A top-ranked west coast university with over 129 years of excellence is on a path to upgrade Business Intelligence tools to continue to be a benchmark and leader for other educational institutions around the globe. In its pursuit of excellence and pushing the barriers, the University lays great emphasis on admitting the best and brightest and ensuring the right financial support to nurture future leaders in diverse areas like medicine, business studies, law, and education. The key to this is generating the right reporting and analytics for the University leadership to make timely decisions that impact admissions, enrollment, grants, aids, and GFS(Graduate Financial Support) and financial reporting. This requires information of 2200 + faculty, 17250+ students, and 12500+ administrative staff to be tracked and reported in real-time.
Having upgraded from Brio to OBIEE / BI Publisher(BIP) for its reporting, the University leadership understood the need for expert technical support to enable the user community. The University leadership also wanted to make the most of the OBIEE platform and rich visualization capabilities. DataTerrain was chosen to support this effort and improve service levels while making improvements to the applications, DWH (Data Warehouse) systems, and expand the usage of OBIEE/BIP and its capabilities.
DataTerrain’s proprietary approach to OBIEE support services
DataTerrain has applied its deep technical expertise in OBIEE to the in-depth domain knowledge it has gained from its decades of experience working with educational institutions to develop a proprietary approach. The major elements of this support methodology were customized to the specific needs of this University and its user community. The services provided by DataTerrain for this engagement are summarized below –
OBIEE RPD reports Development/Enhancement/Bug fixing –
Maintenance and support for existing Oracle OBIEE RPD reports
Recommending, obtaining user approvals, and implementing changes and enhancements to existing reports based on user requirements
Developing new reports based on evolving user requirements while adhering to best-in-class industry practices and established standards of the University.
Managing support and incident lifecycle for tickets raised in JIRA/SNOW. Troubleshooting issues, providing workarounds, debugging, and performing root cause analysis(RCA), to resolve issues within SLA.
Implementing problem management practices to deliver permanent fixes to prevent repetitive issues and minimize the impact of high-impact issues.
Collaborating with university teams to review technical solutions and rollout complex changes and bug fixes.
Establishing new ETL workflows and design changes
Creating new jobs based on User requirements
Developing solutions for complex data integration and data merging requirements
Cleansing data to simplify the environment
Tuning performance to minimize run times.
Improving environment efficiency –
Performing reviews to benchmark with best practices for reporting, data warehouse systems, and database
Developing and implementing clean up routines
Tracking and ensuring a clean and efficient environment
Support Services –
Supporting production rollouts including “off hours” and weekend “on-call” production support through critical phases
Managing application release processes based on defined University standards and supporting users during UAT
Supporting and implementing change control processes, continuous integration, and enabling seamless code promotions across environments
For complex issues, providing additional technical expertise for performing spot checks on system health, monitoring sessions and system parameters of critical processes,
Proactively communicating with stakeholders and sharing suitable impact analyses in case of delays or potential SLA breaches
resolving failures and fixing issues causing delays in process execution
coordinating with DBAs(Database Administrators) to resolve file system related or table space issues
Customer benefits due to DataTerrain’s services
DataTerrain’s Best-in-class approach has improved the predictability, responsiveness, and impact of the customer’s reporting and delivered the following significant benefits to the University –
Cleaner and more efficient environment leading to improved productivity:- Significant improvements were made in run times of multiple BI Publisher reports. By applying Performance tuning best practices to eliminate bottlenecks across all layers starting from the DB(DataBase), DataTerrian has reduced run times of some reporting jobs by 80%.
Faster turnaround through 24X7 support leading to improved user satisfaction – Ticket queuing time has been significantly decreased to clear backlogs. Improved productivity for users has resulted in increased user satisfaction and better outcomes across University processes.
Improved maintainability – Complexity has been reduced and periodic cleanups have improved environment efficiency and significantly reduced the effort to keep the systems running. With these measures, the number, severity, and average resolution time for incidents and technical issues have continued to reduce.
The DataTerrain difference
The University leadership highlights the following as the major characteristics that contribute to DataTerrain significantly exceeding their expectations –
A wealth of technical expertise –DataTerrain SMEs(Subject matter experts) tapped into their pool of knowledge to remove bottlenecks and eliminate complexity. For example, they created advanced XSL templates customized to the University environments. The SMEs also developed technical solutions to address the unique requirements of the university to overcome environmental limitations and save time. For example-
modifying XSL source code to overcome BIP pivot limitations,
integrating d3.js visualization library files into Oracle visualization,
Global delivery model – DataTerrain team members from global delivery centers ensured round the clock coverage to improve responsiveness and turnaround.
Deep domain expertise – DataTerrain’s domain experts provided consultative support to end-users and helped them translate their business requirements. The resulting new or enhanced reports led to significant improvement in their process outcomes.
DataTerrain is a trusted partner for the University and delivers critical support to its reporting services that drive its strategy execution. The University continues to expand its usage of OBIEE and benefit from its extensive and rich capabilities.