Tag Archives: data validation

A Data Integration Love-Fest in Vegas

Question: What do American Airlines, Liberty Mutual, Discount Tire and MD Anderson all have in common?

Is it?

Next-Gen Data Integration

Agile Data Integration

a) They are all top in their field.

b) They all view data as critical to their business success.

c) They are all using Agile Data Integration to drive business agility.

d) They have spoken about their Data Integration strategy at Informatica World in Vegas.

Did you reply all of the above? If so then give yourself a Ding Ding Ding. Or shall we say Ka-Ching in honor of our host city?

Indeed Data experts from these companies and many more flocked to Las Vegas for Informatica World.  They shared their enthusiasm for the important role of data in their business.  These industry leaders discussed best practices that facilitate an Agile Data Integration process.

American Airlines recently completed a merger with US Airways, making them the largest airline in the world. In order to service critical reporting requirements for the merged airlines, the enterprise data team undertook a huge Data Integration task.  This effort involved large-scale data migration and included many legacy data sources.  The project required transferring over 4TB of current history data for Day 1 reporting. There is still a major task of integrating multiple combined subject areas in order to give a full picture of combined reporting.

American Airlines architects recommend the use of Data Integration design patterns in order to improve agility.  The architects shared success-factors for merger Data Integration.  They discussed the importance of ownership by leadership from IT and business.  They emphasized the benefit of open and honest communications between teams.  They architects also highlighted the need to identify integration teams and priorities.  Finally the architects discussed the significance of understanding cultural differences and celebrating success.  The team summarized with merger Data Integration lessons learned : Metadata is key, IT and business collaboration is critical, and profiling and access to the data is helpful.

Liberty Mutual, the third largest property and casualty insurer in the US, has grown through acquisitions.  The Data Integration team needs to support this business process.  They have been busy integrating five claim systems into one. They are faced with a large-scale Data Integration challenge. To add to the complexity, their business requires that each phase is completed in one weekend, no data is lost in the process and that all finances balance out at the end of each merge.  Integrating all claims in a single location was critical for smooth processing of insurance claims.  A single system also leads to reduced costs and complexity for support and maintenance.

Liberty Mutual experts recommend a methodology of work preparation, profiling, delivery and validation.  Rinse and repeat. Additionally, the company chose to utilize a visual Data Integration tool. This tool was quick and easy for the team to learn and greatly enhanced development agility.

Discount Tire, the largest independent tire dealer in the USA, shared tips and tricks from migrating legacy data into a new SAP system.  This complex project included data conversion from 50 legacy systems.  The company needs to combine and aggregate data from many systems, including customer, sales, financial and supply chain.  This integrated system helps Discount Tire make key business decisions and remain competitive in a highly competitive space.

Discount Tire has automated their data validation process in development and in production. This reduces testing time, minimizes data defects and increases agility of  development and operations. They have also implemented proactive monitoring in order to accomplish early detection and correction of data problems in production.

MD Anderson Cancer Center is the No. 1 hospital for cancer care in the US according to U.S. News and World Report.  They are pursuing the lofty goal of erasing cancer from existence. Data Integration is playing an important role in this fight against cancer. In order to accomplish their goal, MD Anderson researchers rely on integration of vast amounts of genomic, clinical and pharmaceutical data to facilitate leading-edge cancer research.

MD Anderson experts pursue Agile Data Integration through close collaboration between IT and business stakeholders.  This enables them to meet the data requirements of the business faster and better. They shared that data insights, through metadata management, offer a significant value to the organization. Finally the experts at MD Anderson believe in ‘Map Once, Deploy Anywhere’ in order to accomplish Agile Data Integration.

So let’s recap, Data Integration is helping:

- An airlines continue to serve its customers and run its business smoothly post-merger.

- A tire retail company to procure and provide tires to its customers and maintain leadership

- An insurance company to process claims accurately and in a timely manner, while minimizing costs, and

- A cancer research center to cure cancer.

Not too shabby, right? Data Integration is clearly essential to business success!

So OK, I know, I know… what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. Still, this was one love-fest I was compelled to share! Wish you were there. Hopefully you will next year!

To learn more about Agile Data Integration, check out this webinar: Great Data by Design II: How to Get Started with Next-Gen Data Integration

 

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Agile Data Integration in Action: PowerCenter 9.6 Demo

PowerCenter 9.6 Demo WebinarA Data Integration Developer, a Data Analyst and a Business Analyst go into a bar… Heard that one? You probably didn’t. They never made it to the bar. They are still back at the office, going back and forth for the umpteenth time on the data requirements for the latest report…

Sounds familiar? If so, you are not alone. Many IT departments are struggling to meet the data needs of their business counterparts. Spreadsheets, emails and cocktail napkins have not proven themselves an effective tool for relaying data requirement by the business. The process takes too long and leaves both sides frustrated and dissatisfied with the outcome. IT does not have the bandwidth to meet the ever-increasing and rapidly changing data needs of the business.

The old-fashioned “waterfall” approach to data integration simply won’t cut it anymore in the fast-paced data-driven world. There has to be a better way. Here at Informatica, we believe that an end-to-end Agile Data Integration process can greatly increase business agility.

We start with a highly collaborative process, whereby IT and the Analyst work closely together through an iterative process to define data integration requirements. IT empowers the analyst with self-service tools that enable rapid prototyping and data profiling. Once the analyst is happy with the data they access and combine, they can use their tool to seamlessly share the output with IT for final deployment. This approach greatly reduces the time-to-data, and not just any data, the right data!

The ability to rapidly generate reports and deliver new critical data for decision-making is foundational to business agility. Another important aspect of business agility is the ability to scale your system as your needs grow to support more data, data types, users and projects. We accomplish that through advanced scaling capabilities, such as grid support and high availability, leading to zero downtime, as well as improved data insights through metadata management, lineage, impact analysis and business glossary.

Finally, we need to continue to ensure agility when our system is in production. Data validation should be performed to eliminate data defects. Trying to manually validate data is like looking for a needle in a haystack, very slowly… Automating your data validation process is fast and reliable, ensuring that the business gets accurate data all the time.

It is just as important to become more proactive and less reactive when it comes to your data in production. Early detection of data process and workflow problems through proactive monitoring is key to prevention.

Would you like to see a 5X increase in the speed of delivering data integration projects?

Would you like to provide the system reliability you need as your business grows, and ensure that your business continues to get the critical data it requires without defects and without interruption?

To learn more about how Agile Data Integration can enable business agility, please check out the demonstration of the newly-released PowerCenter 9.6, featuring David Lyle, VP Product Strategy at Informatica and the Informatica Product Desk experts. This demo webinar is available on demand.

Deep Dive Demo: Informatica PowerCenter 9.6.

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Posted in Big Data, Business Impact / Benefits, Business/IT Collaboration, Data Integration | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Let’s Confirm You Are Integrated

Each and every day, we strive to create the very best product possible – not just for our clients and those who judge our work but, more importantly, for ourselves. We are all perfectionists in our own right; after all, each project we undertake is a testament to our own ability.

One source of creative inspiration that I find myself drawn to time and time again is Top Chef on Bravo. For those that have not watched; the series features aspiring chefs who compete for their shot at culinary stardom and the chance to earn the title of “Top Chef.”  Each episode holds two challenges for the chefs. The first is a Quickfire test of their basic abilities and the second is a more involved elimination challenge designed to test the versatility and inventiveness of the chefs as they take on unique culinary trials such as working with unusual and exotic foods or catering for a range of demanding clients. The challenges not only test their skills in the kitchen, but also uncover if they have the customer service, management and teamwork abilities required to be the Top Chef. The competing chefs live and breathe the high-pressure lifestyle that comes with being a master chef and each week someone is asked to “pack up their knives” and go home. (more…)

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Even ‘The Most Interesting Man In The World’ Won’t Do This…

 

“I have taken risks in my life……but I always validate my data before  updating my production systems. Stay employed my friends!”

I am hearing an increasing number of customers tell me that they either do not have time to do data validation or reconciliation testing on their nightly updates to production systems, or that they can only test a part of the data. In the latter case, they have to “guess” which parts of the data have the most business risk and therefore deserve their testing time and resources. It doesn’t have to be this way.  Informatica Data Validation can be used in production environments. The really good news is that data validation testing can be run at night from a command line script or in a workflow. The load of data into production systems can be made to be conditional on successfully passing all the tests. Customers can also build in automatic notification of the test results so that they know the status of their production systems.

(more…)

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Validating Data for Production Environments

The BBC published a news story where a teacher in India looked at his bank account expecting to see a balance of $200 only to find that the balance shown was $9.8 billion (480 billion rupees).  Imagine that surprise!

These types of stories appear in the news on a regular basis, and the question they raise is this: How could an error of this magnitude have happened and what could have been done to prevent it? (more…)

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How IT can Kill Great Brands with Modernization, and How to Prevent It

Recently, one Sunday afternoon, my wife told me her purchased airline reservation for Monday had disappeared.  A few days ago it was there, then suddenly it was gone.  Apparently she was not alone.  Complaints were coming in online. Support was overwhelmed. In fact, Twitter seemed to be the only way to get a quick response, so people were sending their messages and details that way!

Now, this is a great brand that I’m talking about, what I would call the chic brand in the airline industry.  They had just experienced a brand-killing event.  No one wants to fly an airline where reservations disappear.  But the next part stunned me.  When my wife finally talked to a manager at the airline, it turned out they expected this would happen!  They had just migrated to a new reservation system and another airline that had done this same migration had experienced issues for a few weeks.  So the airline not only expected to have similar issues, they scheduled fewer planes to fly in the upcoming weeks! (more…)

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The Secret To Retiring Applications – Flawless Data Validation

Applications are retired (sunset or decommissioned) when they become dormant or read-only. This occurs as a result of mergers and acquisitions or through modernization efforts and is a natural part of Application Information Lifecycle Management. While the applications may be no longer needed, the data they contain cannot be discarded. As a result, many organizations have hundreds, even thousands, of defunct applications that are consuming budget dollars, taking up data center space, complicating IT management, and generally just getting in the way. The challenge is getting rid of applications without getting rid of the data which is tightly coupled to them. (more…)

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Posted in Application ILM, Application Retirement, Integration Competency Centers, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment