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BI Platform Implementation on a Budget

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Low Cost BI Platform Solution Is Big Improvement for Budget-Conscious Startup

A cost-constrained startup quickly sees value from a new BI platform implemented with low licensing costs.

Challenge

The existing BI solution at a local travel services start-up was unable to keep pace with business requirements; it took days to gather and provide data for internal analysis when the business needed turnaround in hours, and the infrastructure could not scale to provide reporting to the company’s enterprise customer.

Approach

Consultants from Plaster Group met with business and technology leaders to assess the current system and processes and to understand the desired capabilities of a new BI platform. Together we developed a multi-phase roadmap that effectively addressed the technology challenges and was comfortably within budget constraints.

Solution

The cost of the new solution was kept to a minimum by using open-source and low-cost products, and by leveraging tools that the customer already had in-house.
- Data was consolidated into a single data mart, eliminating the issues commonly encountered when writing reports using disparate data across multiple systems.
- ETL components were written in Python, a language already used at the company.
- Deploying the free version of MicroStrategy (running on Centos Linux) allowed up to 100 named users without any licensing costs.

Results

The new reporting architecture gave business users the ability to do their own analysis rather than relying on IT for report development; users saw a significant improvement in report performance (which now ran in seconds instead of hours) due to the reports now running on aggregated data where appropriate.
With this new solution, the company was also able to provide reporting to their enterprise customers, including larger accounts that required a significant number of customized reports.

Technologies

- MicroStrategy
- MySQL
- Centos Linux
- Python