Improving reporting systems and practices for a travel services company
The customer was facing a challenge with their reporting that we often see with large companies that have deployed on-premises solutions throughout the years. Although these solutions are often well suited to achieve the goals of a particular group or division, their scope (i.e., solving for the business challenges facing the organization) and deployment timeline create challenges as data integration and consistency become critical for the business. Additionally, on-premises infrastructure is typically time–consuming and costly to update, frequently resulting in environments running on outdated hardware that can impair performance.
In this situation, data was frequently inconsistent, resulting in errors in the customer’s reports. The errors were byproducts of the company’s databases being siloed by department, resulting in an inability to support reporting requirements across departments. This, in turn, necessitated manual data entry, resulting in a significant number of errors in their reports. Not only this but the customer’s on-premises infrastructure that hadn’t been updated in some time, which resulted in performance significantly below what was possible in the cloud.
Neal Analytics worked with the customer to understand their reporting requirements. As a result, Neal built a modern data warehouse and analysis service on top of their existing system, designed to leverage existing data and provide the company with superior data lineage.
To achieve data lineage and enable the customer to gain better insights into where data came from, Neal executed physical and logical data mapping as well as fact and dimension mapping between the company’s numerous systems and databases. This, in turn, enabled different services and systems running in the data warehouse to know where all the data resided and how to interpret it. This ensured reporting was consistent regardless of where the data came from.
Neal also developed ETL jobs to help the customer quickly move data into more appropriate databases and leveraged SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) to create reports.
By building an enterprise data warehouse on top of their existing system, the customer was able to extend their databases’ functionality and improve the accuracy of their reports while updating much of their outdated hardware. As this solution was built as an overlay to existing systems, rather than migrating everything to a new system, it accelerated the solution development and decreased porting risks and day-to-day business disruption.
The data warehouse also enabled them to pull data from every department and produce reports in a fraction of the time previously required.
The improved accuracy, timeliness, and granularity of the customer’s reporting also helped them gain insights that lead to operational improvements, significantly improved analytics capabilities, and more accurate financial reporting. Plus, the modern data warehousing system enabled the customer to more easily identify errors and issues in a timelier manner, including issues like customers who may be delinquent on payments.