RESEARCH & RESOURCES

LESSON - Data Aggregation— Faster Performance Better Business Management

By Rich Ghiossi, VP Product Management and Marketing, HyperRoll

Over the past 10 years, businesses have made enormous investments in systems designed to transform raw data into business intelligence. Yet as data volumes and the demand for information have grown, even the most powerful database servers have been unable to keep up. Performance problems have proliferated to the point where reports are taking hours or even days to run.

Adding to this problem is the changing face of the business intelligence user. Business intelligence has expanded from just a few power users performing strategic analysis to thousands of front-line managers and top executives who need operational updates as business events are happening. These people have increased the need for fast access to information just as business intelligence systems are slowing down.

The impact of slow system performance is far-reaching. Strategic business intelligence analysis requires iterations: to get the right answer, one must ask the right question. Unfortunately, the right question usually makes its appearance after many iterations, and slower performance means fewer iterations. As for making front-line decisions based on the latest data, having to wait hours or days for key reports can seriously impede operational analysis and delay even the simplest business decisions.

Data Aggregation: A New Alternative

To date, database administrators have had few alternatives for improving data performance. Most have tried to optimize the performance of the existing infrastructure either by “tuning” database structures or queries, or by building dozens of summary tables to anticipate user requirements. But because neither of these labor-intensive approaches truly addresses the root problem, performance improvements are nominal and always temporary.

Today, businesses are finding that the single most dramatic way to affect performance is through innovative data aggregation techniques, which can accelerate query performance by a factor of hundreds or even thousands. Data aggregation involves the consolidation of information into a highly summarized result.

The performance improvements achieved through these new techniques can impact multiple areas of the business, including:

  • Financial close. Avoiding delays in the close due to slow revenue, balance sheet, and profit and loss reports helps companies meet their regulatory requirements.
  • Performance management. The ability to generate ad hoc, near-real-time reports dramatically improves visibility into the health of the business.
  • Compliance. High-performance reporting offers financial transparency throughout the organization, allowing decision makers to respond promptly to material events and resolve noncompliant activities quickly.
  • Supply chain. Intraday access to information from partners, suppliers, employees, and customers enables operational performance management and enhances quality control.
  • Customer relationship management. Intraday access to sales, utilization, and profitability numbers enables managers to react quickly to issues as they arise, not days later.
Data Aggregation from HyperRoll

HyperRoll’s patented data aggregation software delivers immediate and substantial improvements in database performance. One HyperRoll financial customer was able to improve its query performance from 14 minutes to 9 seconds—increasing the query performance time by a factor of 93, and empowering analysts and decision makers to achieve rapid business insight.

HyperRoll works seamlessly within customers’ existing relational reporting environment. HyperRoll is completely transparent to business intelligence users and their applications. Analysts and decision makers can continue to use the same tools, applications, and routines they have been using—only faster, better, and more effectively.

Impacted Business Area Before HyperRoll After HypeRoll System Improvement
Financial close 18 hours 15 minutes 72 times
Performance management 30 hours 15 minutes 120 times
Compliance 40 hours >2 hours 20 times
Supply chain 80 minutes 2 minutes 40 times
Customer relationship management (CRM) 60 minutes 5 seconds 720 times

This article originally appeared in the issue of .

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