Companies are constantly trying to improve their operational processes. But it often happens that employees have to wait for important documents in the system longer than is acceptable. Operational Data Store (ODS) is a solution for them, which eases their system operationally. What are the concrete benefits and results?
This year’s first meeting of the knowledge and communication platform for professionals, Adastra DW Club, was devoted to just this issue, which was held in the pleasant premises of Grandior Hotel in Prague.
This time the audience was purely comprised of professionals and interest in it was truly great. The event was attended by over 50 participants, including experts in Data Warehousing. The programme had two case studies from Czech Savings Bank and Mountfield and in the Technology Window the topic Visualization of Data Streams in DWH (Data Warehousing) was discussed. This issue was introduced by Martin Masařík from the SQLdep Company, whose solutions can map data flows in the data warehouse developed over a series of years, in just ten minutes. And how fast are the operational processes and data flows within real organizations?
Clients and employees benefit from the speed of the system
Banking and retail may have a different focus, but they have in common the need to make prompt decisions based on readily available information. Czech Savings Bank has responded to this need with a project A Unified Workspace (JPP), which aims to unify the display data in CRM. “The aim of the project was to create a unified view of the current position of the client in CRM, which is updated in real time. So its products, applications and current attributes to them for quick reference when communicating with clients,” said Jan Karban, a Solution Architect from Adastra which implemented the ODS solutions at Czech Savings Bank.
At present, data can be update in the ODS within 10–15 seconds thanks to this solution, thus almost in real time. Other possibilities of real time data in organizations are then wide, for example, “banal” operations of editing client data directly via internet banking. The technology is also applicable to delivering data for real time reporting. “In the future we also plan uses for the fields of enforcement, event detection and explosions,” added Tomáš Lízner, who leads the IT team managing real time ODS at Czech Savings Bank, who went on to add that thanks to ODS, clients already find it easier to work with products through mobile applications such as My Status, Friends24 or Melinda, for example.
Online sales can be further developed through system integration
Even more recently, internet sales in a number of corporate strategies are seen more as a complement to the brick and mortar stores. Mountfield would like to change this situation, however, as it experiencing a growing share of online sales. It noted that there was a substantial increase in both the business and the technology, and there was a need to link online shops with other systems in the company. At the same time it was necessary to automate many complex processes.
As Zdeněk Kříž from Adastra described it, who cooperates with Mountfield on project implementation of ODS, current solutions not all operational processes need to be processed in real time (real time), as discussed in the previous case. One of the reasons for creating an ODS is to reduce the burden of primary systems and track changes to data in real time presents significant overhead costs.
Thus, the data is processed in several frequencies, e.g. changes in orders and related notifications which are transmitted to CRM have an acceptable delay of about 30 to 60 seconds, while there may be a delay of up to 30 minutes for a list of invoices or service orders that appear on the website, for example. In order to minimize negative impacts on the user’s primary systems, data is not retrieved using SQL queries (at lower frequency). At the level of the disk array to create snapshots of the entire disk, you connect to the server, where the ODS and continues the processing. Creating an integration ODS platform in effect provides easier integration of new systems, but also helps streamline data flows or screens out technological change across systems.
And what is the future like? “We have a lot of data about customers that we plan to use and one of the things that are right in front of us, the so-called Event Driven Marketing. In our example, the position would mean that in the event that a customer to build a swimming pool with us, we can offer some additional services, such as maintenance of the pool water and other products with a certain time delay,” said Marek Pasečný, IT Director at Mountfield.
The solutions discussed and presented during the meeting only support the need for an increasingly faster response to different circumstances, while showing the need for the subsequent decision to work effectively with the appropriate data available. We will see what else the future and the technological possibilities holds, but we are already looking forward to the new examples at the next meeting of the Adastra DW Club.