OLAP Systemís partners and consultants hold computer science degrees, business degrees, technology certifications and/or professional accounting designations in both Canada and the United States.
Equipped with both information technology (IT) and business expertise,
OLAP Systemsí Business Technologists can communicate with both business and IT professionals to define and build a BI application that is right for your company. We have helped many companies implement new, or improve existing, BI systems to support their tactical and strategic analysis and decision making.
OLAP Systemsí A.D.A.P.T.I.V.E.© approach to project management helps ensure that projects are completed on time, within budget and to the clientís complete satisfaction. Our success comes from knowing what questions to ask and which factors to consider at all stages of a project. The following is a summary of each of the ADAPTIVE components and some of the relevant questions.
Application assessments include a review of the client's analytical business requirements, logical and physical data models, and information inputs, processes and outputs.
Based on the analysis, we provide recommendations to optimize the solution by considering the following factors:
- What response time is required?
- How large will the databases get?
- How will the application be distributed?
- Are the users geographically distributed?
- Does the software fit in well with the company's technology standards and future direction?
It is important to analyze and determine the best balance of architectural components that the system needs to choose the right software solution.
Most of the work goes into getting a clean, consistent base of data and clients need considerable support in selecting, retrieving, analyzing and leveraging the data.
OLAP Systems consultants have experience with a variety of business system environments and will assist the client in answering the following questions:
- Is there a common data dictionary?
- What level of detail is required in the OLAP database?
- Who is going to provide the data? Is the data clean?
- How much transformation or staging has to be performed?
- How often does it need to be updated?
- What are the historical data requirements?
- How do we accommodate metadata changes that occur in the source systems?
Our consultants can help ensure that all aspects of your BI application are automated. This includes everything from source data extraction through to the updating of the EIS tools for data retrieval and reporting. Processes can also be in place to facilitate auditing of the numbers. Change management can often be automated so that the OLAP databases and the user interfaces adapt to anticipated changes in the source system - thus minimizing manual maintenance costs.
OLAP Systemsís Business Technologists can help make sure that the client's stake holders - executives, managers, analysts, system providers and data suppliers - are involved in the project at the appropriate time. Advance planning and buy-in is a necessity. The most important questions here are:
- Who are the end-users?
- Who will be responsible for maintaining the database and ensuring its integrity?
- Who will support the underlying technology?
Training is often overlooked in new technology projects. Although our BI solutions are intuitive and usually sell themselves, it is still important to the success of the project to provide some training to transition people from their old systems and processes, and to expedite its acceptance and maximize its benefit.
OLAP Systems can help you create a customized training course for your users that can be performed at implementation time and in the future for new employees.
OLAP Systems can also train your IT support personnel on the OLAP database technology.
OLAP Systems' experience with operating system compatibility, installation of new software and potential upgrading of hardware will help your company be ready for its implementation. Unit testing and complete parallel runs will be performed to compare the new system to the old before implementation. Backup and recovery processes, and documentation are also key to ensuring that the implementation and long-term maintenance of the application is a success.
OLAP Systems can assist you in determining the financial viability of your project in terms of 'Cost Benefit'. We will also build a working database prototype as a 'proof of concept' to ensure the technical viability of your solution. The prototype will be a working model that can be demonstrated, analyzed, and tested by your organization.
The end user interface is the most visible component of the whole application and is often the key component on which success will be determined. It must be intuitive to use and give the user the appropriate amount of flexibility for analysis and reporting. Note that, in some cases, there may be more than one user interface to the same OLAP database to satisfy different job functions.