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LESSON - The Wheel Keeps Turning

By Lia Szep, Senior Technical Analyst, Syncsort Incorporated

The more successful an enterprise becomes, the more data it generates. The more data it generates, the harder it is to reap actionable data. Actionable data sustains business intelligence. Business intelligence supports enterprise success. The more successful an enterprise becomes, the more data . . . feel like a hamster? Consider this: If you were to wipe away the bells and whistles and sort through the maze of processes and systems that have been developed to answer both large and small corporate questions, what would you be left with?

Information delivery comes down to twothings: data integration and business intelligence.And with two major players on thefield—data producers and data consumers—a company’s success comes in partfrom its ability to get data from the handsof one to those of the other. The faster youcan process customer and market data, thebetter you can anticipate and respond tochanging business trends. The key to gettingthe most out of your BI solution is finding theright DI tool. This isn’t all that difficult, if youkeep in mind a few basic objectives.

Cut Processing Time

The purpose of a BI solution is to enable business users to make crucial business decisions. Unless you can minimize the time it takes to complete a job, you have no chance of meeting this objective. The faster a DI tool, the more timely and actionable the data; so look for a solution that speeds querying and quickly creates and loads aggregate tables.

Reduce Total Cost of Ownership

People sometimes add hardware to solve performance problems. If a DI tool is strong enough, you can reduce the amount of hardware resources required to support powerful processing—plain and simple.

Test the Solution

Before committing to a purchase, test the product in your own environment with your own data. Needs are never the same, and this is the best way to identify the best solution for you. If, for example, you are dealing with a vast amount of data on disparate sources, then you’ll want to find a solution that runs on multiple platforms and provides support for different sources and targets.

Value Ease of Use

Particularly in businesses built on hand coding, graphical user interfaces are severely underrated. When it comes down to it, a product that is easy to use can help control the cost and time of training new staff members who are not likely hand-coders.

Figure 1: With two major players on the field—data producers and data consumers—a company’s successcomes in part from its ability to get data from one to the other.

Real-Life Example

Our customers typically see real BI value in powerful data integration. One direct marketing company saw significant performance improvement before committing to a solution.

The company’s primary focus is building and managing customer databases for Fortune 1000 corporations. With anywhere from 250 to 300 million names, addresses, and other demographic information, extracting demographic data, analytics, profiles, and model scores for processing can be a cumbersome and time-consuming task.

It took three days to run analytics on 240 GB of data with the tool the company was using. Through a software evaluation in their own environment, the process was completed in less than 10 hours. They determined the solution would give them the ability to run reports more frequently than they were—giving them timely, actionable data.


When it comes to information delivery, it may seem like you are perpetually spinning your wheels. Finding a powerful DI tool to support your BI solution can greatly shift this burden. It also ensures that users across the enterprise can get the actionable data they need—how, where, and when they need it.

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