC-based schemes, XML-based technologies, object transaction monitors, Web services, application integration tools, message-oriented middleware (MOM) alternatives, and publish and subscribe systems. Also emphasizes the use of middleware to link multiple packaged and/or packaged and internally developed applications, and multivendor DBMS systems to allow seamless integration between dissimilar systems.

    Click here to see the nominees for this category.

  • Open Source

    Emphasizes the use of open-source technologies and tools by corporate development teams building internal, proprietary applications or for extending the capabilities of existing systems. Projects that combine traditional development methods with open-source offerings as well as projects relying solely on open-source technologies are relevant to this category.

    Click here to see the Nominees for this category


Nominees for Data Warehousing

Nominee: Mold-Masters

Industry: Manufacturing

Goal:To turn the wealth of data generated by the company’s SAP data warehouse into actionable content.

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Business Problem: Senior managers at Mold-Masters received their sales reports in the form of giant spreadsheets, manually compiled from the source systems. It’s no surprise these spreadsheets tended to be cumbersome, confusing and time-consuming to interpret, and also required managers to do their own data manipulation to retrieve information that was meaningful to them.

Application Solution: Since 1999, Mold-Masters has relied on mySAP ERP for its key business processes such as financials, sales, purchasing and manufacturing. To turn the wealth of data generated by this system into actionable information, Mold-Masters implemented a business intelligence system based on SAP NetWeaver BI with Cognos ReportNet as the front end.

In step one, Cognos ReportNet provided senior managers in sales, manufacturing, human resources and finance with a dashboard that enabled them to pull their own reports. The second step enhanced the sales reporting infrastructure, thus reducing report production time, streamlining distribution to the mobile sales force and providing more flexible analysis without further burdening the IT group.


click here to read full submission.


Nominee: Nielsen Media

Industry: Media

Goal:Streamline the process of meeting the unique needs of its customers.

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Business Problem: For many years, Nielsen mailed audience-rating data on CD-ROMs and in summary databases in ASE to its clients each month. But when demand grew for more timely and detailed information, Nielsen’s existing system could not handle the job.

Application Solution: Nielsen decided to build an online data warehouse that would allow each client to access the company’s vast data store on an ad hoc basis and to query that data rapidly. To help validate its architectural concepts for this new, Web-accessible data warehouse, Sun and Sybase built a "reference architecture" in Sun’s iForce Solution Center to test Nielsen's concept and workloads.

Sybase IQ enables Nielsen to address a number of formidable challenges inherent in building and maintaining a very large data warehouse. For instance, Nielsen loads almost 300 million rows a day to the warehouse. And this needs to be done in a very narrow time frame—an hour or two at the most. Nielsen found Sybase IQ's load speed to be eight times faster than the solution it previously used.

click here to read full submission.


Nominee: Factiva, a Dow Jones and Reuters Company

Industry: Media

Goal: To generate new sources of revenue.

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Business Problem: Factiva created a business intelligence tool—not to save time or money for the organization, but to develop a new source of revenue. Introducing the solution to the market entailed some risk, however, because potential customers did not readily recognize the impact mainstream and consumer media such as blogs could have on their company’s reputation and branding. The first thing Factiva had to do was educate its potential customers about the risks media posed to their reputations and brands and then demonstrate how its solution addressed the problem.

Application Solution: The development team built a business intelligence tool, dubbed Factiva Insight: Reputation Intelligence, that enables execs to track media, monitor issues, spot market opportunities and form competitive strategies. The information can be analyzed with other internal data such as share price and sales revenues.

The BI solution was developed by integrating text mining technology, data extraction and transformation tools, online transaction processing systems, database management systems and reporting software. Created using commercial, off-the-shelf tools, the BI solution runs on Windows, Unix, and J2EE servers, and includes a full text search engine, a linguistic analyzer, a relational database management system, and an interface generation tool.

click here to read full submission.


Nominee: HBOS plc

Industry: Finance

Goal: Integrate the IT operations of two major national banks to reduce procurement costs.

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Business Problem: HBOS plc knew it could cut procurement costs dramatically if it only knew more about each supplier, exactly what was being spent and with whom, as well as what was being purchased by different areas within the business. With £2.4 billion in annual procurement spending, this initiative was mission critical. To maximize the economies of scale made possible by the merger, and drive significant savings, HBOS also needed to develop a clearer picture of all 10,000 line-items bought through its e-buy system organization-wide. An accounts payable system from Oracle was being implemented simultaneously so HBOS needed to ensure the business continued to run smoothly.

Application Solution: Working with Acuma, a systems integrator, HBOS set out to create a supplier resource management system to integrate the newly merged firm’s disparate systems and provide a single view of organizational data. The SRM comprises a data warehouse from Kalido, reporting and analysis tools from Business Objects, and extract/transformation/load tools from Ascential. The new system enabled HBOS Procurement to consolidate and analyze supplier data, making it possible for the firm to nimbly drive efficiencies, assist purchasing compliance and better manage supplier relationships across a complex organizational structure.

HBOS can now examine procurement by time and region, regardless of the region or organizational structure changes, saving the procurement team massive amounts of time and energy and alleviating the need for extensive data reconciliation and research.

click here to read full submission.


Nominee: Export Development Canada

Industry: Finance and risk management services

Goal: To provide timely, accurate information.

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Business Problem: Provide employees with consistent customer, portfolio and financial risk information.

Application Solution: The development team was tasked with building an agile, industrial strength data warehouse that provided company-wide access to consistent and accurate data. The data warehousing methodology and ETL processes were developed internally and built around a components-based architecture so that code could be reused. The team used an SAS platform to build a data warehouse and various data marts, replacing many disconnected sources of data—application abstracts, personal spreadsheets, Microsoft Access databases. Components include the raw data feeds, SAS ETL Studio, SAS/IntrNet, SAS Enterprise Miner and online analytical processing cubes.

Data is gathered from more than 12 apps running on the mainframe, AS/400 or Microsoft SQL Server databases. Data marts include a Credits Administration System, Market Risk Management, Loans Provisioning, a Corporate Results scorecard and a Corporate Exposure scorecard.

click here to read full submission.


Nominee: Military Health Systems-Resources Information Technology Program Office

Industry: Defense

Goal: Track military personnel’s environmental exposure history.

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Business Problem: Develop an environmental monitoring and medical analysis system and data warehouse that captures, stores, and analyzes hazard exposure history throughout the life of both military personnel and Department of Defense civilians.

Application Solution: The development team at Military Health Systems built the Defense Occupational and Environmental Health Readiness System-Industrial Hygiene primarily as a Web-based application; there is also a mobile component for users not connected to a network. The system was developed according to the DoD Joint Technical Architecture and MHS guidelines. The team selected Oracle 9iAS enterprise edition for the Web app server and Oracle 9iAS standard edition for the mobile solution. Other components were selected to promote a single vendor solution.

The DOEHRS-IH project followed the Quality Engineering Standard Incremental Design Lifecycle methodology as defined in the Northrop Grumman Mission Systems Policy & Requirements Manual and the Standard Process Manual. The system was designed using the Together Control Center modeling and development tool, which supports UML. The AllFusion ERWin Data Modeler tool was used to model the system and create both logical and physical data models as well as the data dictionary. The DOEHRS-IH system has more than 1.4 million lines of code, 880 individual Web pages and more than 565 database tables. It is designed to support 2,000 users with an ability to scale to 70,000 users.

The Web system architecture is based on four Java 2 Enterprise Edition tiers. A client tier resides on the workstation, laptop or PC tablet. The presentation, business and data tiers are on remote servers, which interface with the client tier via HTTP.

Mobile users have laptops or PC tablets, which are configured with the DOEHRS-IH app as well as the Web server, app server, and relational database management system. Data gathered by remote users is synchronized with the Web component when the user establishes a connection to the network.

click here to read full submission.


You be the Judge

Judges from Keane chose the winners that will appear in the May issue. Vote now and tell us who you’d choose in the Data Warehousing category.
Judges from Keane chose the winners that will appear in the May issue. Vote now and tell us who you’d choose in the Data Warehousing category.

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