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PREDICTif and MapR Tailgate Party – Delaware Blue Hens vs. JMU Dukes

Registration

Join us for a unique opportunity to network with alumni from JMU and Delaware.

We will kick off with a pre-game tailgate including lunch and open bar. But, the real highlight will be the oportunity to network with fellow JMU and Delaware alumni and business leaders.

Later, we will head into the stadium as the Fightin’ Blue Hens host the defending National Champion Dukes for a highly anticipated matchup.

AVAILABILITY is extremely limited . . . please RESERVE your spot today!

Reservation includes:

  • 2-hour tailgate party
  • Lunch and Open Bar
  • Ticket to the game

When:

  • Saturday, September 30, 2017 | starting @ 1:00PM

Where:

  • Blue Hens Hospitality Village
  • University of Delaware Stadium | Newark, DE

See you on game day!

PREDICTif and Mapr to Present at 2017 Big Data Expo

big_data_expo_logoFounded in Houston, TX in 2007, PREDICTif is a global provider of big data consulting, implementation, and services for the financial, insurance, manufacturing, telecommunications, retail and energy industries. For more than a decade, PREDICTif has provided services for Apache, McDonald’s, Metlife, China Offshore Oil and Toyota to name a few, and has gained extensive experience and knowledge in big data applications.

PREDICTif provides the design and development of hardware and software systems for big data collection, cleansing, integration, normalization, visualization, analysis and predictive analytics, and is a recognized expert and pioneer in the Big Data space. PREDICTif is also one of the few strategic partners of MapR’s approved for sales and professional services as well as a marketing partner in China.

Headquartered in San Jose, California, MapR is a leading global provider of big data platform software and applications. MapR provides the industry’s only Converged Platform, enabling customers to improve business results by combining analytics data into operational applications in real time to leverage the power of big data. Through MapR, enterprises have an unparalleled data management platform, to achieve digital transformation and attain competitive advantage. World-class companies such as Samsung, Audi, HP, Ericsson, United Healthcare, have leveraged MapR to achieve more than five times the return on investment. Amazon, Cisco, Google, Microsoft, SAP and other leading companies are part of the global MapR partner ecosystem.

Having received $194 million from investors, including Google Capital, MapR has established more than a dozen branches in the world, and currently has a significant presence in the Asian Pacific market. PREDICTif is also actively pursuing global presence with the support of its parent company, Smith & Associates, a $1 billion electronics sales and distribution company, with particular focus on China’s business.

PREDICTif and MapR are excited to participate in 2017 Big Data Expo in Guiyang, China. We hope to have the opportunity to share our collective experience in Big Data solutions for financial, insurance, manufacturing, telecommunications, retail and other industries as well as lessons learned in the implementation process.

We look forward to working with our Chinese colleagues to gain insight in the direction of the development of Big Data technology in China. Together we will find the opportunity to promote the application of Big Data in Guizhou Province and in China at large.

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PREDICTif 2007年成立于休斯顿,是一家全球性的为金融,保险,制造,电讯,零售,能源等行业提供信息化大数据咨询,实施,服务的公司。
十年来,PREDICTif为 阿帕奇 Apache,麦当劳Mcdonald’s,美国大都会人寿保险公司Metlife,中海油 CNOOC 和 丰田汽车Toyota 等200多家公司提供了服务,从中积累了大量的大数据应用的经验和知识。
PREDICTif提供软硬件系统的设计和开发,用于大数据的采集,除错,整理,集中,图像,分析和预测,是一个大数据行业中公认的专家和先行者。PREDICTif也是MapR认可的销售和服务的少数战略伙伴之一,中国的独家代理。
总部设在加利福尼亚州圣何赛的MapR 是一个全球领先的大数据平台软件和应用公司。MapR提供业界唯一的融合数据平台 (Converged Platform),使客户能够通过将分析数据实时结合到运营应用程序来利用大数据的强大功能,从而改善业务成果。通过MapR,企业拥有无与伦比的数据管理平台,实现数字化转型,实现竞争优势。世界一流公司譬如三星Samsung,奥迪Audi,惠普HP,爱立信Ericsson,联合健康保险United Healthcare,使用MapR实现了五倍多的投资回报。亚马逊 Amazon,思科Cisco,谷歌Google,微软Microsoft,SAP等领先企业都是全球MapR合作伙伴生态系统的一部分。

MapR从包括谷歌资本Google Capital在内的投资者中获得了1.94亿美元的融资,在全球已经建立了十多个分公司。 PREDICTif 也在母公司Smith & Associates ,一个有10亿美元年产值的电子产品销售和分销公司,的支持下,积极实施全球布局,尤其关注在中国的业务。
借这次贵州数博会的机会,PREDICTif 携合作伙伴MapR 参会。希望有机会介绍PREDICTif在金融,保险,制造,电讯,零售等行业中取得的应用成果,产品成熟的性能以及分享实施过程中的经验和教训。
我们期待着和各位同仁一起交流大数据技术的发展方向,探讨大数据在中国的发展机遇。一起寻找推动大数据在贵省的应用和推广的契机,为大数据在中国的发展做一点事情。

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Convergence Event

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You’re invited to Convergence, a one-day event focused on enterprise data opportunities and challenges at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel in Houston, TX.Convergence brings together data professionals from a wide range of industries in a vibrant discussion to discover emerging use cases, explore solutions and best practices, and enable optimal use of data through analytics and machine learning regardless of data location – on-premises, in cloud, or at the IoT edge. You will hear from industry experts, key practitioners, and technology providers including MapR, Attunity, Pentaho, and PREDICTif.

Join us to learn how to:

  • Best leverage your data assets
  • Operationalize your analytical insights in real-time
  • Provide reliable and convenient container deployment of distributed big data applications
  • Learn how to act locally and learn globally in expansive IoT environments

Convergence is an interactive event. There will be a networking breakfast, a midday lightning round to gather input on topics you select, plus Birds-of-a-Feather lunch discussions. You’ll have the opportunity to engage with other attendees and presenters to explore new ideas and find practical solutions to your business needs.

Special offer – Register now with promo code Email50 to receive 50% off the early bird price.

Location:
The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel & Convention Center
1601 Lake Robbins Dr.
The Woodlands, TX 77380

Date:
May 8, 2017

Time:
8:00 AM – 3:15 PM CDT

Promo code:
Email50

Register Now:

Featured Speakers:

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Ted Dunning PhD
Chief Applications Architect
MapR

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Ellen Friedman PhD
Principal Technologist
MapR

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Data Wrangler

We may be based in Texas, but we’re not talking about wrangling cattle!

So get your boots on and wrangle the heck out of this data!

Here’s what an you would do:
As the Data Wrangler, you would be responsible for deep understanding of the analytical needs and leverage knowledge of data assets, big data technologies, keying and linking concept to analyze data to create insights for our clients.

  • Interact with all levels of people including Data Stewards, analytics professionals, IT, Sales and Customers.
  • Develop strategies, standards and best practices in the areas of data wrangling, data visualization and data integration
  • Analyze new sources of data to quantify quality, uniqueness, coverage and overlap with sources
  • Stay current with rapidly developing Big Data technologies landscape and share knowledge.
  • Ensure proper use of data assets by working closely with data governance and compliance professionals.

Here’s what you’ve done:

  • 5+ years of data management experience, keying and linking, data handling and data wrangling
  • Strong data analysis skills to rapidly learn new data assets.
  • Database and Data Analysis technology skills and experience required: SAS, R, SQL.
  • Big Data experience with Hadoop technologies is a plus.
  • Functional understanding of the ERP projects and data business process, and project implementation
  • Multiple years of data standardization and cleansing within the context of business transformation projects.
  • Identifying and addressing client needs: developing and sustaining deep client relationships using networking, negotiation and persuasion skills to identify and sell potential new services opportunities, preparing and presenting complex written and verbal materials
  • Defining resource requirements
  • Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science/Business or related field

PREDICTif Solutions is an Equal Opportunity Employer. This company does not discriminate in employment and personnel practices on the basis of race, sex, age, handicap, religion, national origin or any other basis prohibited by applicable law.

Master Data Management Consultant

Join the Best! Work with the Best! Be the Best!

Don’t let your in-demand skills waste away doing the same job over and over! Come see our cutting-edge projects that offer you challenge, new situations and experiences.

Here’s what an MDM would do:

As the Master Data Manager, you would be responsible for designing, implementing and supporting complex Master Data Solutions in an ERP and other large scale software systems environment.

  • Demonstrates proven thought-leader abilities, broad subject matter expertise and success with master data Management principles across multiple applications and platforms
  • Ability to learn new applications and apply guiding principles to deliver successful engagements
  • Solid understanding of technology discipline, and willing to work in the trenches
  • Executing all aspects of data conversion between multiple different systems and data models including: strategy planning, execution and validation
  • Designing, building, testing and deploying the technical components required for successful Master Data Management solutions.

Here’s what you’ve done:

  • 5+ years of Master Data Management experience, with good understanding of MDM full-life cycle concepts/techniques
  • Knowledge of programming language including ABAP, C++, SQL
  • Functional understanding tools used for data transformation, such as Excel, SQL, etc.
  • Functional understanding of the ERP projects and data business process, and project implementation
  • Multiple years of data standardization and cleansing within the context of business transformation projects.
  • Identifying and addressing client needs: developing and sustaining deep client relationships using networking, negotiation and persuasion skills to identify and sell potential new services opportunities, preparing and presenting complex written and verbal materials
  • Defining resource requirements
  • Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science/Business or related field

PREDICTif Solutions is an Equal Opportunity Employer. This company does not discriminate in employment and personnel practices on the basis of race, sex, age, handicap, religion, national origin or any other basis prohibited by applicable law.

Data Scientist

PREDICTif Solutions is a rapid growing business centric consulting firm with a unique focus on enterprise wide analytics. Experts in end-to-end Business Intelligence, Big Data & Information Discovery, PREDICTif Solutions is a trusted partner to customers across a variety of industries.

This Data Scientist role will be a senior technical resource within our Big Data Practice that has experience in Data Modeling & Analysis, Large-Scale Data Mining and customer facing experience. You will be part of the fast-pace, entrepreneurial team that focuses on enabling Big Data and digital/real-time analytical solutions leveraging transformational technologies (R Programming, Python) to deliver cutting edge solutions for our clientele.

Principle Accountabilities:

  • Help build a foundation for state of the art technical and scientific capabilities to support a number of ongoing and planned data analytics projects. Stay on top of industry’s achievements and capabilities, in order to partner with our clients and provide forward-thinking recommendations.
  • Working alongside machine learning experts, technologists, product managers and other informatics analysts to solve complex business problems. Responsible for identifying the data we should be collecting, devising methods of instrumenting systems to extract this information and working with technologists to develop the process to transform raw data into business insights.
  • Investigate data visualization and summarization techniques for conveying key findings related to the applied analytics.
  • Help with pre-sales activities including customer demos and proof of concept
  • Establish thought leadership in the industry by publishing and speaking at Big Data forums
  • Maintain a good communication channel with the Clients, Business analysts and projects teams.
  • Establish strong working relationship with business analysts to understand requirements.
  • Analyze technical needs, requirements, and state of the client’s infrastructure design, integration, and operations with business analyst team and the client.
  • Follow design models, plans, internal standards, budgets, and processes.
  • Plan for how code will be organized; how the contracts between different parts of the system will look; and monitor the ongoing implementation of the project’s methodologies.
  • Prepare details documents like business process flows, data flow diagrams, best practice guidelines describing project phases and tasks, deployment scenario for the solution in terms of hardware and software technologies needed etc.
  • Collaborate with Project Managers and to estimate cost involved in the solution design proposed and compare with customer’s budgets; develop overall solution implementation plan.
  • Communicate and present proposed solutions to client with detailed documents prepared.
  • Provide support in implementing application installation, customization, and system integration.
  • Support development teams to review codes, when in doubt
  • Support QA teams to ensure functionalities are satisfactory and is in adherence to the design and the client requirement.
  • Provide support for projects in case of issues in development or implementation of solutions.
  • Follow knowledge management practice in capturing design notes, deliverables, methodologies, and solution development activities for traceability and troubleshooting purposes.

Required:

  • Advanced degree (Master’s level or higher) in mathematics, statistics, computer science, or other highly quantitative discipline is required
  • Thorough understanding of probability and statistics, econometric time series analysis and similar
  • Expertise in theory and practice of Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing
  • Requires strong programming skills
  • Experience with tools such as R Programming, visualizations, SAS Open Source, etc.
  • Experience and in-depth knowledge of the SAS Enterprise Miner, Python programming language or similar
  • Knowledge of big data platforms such as Hadoop, Aster, etc.
  • Ability to facilitate discussion, drive consensus, and build partnership
  • Ability to produce high quality work products under pressure and within deadlines.
  • Ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously and switch between tasks quickly.
  • Ability to construct an approach/plan for the execution of priorities

PREDICTif Solutions is an Equal Opportunity Employer. This company does not discriminate in employment and personnel practices on the basis of race, sex, age, handicap, religion, national origin or any other basis prohibited by applicable law.

Hadoop Developer

Spring is here! Time for the new and fresh and that is exactly what PREDICTif Solutions is creating. We want your energy to match ours! Let’s see what we can create together.

We’re looking for an enthusiastic Hadoop Developer to provide brilliant solutions for our clients.

Here’s the deal:
The resource will own the development of product and platform in the Hadoop environment using various technologies including Hadoop, NoSQL, MapReduce and Cloudera based Hadoop platform.

  • Responsible for planning and designing next-generation “big-data” system architectures.
  • Manage the development and deployment of Hadoop applications.
  • Act as subject matter expert and possess hands on delivery experience working on popular Hadoop distribution platforms like Cloudera, HortonWorks, MapR.
  • Establish strong working relationship with business analysts to understand requirements.
  • Analyze technical needs, requirements, and state of the client’s infrastructure design, integration, and operations with business analyst team and the client.
  • Follow design models, plans, internal standards, budgets, and processes.
  • Plan for how code will be organized; how the contracts between different parts of the system will look; and monitor the ongoing implementation of the project’s methodologies.
  • Implement all applicable Big Data architecture principles, standards and guidelines in the data, integration, application, infrastructure, solutions, security and technology domains.
  • Create High level design document (HLDD) and Low level design Document (LLDD) showing the architecture diagram with pointers to detailed feature specifications of smaller pieces of the design.
  • Prepare details documents like business process flows, data flow diagrams, best practice guidelines describing project phases and tasks, deployment scenario for the solution in terms of hardware and software technologies needed etc.
  • Establish strong working relationship with Systems Architect to review the design documents and the feasibility of implementing the solution in terms of cost and technology infrastructure availability.
  • Collaborate with Project Managers and to estimate cost involved in the solution design proposed and compare with customer’s budgets; develop overall solution implementation plan.
  • Communicate and present proposed solutions to client with detailed documents prepared.
  • Provide support in implementing application installation, customization, and system integration.
  • Support design process re-engineering and make recommendations for continuous design quality improvement purpose.

You’ve done this and did it well:

  • Bachelor’s degree in engineering/computer science or related field preferred; minimum of five (5) or more years of experience in devising and deploying solution designs and/or software development; experience working in a large global IT environment strongly preferred
  • 3+ years of experience in design and implementation of big data applications using Hadoop (MapReduce, Hive, Pig, Sqoop, Oozie) and NoSQL technologies.
  • Strong experience in UNIX and Shell Scripting
  • Experience in analyzing text, streams with emerging Hadoop-based big data, NoSql.
  • Analyzing data with Hive, Pig and HBase.
  • Strong understanding about customer requirements and project objectives
  • Strong critical thinking to analyze and solve problems with significant information
  • Strong creative thinking to deal with imperfect information and ambiguity
  • Strong relationship management skills
  • Strong team work skills & time management skills
  • Excellent presentation skills to present the solution design to customer and other stakeholders convincingly

Big Data Readiness Assessment

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You have heard about big data, but what does it really mean for your company? PREDICTif’s Big Data Readiness Assessment is designed to strip away the “hype” from big data, and drill into the critical questions that matter such as: “Is Big Data relevant to your business?” and if so “How do you prepare for the challenge?” Or maybe you’re asking questions like “Which big data projects will deliver the biggest and fastest returns with the lowest risk?” or “How will big data fit into an existing technical environment?” These are critical questions that need to be answered before you embark on the big data journey.

Big Data is an approach for maximizing the linear scalability, deployment and execution flexibility, and cost-effectiveness of analytic data platforms. It relies on such underlying approaches as massively parallel processing, in-database execution, storage optimization, data virtualization, and mixed-workload management.

Your organization now has an unprecedented opportunity to capitalize on your data than ever before. The remarkable advancement of technologies makes it possible for your company to leverage the enormous amounts of enterprise data, whether it is realtime from IoT devices, historical or third party, to improve process efficiency and increase competitive advantage. Yet you may be unsure of where to start. PREDICTif’s Big Data Readiness Assessment will provide a critical understanding of your organization’s readiness for big data from the perspectives of people, process and technology.

Big Data Flow Chart

Following an agreed upon agenda and utilizing questionnaires, the PREDICTif Solution’s Big Data Readiness Assessment is a 2-4 week exercise that consists of three steps: Discover, Analyze and Recommend. Led by our Big Data subject matter experts, the engagement will adopt an objective, vendor neutral, rapid, flexible approach that will address concerns from the people, process and technology perspectives. The results of our review will remove all the myths around Big Data, ultimately providing your organization a clearly charted roadmap to unlock data capital.

Phase Deliverables
Discover
  • Determine key business challenges and opportunities
  • Discuss all possible big data use cases
  • Understand IT current state and future plans
  • Determine your organization’s business goals
  • Identify possible deployment scenarios (cloud vs on-prem) and technology options
Analyze
  • Assess opportunities and challenges by benchmarking against the industry big data maturity model
  • Evaluate and prioritize opportunities in line with business
  • Identify initial high value big data use cases
  • Create plan for mapping and migrating data streams for big data scenarios
  • Evaluate the impacts on technical and business operations
Recommend
  • Recommendation on how to address major gaps and issues
  • Review Big Data concepts and benefits
  • Provide alignment on priorities and expectations
  • Clearly and quantitatively illustrates your readiness and operational maturity
  • Provide short and long term recommendations
  • Provide cost estimates of Big Data

Benefits

  • Gain a critical understanding of your organization’s readiness for Big Data
  • Identify which Big Data offering is the right fit
  • Able to find quick wins and quantify ROI of Big Data
  • Provide a big data roadmap to achieve data analytics utopia
  • Pinpoint where and how to retool existing technologies

Why PREDICTif?

  • Leveraging industry best practices and proven methodologies
  • Proven track record of delivering successful Big Data projects
  • Blended technical expertise with business alignment.
  • Experience with various industries – manufacturing, oil/gas, retail, financials
  • Expertise with all technologies within the Hadoop ecosystem
  • Familiar with leading cloud environments – AWS, Azure, Oracle

PREDICTif draws on its years’ experience in data analytics to develop an objective, vendor neutral SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis in the readiness necessary for transitioning an organization to the world of Big Data. Please reach out to schedule your assessment with one of PREDICTif’s industry leading Big Data subject matter experts.

PREDICTif successfully implements Hyperion Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service (PBCS)

PREDICTif successfully implements Hyperion Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service (PBCS) to replace an oil and gas company’s manual Excel based forecasting system.

Challenges

The Customer was faced with multiple challenges by manual consolidation processes and data entry to prepare their Budget and Forecast financial plans. The characteristic of the old reporting system includes:

  • Manually linked financial statement spreadsheets
  • A system of off-line data repository with actuals from GL and planning data in a web of Excel worksheets
  • Restrictive data access to safeguard the repository – a.k.a. aforementioned worksheets
  • Link breakage between workbooks and worksheets which caused inaccurate forecasting

These issues made the existing solution severely limiting in terms of the ability to predict its revenue and costs for each of its business units. The Customer decided to replace its manual, error-prone, labor intensive financial reporting and planning solution with a more automated, streamlined and cloud-based one.

Scope

The project is to build a PBCS solution to better service the Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) team, providing an updated and fully supported financial system for FP&A use. The solution encompasses:

  • Replacing the current Excel solution with PBCS
  • Creating an automated data integration application (using FDMEE) to allow for loading of actuals data
  • Allowing for analysis of further capital expenditure ventures by overlaying with the existing plan
  • Create a Budget and Forecast application to allow for Budgeting and Forecasting at the desired level
  • Customized training program to increase technology adoption
  • Streamlining data submission by providing easy to use form templates to end users
  • Automatic upgrades and scheduled maintenance through PBCS cloud environment

The solution provides a scenario based Planning and Forecasting option while also allowing for a single reporting repository to allow for easily retrievable and reliable data, providing one version of the truth.

Solution

PREDICTif adopts a phased approach that minimizes the impact of change in an effort by breaking the implementation into two phases by its business units: (1) Oil Exploration and (2) Production and Gas Pipeline. This allows concurrent efforts of phase 1 user acceptance testing and phase 2 solution development, meeting Company’s tight deadline.

  • Builds and deploys the desired hierarchy in PBCS for initial use by the exploration and production team.
  • Uses the hierarchies built as the basis for building out business rules, calculations, and Hyperion webforms.
  • Implements a connection to the general ledger system using Financial Data Management Enterprise Edition (FDMEE) and an SQL query to produce a flat file to source data into the application.
  • Builds and deploys the second portion of the hierarchies for gas transportation.
  • Creates forms and calculations.

After user acceptance testing, both pieces were migrated into Production on-time and on-budget.

Additionally, PREDICTif provides customized SmartView and PBCS training as the team begins the preparations for User Acceptance Testing. As the go-live date approaches, enhanced training is given to the administrator level users to prepare them for maintaining the solution going forward.

Results

PREDICTif successfully replaced the current outdated Excel based Planning and Budgeting model with the updated PBCS solution. The Customer has already received significant return on its investment:

  • New Hyperion PBCS based application suite with full support form Oracle
  • Retirement of the manual spread sheet planning process
  • Dynamic reporting solution allowing for bursting, batching, and grouping reports for easy use and run time
  • Reduced time for data load and hierarchy maintenance using Hyperion Planning Admin Extension for Smartview
  • Data form submission templates to organize and simplify data submission for end users
  • Training gives the user a broad knowledge of the Hyperion technologies as well as a focused, more practical knowledge that they can take back to their desk and use within days.
  • Segregating the trainings into a user group and an administrator group not only allows for the User Acceptance Testing to be performed in a more timely and efficient manner, but it also allows for users to effectively manage their time by not having to take trainings that will not apply to their skill set.

The success has laid a foundation for future phases that will further automate the existing financial planning and reporting process by leveraging other PBCS functionality such as EPM Automate and cloud to cloud data integration.

Planning and Budgeting in the Cloud

You’re invited to this exclusive webinar!
Wednesday, December 14th, 3:00PM (Central Time)

The planning and budgeting season has just finished. I’m sure you had to work over time to complete the budget for next year because you were still using a 100-tab, convoluted Excel spreadsheet. Oracle’s Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service (PBCS) is here to take away all the manual data manipulation and cumbersome reporting. And better yet, you don’t need to rely on your IT department and ask your management for a huge upfront investment. Isn’t it just what you need after yet another planning and budgeting cycle that you had to sweat out?

Join us to learn how to improve your planning and budgeting processes through PBCS:

  • What is PBCS?
  • Is it really that simple?
  • Is it secure?
  • Product demo
  • Customer testimonial
  • PREDICTif’s Rapid-Relevant-Results™ offerings

Mastering Customer Experience (CX)

You’re invited to this exclusive webinar!
Thursday, Nov 3rd, 3:00pm (Central Time)

The Age of the Customer is here. Consumers are equipped with unprecedented power to control how and when transactions occur. The million-dollar question is how to reach your customers with a consistent, concise, clear branding message, all while providing the personalized experience consumers crave today.

The answer is Customer Experience (CX) Mastery.

Join us to learn how to establish and enhance your customer’s experience through:

  • Creating a unique customer profile
  • Gaining deeper behavioral and attitudinal insight into consumers
  • Leveraging clean customer data across all channels
  • Intelligent profile segmentation using today’s tools
  • Consistent and relevant customer communication
  • Personalized marketing for increased brand loyalty

Big Data is Transforming the Retail Industry

Retailers have experienced seismic changes last decade with their ways to engage the customers. People used to only go to brick-and-mortar stores to shop. Now it is the age of omni-channels from stores to ecommerce sites and mobile devices. Customers are also more active and vocal than ever to let their opinion known to their fellow shoppers and retailers through social media sites such as Yelp. This presents huge challenges and opportunities to retailers as an enormous amount of data have been collected and can be analyzed to gain critical insights to support retailers in their endeavors for product innovation, personalized customer experience, cross-channel merchandizing and efficient inventory management. Big Data is a perfect solution to address these challenges, providing the retailers who are forward looking and investing in the technology great competitive advantages.

CHALLENGES

Retail is a highly competitive and thin-margin industry. Customers are becoming more and more sophisticated in how they spend their money. Retailers are facing multitude of challenges to capture large market share and retain customers’ loyalty.

  • Retailers need to be able to anticipate demand, ensure availability of products in the right locations, price the merchandise optimally, attract customers by offering relevant and timely promotions and enhance customer experience with personalized customer services
  • Retailers need to provide a uniform, yet customized, shopping experience across multiple channels such as stores, online and mobile for cross selling and enhanced customer experience
  • Retailers need to know their customers in a holistic fashion in regards to their shopping patterns, product preference, money spent, demographics and past shopping experience
  • Retailers need to be in tune with the market trend and manage its inventory and supply chain to ensure that the right merchandising is available at the right time and right location

To meet these challenges, retailers need to mash up content and data from many disparate data sources, internal and external, and provide an actionable insights for the business to act on. The sheer volume of the data, large variety and uncertain veracity of the content make it a perfect use case for Big Data. Traditional business intelligence technologies just fall short of dealing with these challenges.

Built upon its extensive experience with the retail industry, PREDICTif has developed an innovative set of Big Data technologies to address those challenges to gain critical information, without burdening business users with hard-to-use tools or high IT costs. We are able to accomplish this by Partnering with the leading information discovery and big data technology company Oracle, by delivering highly customized solutions based on Oracle Big Data Discovery (BDD) and Endeca Information Discovery (OEID) technologies. These solutions are described in the below table:

What Why Who
Marketing and Consumer Engagement
  • More relevant and timely recommendations (in store and online)
  • Increased consumer loyalty and advocacy
  • More consistent cross-channel communication
Pinpont the customers that will likely buy through social media, purchase history, customer forums, demographic data, browsing patterns and customer loyalty data
Store Operations and Cross-channel Commerce
  • Improved On Shelf Availability performance
  • Better understanding of store conditions that impact shopper decisions
  • Improved cross-channel understanding of consumer shopping behavior
Determine the right inventory at the right locations for the right channels through trend prediction by analyzing industry news, web browsing patterns, social media and enterprise data
Product Innovation
  • Faster and more consumer-relevant generation of new product concepts
  • More successful new product launches
Create product bundles based on customer transactions, shopping patterns, demographic data, research data and local buzz and make relevant recommendations to customers
Consumer Engagement
  • More consistent cross-channel communication
  • More relevant and timely recommendations (in store and online)
  • Increased consumer loyalty and advocacy
  • Optimized marketing mix across B2B and B2C
Segment customers according to expected buying behavior and then contact them as they wish to be reached, when they are in the right location or they are engaged with personalized real-time offers

Equipped with our long history of successes with the retail industry, PREDICTif will deliver these value-added retail analytics solutions to enable our retail customers to capitalize on the big data solutions. Our engagement will start with a Retail Industry expert who will help produce a solution roadmap based on our pre-built templates and then deploy an implementation team that consists of highly skilled consultants to establish Big Data solutions for consumer insights. PREDICTif has helped transformed retail organizations to gain competitive advantages over their market rivals and achieve significantly high return on investment.

Big Data Unlocks Consumer Insights

Evolution of mobile devices and social media has provided consumers with more channels to make their voices heard about the products and services that they receive. In a typical week – 156 million adult consumers engage social networking on smart phones and tablets according to a recent Nielsen report. That’s nearly 65% of the US population! Rapid adoption of social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Pinterest and Tumblr will continue to change the way that we connect with our customers.

WHO CARES

Retailers, Restaurants, Consumer Goods Manufacturing and Hospitality are just a few industries that have an urgent need to stay in touch with their customers. Historically they have implemented many touch points such as loyalty programs, consumer care desks and surveys to gain an understanding of the customer sentiment towards their products. While the analytics of the content is valuable, it is now missing a significant component – social media. Additionally, there is no easy way to correlate the consumer sentiment from these content sources with financials, product development and operations to reach a comprehensive understanding of the impact that customer insight has towards its business. Given that typical organizations have data and content stored in disparate systems and managed by different internal departments – there needs to be a better way. Step in Big Data, which is a perfect platform to mash up a set of diverse content, structured and unstructured, and provide a single pane of glass for critical insights.

DISPARITIES

Traditional Business Intelligence (BI) technologies lack the power to handle the data with vast volume and arrays of varieties. The fact that consumers can now simply thumb on their devices and provide their feedback with a wide reach makes it even more critical to understand the impact immediately. Today’s BI platform does not offer the kind of flexibility and self-service capabilities to deal with these challenges. Business’ reliance on an over-burdened IT keeps it slow to address its customers’ concerns and capitalize the opportunities. Big Data is changing the landscape how consumer insights are gathered and leveraged, helping alleviate those disparities in traditional IT infrastructure. As lines of business demands increase – so will the need for relevant data.

PREDICTif brings an innovative set of Big Data technologies to provide business self-service consumer insights tools to gain critical information, without burdening business users with hard-to-use tools or high IT costs. We are able to accomplish this by partnering with the leading information discovery and big data technology company, Oracle

PREDICTif can help retailers, restaurants, hospitality, telecomm, banks and consumer goods manufacturing in the following use cases:

What Why Who
Marketing and Consumer Engagement
  • More relevant and timely recommendations (in store and online)
  • Increased consumer loyalty and advocacy
  • More consistent cross-channel communication
Marketing, Digital Marketing, Marketing Operations, Loyalty Marketing, e-Commerce, Consumer Insights, Store Operations
Store Operations and Crosschannel Commerce
  • Improved On Shelf Availability performance
  • Better understanding of store conditions that impact shopper decisions
  • Improved cross-channel understanding of consumer shopping behavior
Marketing, Digital Marketing, Marketing Operations, e-Commerce, Retail Ops, Supply Chain, Consumer Insights
Planning and Merchandising
  • Improved merchandising
  • More targeted store assortments mapped to shopper basket preferences
  • More relevant real time offers
Merchandising, Category Mgmt, e-Commerce, Consumer Insights, Demand and Supply Planning
Supply Chain
  • Improved On Shelf Availability performance
  • Improved forecasting, replenishment and inventory allocation performance
Retail Sales and Ops, Supply Chain, Consumer Insights, Demand and Supply Planning, Inventory Mgmt
Product Innovation
  • Faster and more consumer-relevant generation of new product concepts
  • More successful new product launches
R&D, Innovation, Marketing, Brand Mgmt, Category Mgmt, Supply Chain, Sales, Regulatory Affairs
Consumer Engagement
  • More consistent cross-channel communication
  • More relevant and timely recommendations (in store and online)
  • Increased consumer loyalty and advocacy
  • Optimized marketing mix across B2B and B2C
Marketing, Digital Marketing, Brand Mgmt, Consumer Affairs, Consumer Insights, Sales, Trade Marketing, Category Mgmt

PREDICTif will leverage our extensive experience through our successes with these industries and deliver value-added Consumer 360 solutions. Our engagement will start with a Consumer Insights expert who will help produce a solution roadmap based on our pre-built templates and then deploy an implementation team that consists of highly skilled consultants to establish Big Data solutions for consumer insights.

Quick Delivery Kit for Oracle’s EBS Extension to Endeca

NWS

PREDICTif is excited to announce a Quick Delivery Kit (QDK) offering for Oracle’s EBS Extension to Endeca (EEE) solution. Many customers are leveraging Oracle e-Business Suite (EBS) as its core ERP solution to manage financial and operational processes. The myriad of options are available to EBS customers include: OBIEE, OBIA and EEE. PREDICTif’s unique capabilities allow us to identify the right solution for you! Our extensive experience across Business Intelligence will provide you with reassurance that our recommended approach ensures the lowest total cost of ownership without compromising on functionality.

EBS Extensions for Endeca, being built upon Endeca’s information discovery capabilities, offers significant flexibility for ad-hoc reporting and analytics while still providing seamless access to EBS for EBS users. Already equipped with over a dozen of pre-built modules for EBS including AR, AP, Order Management, Inventory, Project Accounting, EEE is easy to extend and customize for any existing EBS custom views and tables.

PREDICTif’s EEE QDK offering is a 12-week program that will enable customers to gain reporting and analytics capabilities for two of EBS modules.

  • Conduct a discovery and planning process to document the high-level business requirements and complete a plan for implementation
  • Establish the solution architecture and complete the installation of the initial 2 EEE modules
  • Complete the required EEE customizations and configurations to meet the business requirements
  • Perform knowledge transfer to customers’ resources to enable them to be self-sufficient for future enhancements
  • Enter into a support arrangement post production to ensure that customers will continue to enjoy support from PREDICTif

EEE QDK will rapidly deliver sophisticated reporting and analytics capabilities out of EBS for our customers who are using EBS as their core ERP systems. Please contact us for more information

To download a Power Point regarding EBS and Endeca, please fill out the form blow:

EBS Power Point Picture


Quick Delivery Kit for Oracle’s Big Data Discovery

NWS

PREDICTif is excited to announce a Quick Delivery Kit (QDK) offering for Oracle’s Big Data Discovery (BDD) solution. Oracle has furthered its leadership position in the space of information discovery by extending its market-leading information discovery tool, Oracle Endeca Information Discovery (OEID) and releasing BDD. BDD is designed to empower business users such as data scientists and business analysts to explore, transform and discover within terabytes of structured and unstructured data and gain critical insights that transform today’s business. Being a thought leader in the big data and information discovery space, PREDICTif has formed a strong partnership with Oracle to bring the values of BDD to our joint customers. To this end, PREDICTif has enhanced its OEID QDK and begun to offer this unique BDD Quick Delivery Kit.

PREDICTif’s BDD QDK offering is a 12-week program that will enable customers to leverage the marketing leading big data discovery tool and gain unparalleled capabilities to enable competitive advantages from their mountains of data.

  • Conduct a discovery and planning process to identify high value use cases and complete a plan for implementation
  • Establish the solution architecture and complete the development of the initial use case(s) through an iterative development process
  • Enable customer self-sufficiency by performing knowledge transfer throughout our engagement
  • Develop a post-production support arrangement to ensure that customers will continue to enjoy support from PREDICTif

BDD QDK is a highly valuable offering to our customers who plan to and have established a big data store in Hadoop and are in need of exploring and discovering the big data repository. Please contact us for more information.

PREDICTif’s Discoverer Replacement

NWS

PREDICTif is excited to announce an offering to replace Discoverer and upgrade customers’ EBS reporting capabilities. As you are no doubt aware, Oracle is sunsetting Discoverer and will soon cease support on this valuable tool. At PREDICTif, we have worked with many companies to identify a suitable replacement for this functionality. We will work with you to determine the most appropriate solution that provides your end users with a seamless experience to continue to perform reporting and analytics across your critical financial and operational data.

PREDICTif’s Discoverer Replacement offering is a 12-week program that will enable customers to leverage the best reporting tool and gain insight from its financial and operation data.

  • Conduct a discovery and planning process to identify a best-fit tool and complete a plan for implementation
  • Establish the solution architecture and complete the development of the initial set of reports
  • Perform knowledge transfer to customers’ resources to empower them to develop additional reports
  • Enter into a support arrangement post production to ensure that customers will continue to enjoy support from PREDICTif

PREDICTif believes this is a valuable offering to our customers who are currently using Discoverer to report out of EBS. Please contact us for more information.

PREDICTif delivers a Benefits Compensation Management Solution for a leading communications company

NWS

PREDICTif delivers a Benefits Compensation Management Solution for a leading communications company

CUSTOMER:

A leading provider of communications, high-speed Internet and entertainment services in small-to-mid-size markets delivering advanced communications services through its broadband and fiber optics network in more than 33 states.

REQUIRED CAPABILITIES

  • Rapid data loads
  • Rapid data retrieval
  • Centralized security
  • Improved user interface

CHALLENGES

The customer’s work force consists of approximately 6,000 employees of which, over 1,000 are eligible for bonus compensation beyond their annual salaries. The human resources department is required to maintain detailed information for each employee. They are also charged with providing the supervising managers with processes to set goals for and ultimately evaluate direct reports. The bonus goal-setting and evaluation processes must be accurate and secure.

  • The legacy system was incapable of synchronizing data with the SAP system;
  • Salary adjustments and bonus compensation processing required extensive manual input and maintenance;
  • The existing legacy GUI interface was unpopular with users;
  • The legacy system utilized a proprietary programming language, which few staff members were trained to use;
  • No system reporting tool existed to provide analysis driven reporting.
  • The legacy solution did not allow for querying by specific criteria;
  • Business rules and logic existed in multiple locations, posing significant risk to accuracy; and
  • The existing system was inflexible, un-scalable and could not accommodate company growth.

SCOPE

The Benefits Compensation Management solution used IBM Cognos TM1 as the backbone technology and delivered functionality that is easy to use with a flexible and scalable architecture that is highly interactive.

  • Integrated with the SAP system to retrieve and update human resource and workforce information;
  • Provided a user friendly interface that required minimal training and a mild learning curve;
  • Produced a solution that the HR department can support and upgrade independent of IT support;
  • Offered sophisticated reporting functionality for analysis and process enhancements;
  • Created a single version of truth for all data, business logic and rules; and
  • Provided initial product training to power users and post-production solution specific training to end users.

SOLUTIONS

In late 2007, the customer evaluated a number of business intelligence and performance management systems. IBM’s Cognos TM1 was selected for its ease of deployment, scalability, flexibility, and MOLAP (Multi Dimensional Online Analytical Processing) architecture.

The customer’s initial deployment of Cognos TM1 centered on its Bonus Awards Management

System. Teaming with PREDICTif, the customer arrived at a solution that combined Microsoft Excel templates with TM1 functionality. Once employee data was loaded in the designated cubes, calculations and updates were performed and saved in a single location providing “single version of the truth” processing and reporting.

  • Delivered a Benefits Compensation Management Application to process and report from its employee bonus payout program;
  • Supervising managers could review employee bonus forms easily and quickly. Any updates made by supervisors were saved to the TM1 server;
  • The Excel interface coupled with TM1 Perspectives permitted deployment with minimal training requirements;
  • Group security was provided to the element level using a TM1 security scheme; and
  • Calculations occurred on the TM1 Server preserving integrity.

RESULTS

The solution delivered significant results and met all business objectives as defined by the customer. Delivery increased the productivity and efficiency of the HR department as well as enhanced the employees’ satisfaction and morale.

  • A “single version of the truth” was attained;
  • Analysis based reporting and querying was readily available;
  • Effort required to complete annual bonus processing was greatly reduced;
  • Overall manual effort was significantly decreased;
  • Employee and organization hierarchy changes were synchronized with SAP using TM1 Turbo Integrator processing; and

Security settings were available for groups to the element level.

PREDICTif Solutions to Present at Oracle OpenWorld 2015

EVN

oracle

 

PREDICTif Solutions, a Houston-based technology consulting firm, today announces its upcoming presentation at Oracle OpenWorld 2015. The conference, held from October 25 to 29 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, CA, will be a premier event for business and IT professionals to learn about Oracle technologies through the interactions with Oracle and its business partners. PREDICTif’s CEO, Jeff Huang, VP of Global Sales, Karl Harrocks and OEID Practice Lead, Jimmy Philip will represent PREDICTif at the conference, meeting customers and Oracle colleagues.“This year we are very excited to have two of our customers, Wilsonart and Cox Automotive, speak on our behalf and share with our customers and partners their successes with PREDICTif. The Wilsonart story is featured on the September issue of Oracle Profit magazine, describing the incredible journey that Wilsonart and PREDICTif travelled together to build a fully integrated EPM, BI and Big Data solution” said Huang.

“PREDICTif has built a lot of successes in our three core practices, EPM, BI and Information Discovery/Big Data last couple of years.” , said Harrocks, “We are excited to leverage this platform to share our extensive experience in Oracle cloud offerings and Big Data Discovery. Whether we’re sharing our knowledge or learning from others, it’s our continuous goal to grow as a thought leader in the age of Big Data and bring this advantage to our customers.”

High-Value Health Check to Enhance Existing BI Solutions

NWS

PREDICTif Delivered a High-Value Health Check to Enhance Existing BI Solutions and Develop a Master BI Implementation Plan

CUSTOMER:

A leading Oil and Gas Equipment services company.

REQUIRED CAPABILITIES

  • Remedied performance and instability issues existed with the BI applications
  • Delivered a master Implementation roadmap for an enterprise BI and FPM architecture

CHALLENGES

The customer has over 25 subsidiaries, many acquired through acquisition. Each subsidiary had built out its own business intelligence (BI) and finance performance management (FPM) solutions using a myriad of BI and FPM products. As one of the leading global equipment service and pipeline construction companies, the customer faced numerous challenges related to instability, inconsistency and slow performance of BI applications. In preparation for the opportunities and demands of becoming part of a publicly held company, the customer needed to expand its BI and FPM architecture beyond the business unit level.  Before further expansion could take place, the customer needed to consolidate their division level BI and FPM initiatives as well as map out a strategy and roadmap to establish an enterprise BI architecture. The existing BI systems presented numerous deficiencies in terms of people, process and infrastructure:

  • All its business units had their own BI and FPM technologies, support teams and project initiatives without an enterprise level governance and standard;
  • There was no single version of truth in terms of data on the enterprise level which rendered the enterprise level reporting and financial consolidation inaccurate and labor intensive;
  • The existing BI infrastructure contained a myriad of technologies and products making support and maintenance difficult and cost of ownership extremely high; and
  • Lack of a BI competency center rendered uneven quality of delivered BI applications that resulted in slow performance and instability.

SCOPE                      

Conducted a health check to identify areas of risks and opportunities, recommend remedial measures, and produce a master implementation plan and a roadmap to build an enterprise level BI architecture.

  • Examined existing BI infrastructure and organizations in terms of people, process and infrastructure to discover areas of risks and opportunities, and more importantly, produce a list of actionable recommendations to improve the overall BI strategy and execution;
  • Reviewed the existing architecture, configurations and codes;
  • Identified bottlenecks that were causing slow performance and instability;
  • Aligned business objectives and priorities with BI initiatives;
  • Created organizational philosophy and culture to support an enterprise BI strategy; and
  • Developed a master implementation plan and roadmap for an enterprise level BI architecture.

SOLUTION

PREDICTif Solutions was engaged to provide a 2-week health check. PREDICTif’s senior architects reviewed the existing BI infrastructure, made recommendations for improvement and delivered a master implementation plan for rolling out BI to the entire enterprise.

Based on PREDICTif’s standard health check agenda and customer priorities, PREDICTif and the customer created a detailed agenda before the engagement. The agenda addressed both tactical and strategic aspects of the customers business. The tactical aspects were to analyze the existing BI solutions to identify areas of risk and opportunity as well as provide recommendations on both. The strategic aspect was to understand the customer’s business priorities and deliver an enterprise BI implementation plan.

The two week agenda was filled with workshops, interviews and document reviews during which, PREDICTif’s architects met customer’s personnel from numerous areas of the business to discuss business objectives, current BI architecture and business user concerns. Conversations focused on areas such as data quality, data governance, data modeling, report requirement gathering processes, architecture, support/maintenance and technology best practices. The architects also discussed future plans, business initiatives, short term and long term business goals as well as technological direction in the BI and FPM arena.

The PREDICTif resources combined our own set of BI and FPM best practices and standards with information gathered from the discussions in order to produce a  set of documents:

  • The tactical health check deliverable is in the form of a Microsoft Word document and a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation both of which outlined areas of opportunity, improvement and identified risks as well as the necessary steps to mitigate those risks.
    • In this case, the PREDICTif architects discovered that the BI architecture was not designed appropriately for the increased number of users and business cases which caused significant degradation of performance and stability;
    • The customer did not have a well defined data governance process that was accepted by all business units. It resulted in poor data and metadata modeling as well as an overall lack of data quality and transparency;
    • The architects made recommendations to improve the Bi architecture in terms of performance and stability; and
    • The architects applied PREDICTif developed and tailor-made data governance and data modeling best practices to the customer’s business and IT environment.
  • A master BI implementation plan and roadmap was delivered in order to consolidate the dispersed BI architecture as well as establish an enterprise level BI infrastructure.
    • The implementation plan entailed a multi-phased project plan that detailed the sequence of activities, dependencies and high-level estimate of effort as well as timelines;
    • It illustrated a 18-month BI architecture evolution through the phases of implementation;
    • The roadmap also considered the trend and best-in-class BI technologies; and
    • The implementation plan included the steps to establish an enterprise level BI competency center and governance process.

RESULTS

PREDICTif delivered considerable value to the customer’s return on the software and IT infrastructure investment. The health check’s findings and recommendations significantly improved both the performance and the stability of the customer’s existing BI architecture. The implementation plan provided a clear roadmap to establish an enterprise level, world class BI architecture.

  • The improvement decreased the rendering time of a complex report from an average of 6 min to less than 30 seconds, greatly increasing the productivity;
  • The upgrade and addition of hardware and software instance increased the overall uptime from 95% to that of 99% which was a requirement of the business;
  • The customer completed all three phases of PREDICTif’s recommended implementation plan and the overall BI initiatives continue to gain adoption and approval from the business use population.

Data Warehouse Architect

PREDICTif Solutions is a business technology consulting firm with a unique focus on Predictive Business Intelligence Solutions. Experts in end-to-end Business Intelligence, Predictive Analytics, Enterprise Performance Management and accompanying back-end data integration, PREDICTif Solutions is a dedicated partner to customers across a variety of industries.

JOB DESCRIPTION

The Data Warehouse Architect is a senior technical resource within the organization, and fulfills a coordination and leadership role in the development of data warehouse solutions as related to Data Model Metadata management & ETL (Extract, Transform & Load). Also has extensive technical knowledge and experience in multiple core technology areas and integration, along with strong planning and analytical skills. The Data Warehouse Architect is responsible for data warehouse architecture and design and development of data and metadata model as well as ETL requiring multiple technologies. Also works as part of cross-functional teams that deal with the full spectrum of information management technology.

Works with various technical resources across the team to facilitate the development of technical standards. Must have strong communication skills and ability to develop and present solutions to all levels of management, including executive levels. The Data Warehouse Architect participates in requirements gathering, discovery, and interfacing with technical and business teams – establishing credibility in terms of experience, presentation and leadership of solutions development. The Data Warehouse Architect evaluates proposed new systems and system changes and additions, provides oversight into the decision process, and participates in project implementation.

PRINCIPLE ACCOUNTABILITIES

Involvement in the entire systems development life cycle. Significant client interaction with the use population and finance/accounting team management. You will be supporting the production platform, developing new functionality, modifying existing rules, applications and reports, provide training and assistance to users, design and develop solutions to business need/issues, ensure data quality, stay current on all updates and patches.

SKILLS NEEDED

    • Deliver a project scope that directly supports the key business drivers
    • Define the overall data warehouse architecture (e.g., ETL process, ODS, EDW, Data Marts)
    • Define technical requirements, technical and data architectures for the data warehouse
    • Design and direct the ETL process, including data quality and testing
    • Design and direct the information access and delivery effort for the data warehouse
    • Define and direct the implementation of security requirements for the data warehouse
    • Define meta data standards for the data warehouse
    • Direct the data warehouse meta data capture and access effort
    • Define production release requirements and sustainment architecture
    • Define key business drivers for the data warehouse initiative

REQUIRED

    • Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Information Systems, Electrical Engineering or related field preferred.
    • Eight plus years of related responsible experience in large corporate systems environments working with large and complex data warehouse systems.
    • Must have at least 5 years of hands-on experience working with ODI, OBIEE, OBI.
    • Must have at least 5 years of experience in writing complex ETL packages.
    • Must have at least 5 years of hands on experience in database and SQL performance tuning.
    • Extensive hands-on technical knowledge of Data Warehouse Architecture, ETL, Oracle & SQL Server database.
    • Project Management
    • Problem solving skills
    • Patience, strong customer service skills
    • Leadership
    • Multi-tasking ability
    • Time Management
    • Interpersonal communications skills

WHY JOIN PREDICTif?

PREDICTif Solutions offers an excellent benefits package as well as competitive salary as well as commission and career progression!

PREDICTif Solutions is an Equal Opportunity Employer. This company does not discriminate in employment and personnel practices on the basis of race, sex, age, handicap, religion, national origin or any other basis prohibited by applicable law.

OBIEE Developer

PREDICTif Solutions is a business technology consulting firm with a unique focus on Predictive Business Intelligence Solutions. Experts in end-to-end Business Intelligence, Predictive Analytics, Enterprise Performance Management and accompanying back-end data integration, PREDICTif Solutions is a dedicated partner to customers across a variety of industries.

JOB DESCRIPTION

Implementation of Oracle Business Intelligence (BI) solutions for customers using Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE); working closely with the DW Architect and customer staff to review requirements and then design and develop data models; OBIEE/EBS reports; dashboards;  and monitoring and maintaining database, and OBIEE components.

PRINCIPLE ACCOUNTABILITIES

Detailed designing and developing of complex interactive OBIEE reports, including prompts, filters, different views (charts, views, filters, tables and bins), drill-down capabilities, and navigation links; detailed designing and developing of custom dashboards, including customized appearance and fonts that may require the modification of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS); setting up user groups and security using OBIEE Presentation Services.  Gather report and dashboard requirements; preparing detailed report, dashboard, and documentation; identifying and documenting data granularity required to meet reporting requirements; documenting data models, ETL designs and specifications, dimensional attributes, facts and star schemas; preparing and maintaining source-to-target and data lineage documentation.  Operations and maintenance of OBIEE and ETL,  maintaining existing OBIEE infrastructure and modifying as needed based on changes in usage; supporting end-users with reporting questions and minor report requests

SKILLS NEEDED

  • Extensive experience (5+ years) with the field of Business Intelligence, i.e. OLAP, Cubes and Dimensions Designs
  • Experience (3-5 years) with Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE)
  • Experience with data integration technologies such as Oracle Data Integrator
  • Experience as a tech lead and pre-sales experience a huge plus
  • Experience with other Oracle products such as Oracle Developer, Oracle Discovery, and Oracle EBS is preferred
  • Excellent inter-personal skills
  • Excellent analytical and creative problem-solving skills

REQUIRED

  • At least 3 years’ experience using OBIEE and EBS
  • At least 5 years experience in OLAP and BI
  • Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, MIS or directly related degree required

WHY JOIN PREDICTif?

PREDICTif Solutions offers an excellent benefits package as well as competitive salary as well as commission and career progression!

PREDICTif Solutions is an Equal Opportunity Employer. This company does not discriminate in employment and personnel practices on the basis of race, sex, age, handicap, religion, national origin or any other basis prohibited by applicable law.

Business Development Representative

PREDICTif Solutions is a leading business consulting firm with a focus on delivering enterprise analytics solutions. Experts in end-to-end Business Intelligence, Information Discovery, Enterprise Performance Management and Big Data, PREDICTif Solutions is a trusted Oracle partner to many customers across a variety of industries.

JOB DESCRIPTION

The Business Development Representative will be responsible for generating new business opportunities for PREDICTif Solutions’ consulting services and products.

PRINCIPLE ACCOUNTABILITIES

Identify new opportunities to sell, establish a pipeline, drive the sales process, and maintain relationships with clients as a trusted partner.

SKILLS NEEDED

  • Outstanding telephone sales skills. Exceptional ability to generate leads by prospecting and cold calling will be an integral part of your day in this position.
  • Ability to identify enterprise opportunities and build a predictable pipeline and forecast.
  • Develop sales strategies to ensure achievement of sales targets, by understanding market requirements, company objectives, and solution capabilities.
  • Utilize a consultative solutions sales approach to identify client needs and present the solution.
  • Identify and qualify accounts at the “C” level.
  • Develop and manage a qualified pipeline of targeted opportunities on a continual basis.
  • Manage accounts by building strong relationships with customers, gaining a thorough understanding of their requirements and long term goals, informing customers of new developments related to our services and solutions, facilitating troubleshooting, and resolution of problems.
  • Strong business acumen- ability to make proposal relevant to prospective customers.
  • Participate in solution demonstrations and presentations.

 

QUALIFICATIONS AND REQUIREMENTS

  • Bachelor’s degree in related field.
  • Strong work ethic, attitude and follow through ability.
  • Experience in the sale and marketing of Professional Services and Solutions is a plus.
  • Excellent communicative, presentation and interpersonal skills.
  • Progress the opportunity by leveraging qualification criteria and consistently moving the customer towards commitment.
  • Has a successful track record working with sales organizations to achieve and exceed their sales goals is a plus. Inspires others with drive and motivation to sell aggressively.
  • Takes initiative and pursues opportunities. Self-motivated and excellent multi-tasking skills. Prioritizes and performs a variety of concurrent tasks with minimal direction.
  • Projects a professional and polished image that inspires confidence and trust.
  • Ability to travel (less than 30%).

 

WHY JOIN PREDICTif?

PREDICTif Solutions offers an excellent benefits package as well as competitive salary as well as commission and career progression!

PREDICTif Solutions is an Equal Opportunity Employer. This company does not discriminate in employment and personnel practices on the basis of race, sex, age, handicap, religion, national origin or any other basis prohibited by applicable law.

Scalable financial reporting solution for healthcare management

NWS

PREDICTif delivered a scalable financial reporting solution for a leading health management services and equipment company

CUSTOMER:

A leading health management and diagnostic services and equipment company.

REQUIRED CAPABILITIES

  • Financial consolidation and reporting
  • Interactive analysis
  • Forecasting and Budgeting
  • Cognos TM1 Web

CHALLENGES

As one of the leading construction multimedia companies, this customer is faced with the following challenges: inefficient central financial reports, reliance on manual inputs, and cumbersome Excel intensive reporting tool. With financial data coming from 8 different data sources, a central reporting tool to consolidate all the reports is needed. The business is presented in six platforms and each platform gets the data from its own data source.

The chart of accounts is compiled from a string with over 20 characters.  The accounts dimension hierarchy was set up in such a way as to hinder reporting leading to miss interpretation of data and errors in reports.  Each of the six platforms has their own chart of accounts and reporting method making it difficult to consolidate in a single tool. Therefore, a lot of manual methods are involved in creating reports.   Heavy reliance on Microsoft Excel to input budgeting data is present.  As a Solution, PREDICTif Solutions proposes an end to end solution to centralize the financial reporting system to provide budgeting and forecasting for the organization.

SCOPE

  • The objective of the project was to deliver a solution that leveraged TM1’s in-memory OLAP capabilities and simplified the monthly financial consolidation and reporting process.
  • Centralized, efficient and ease of use access application which can reduce preparation time. Instead of spending time on preparing reports, users can now focus on analyzing data.
  • Instill ‘one version of the truth’ consolidation reporting system that can be applied to six platforms
  • Provide a proficient budgeting and forecasting web based process that allows users to input data at the line item level.
  • Give ability to end users to build and analyze reports without reliance on IT or the Accounting department

SOLUTIONS

After evaluating several world class solutions, IBM Cognos TM1 was selected for a number of reasons – one of them being that IBM Cognos TM1 provides a real-time approach to consolidating, viewing, and editing enormous volumes of multidimensional data.

PREDICTif was engaged to provide an end-to-end solution delivering 25 Cubes with dimensions ranging from 5 to 15 in order to provide Financials and Assumptions models. Changes in financial forecasts, assumption metrics and indirect expenses were made via customizable Excel templates as well as directly through the TM1 interface.   Reports created both in TM1 and Excel were readily accessible through the web with no additional effort.

  • PREDICTif Solutions was able to create a set of multidimensional cubes utilizing OLAP technology that can dynamically slice and dice through data sources.
  • Design a user-friendly excel input templates which can access through TM1 web. The cubes support consolidation and reporting of both budgeting and forecasting data as well as allocation.
  • An automated data extraction using by TI processes (ETL) tool that can update multi dimensional cubes from 8 different data sources.
  • Users can use dimension editor as primary method to maintain or update dimensions that are not from the source system
  • Setting up different instances for security purposes and separate the finance consolidation modules, budgeting applications and compensation modules will be given access by corporate controller.
  • Substantially reduce time spend on creating monthly financial reports. Reports are easily access and produce with little or no reliance on the accounting and IT department.
  • Provide a real-time consolidation reports and offer an automated tool for producing annual budget and monthly forecast process.
  • Eliminate manual effort and errors of gathering data from multiple reports, spreadsheet and data sources
  • Provide power users training and knowledge transfer to the client so they will be able to build additional reports, budget templates and forecasting procedures out of the cubes.

RESULTS

PREDICTif solutions delivered measurable results to the client.  Now the client is able to provide “one version of the truth” in their reporting system.  Customers can now use the centralized financial reporting cube to analyze data across six platforms and they now have an automated ETL process to update dimensions and cubes from 8 different data sources.  The TM1 web based input budgeting and forecasting system also allows users across the enterprise system to input data at the line item level.  The application significantly speeds up the budgeting and forecasting process and empowers users to create or modify input templates without IT department influence.

  • With the deployment of the TM1 solution, the number of hours spent generating consolidated financial statements were reduced considerably, allowing more time for analysis;
  • Multiple disparate business units were brought together under one streamlined reporting process with a standardized company-wide output;
  • The finance group supported and upgraded the solution and the accompanying infrastructure through its own staff, without dependence on the IT support; and
  • Consolidated financial reports have obtained further reach as a result of the use of TM1 web.

Business Intelligence Consultant

PREDICTif Solutions is a business centric consulting firm with a unique focus on Enterprise Wide Analytics. Experts in end-to-end Business Intelligence, Information Discovery, Enterprise Performance Management and accompanying back-end data integration, PREDICTif Solutions is a trusted partner to customers across a variety of industries. PREDICTif is looking to train a talented, driven individual for a career as a BI Consultant.

RESPONSIBILITIES INCLUDE

  • Design and Implement multi-tier enterprise software solutions for unique and challenging business problems
  • Involved in the full software development life cycle from scoping, analysis, design, implementation, and quality assurance to delivery and support
  • Deliver presentations to clients and attend marketing events
  • Conduct research on multiple vendor solutions for Application Integration
  • Assist in pre-sales, scoping and requirements gathering process

JOB QUALIFICATIONS

  • 1+ years of experience working with relational databases, dimensional databases or ETL
  • 1+ years experience with JAVA, C# or a major programming language
  • Experience with Data Mining or Predictive Analytics is a plus
  • Experience with formal software development processes and methodologies such as Waterfall, Agile, or SCRUM
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Desire to stay current with technology and a willingness to learn
  • Entrepreneurial; Self-motivated and can effectively manage tasks from start to finish

 

EDUCATION

  • Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, MIS or a related field

WHY JOIN PREDICTif?

PREDICTif Solutions offers an excellent benefits package as well as competitive salary as well as commission and career progression!

PREDICTif Solutions is an Equal Opportunity Employer. This company does not discriminate in employment and personnel practices on the basis of race, sex, age, handicap, religion, national origin or any other basis prohibited by applicable law.

Hyperion Developer

PREDICTif Solutions is a business technology consulting firm with a unique focus on Predictive Business Intelligence Solutions. Experts in end-to-end Business Intelligence, Predictive Analytics, Enterprise Performance Management and accompanying back-end data integration, PREDICTif Solutions is a dedicated partner to customers across a variety of industries.

JOB DESCRIPTION

Implementation of Hyperion solutions for customers using Oracle Hyperion; working closely with the Project Manager and customer staff to review requirements and then design and develop data models.

PRINCIPLE ACCOUNTABILITIES

Involvement in the entire systems development life cycle. Significant client interaction with the use population and finance/accounting team management. You will be supporting the production platform, developing new functionality, modifying existing rules, applications and reports, provide training and assistance to users, design and develop solutions to business need/issues, ensure data quality, stay current on all updates and patches.

SKILLS NEEDED

  • Knowledge of designing and developing Hyperion Essbase solutions for large organizations
  • Thorough understanding of intercompany accounting, currency translations, multiple accounting conventions, close process, consolidation and financial statement presentation for regulatory and statutory reporting
  • Experience in design/build, development, test and data validation
  • Good understanding of Master Data Management tools, Hierarchies/Reporting Structures
  • Expert understanding of large Business Performance Management systems

REQUIRED

  • At least 5 years working with Hyperion
  • A background in finance or accounting is a huge plus
  • Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, MIS or directly related degree required

WHY JOIN PREDICTif?

PREDICTif Solutions offers an excellent benefits package as well as competitive salary as well as commission and career progression!

PREDICTif Solutions is an Equal Opportunity Employer. This company does not discriminate in employment and personnel practices on the basis of race, sex, age, handicap, religion, national origin or any other basis prohibited by applicable law.

IBM Cognos TM1 Feeders

BLG

What Are Feeders?

In a sparse cube with relatively few values compared to the number of cells in the cube, it can cause a severe drag on system performance to require the cube to calculate every cell when only a few values will result from those calculations. To combat this, TM1 allows you to use the SKIPCHECK function to tell the rules to only calculate values for cells that will result in non-zero values.

To put it briefly, feeders are merely markers signifying to the rules which values are to be calculated and which are to be ignored. Think of it in the context of a cubeview. The feeders essentially mark each cell that needs to be calculated. The rules then come behind that and actually perform the calculations on only the marked cells.

Feeder Misconceptions (Or, How To Overfeed)

One of the most common misconceptions – especially when you’re writing your first rules – is to feed all parts of a calculation. Take the following rule – calculating an employee’s monthly bonus in a generic headcount cube – as an example:

[‘Monthly Bonus’] = N: ([‘Annual Salary’] * DB(‘Calendar’, !Year, !Period, ‘Monthly’, ‘Percent of Year’) ) * [‘Bonus %’];

I’ve found that many developers will assume they need to feed all parts of the calculation. So, for the above example, they will feed “Monthly Bonus” with “Annual Salary” and “Bonus %” from the same cube, and “Percent of Year” from the “Calendar” cube. However, all they’re doing is “marking” the cell for calculation three separate times when all they had to do was mark it once. This is adding three times the amount of processing time per cell. Extrapolate that out to the number of cells in your cube and you’re talking about a serious performance issue in your model.

So the cell only needs to be fed once, and to do this in the most efficient way possible you feed it with the part of the calculation that will most likely signify that the cell will result in a value of zero.

To elaborate on this point a bit: what universal logic can we grasp that will help us in determining the best possible feeder? Well, first you have to separate these logical truths into two categories: multiplication/division calculations, and addition/subtraction calculations.

Feeders for Multiplication and Division Calculations

Multiplication and division calculations are our best friends. In these calculations, we truly need only one feeder. Take a simple example of calculating a monthly FICA amount at the most basic level – Monthly Salary * FICA %. If either of these amounts equals zero, the FICA amount is going to be zero.

So we take this logic and conclude that, in fact, we only need one feeder – the one most likely to be zero. The FICA percentage is a single number (a lot of companies take them as two – Social Security and Medicare, but for simplicity’s sake we’ll assume that it’s one percentage), provided by the Social Security Administration every year. This percentage will never be zero, so we can rule it out as a possible feeder. The Monthly Salary, however, is a good feeder because unless our company has an employee who loves his job so much that he’s willing to work for free, it should be a pretty good indicator that we need to calculate that employee’s FICA %.

This same logic can be applied to division calculations. If the numerator is zero, the calculation must result in zero. If the denominator is zero, the calculation is illogical because you cannot divide anything by zero, and this is handled by TM1 as a zero.

Feeders for Addition and Subtraction Calculations

Feeders for addition and subtraction calculations, while not trickier, are slightly more involved. Take FICA for instance, and now assume that we do prefer to split FICA into its’ two parts – Social Security and Medicare. If we didn’t want to include these as children of a consolidation, we would calculate “FICA” as:

[‘FICA’] = N: [‘Social Security’] + [‘Medicare’];

However, if either “Social Security” or “Medicare” were to be zero, this would not guarantee that “FICA” will be zero for the obvious reason that x + 0 = x. The solution to this, unfortunately for us, is to feed both “Social Security” and “Medicare”. The same can be said for subtraction calculations, as x – 0 = x. With this in mind, let’s examine each of the parts of the above rule to see which we should use to feed “Monthly Bonus”:

  • Annual Salary: every employee should have a salary, so if we run across a “Monthly Bonus” cell belonging to an employee slot that does not have a salary, we can safely assume they will have no monthly bonus since any value multiplied by a zero will result in a zero. But this does not necessarily mean they will have a Monthly Bonus since not all employees receive a bonus, so let’s continue to the other parts of the calculation.
  • Percent of Year: we can instantly eliminate this as an option because there will never be a non-zero “Percent of Year” amount. If we were to use this as a feeder every cell would be fed, negating the entire advantage of feeders.
  • Bonus %: assuming every employee who receives a bonus has their own “Bonus %” populated, this is a great indication that “Monthly Bonus” for a given employee will need to be calculated. We should use “Bonus %” to feed “Monthly Bonus”.

[‘Bonus %’] => [‘Monthly Bonus’];

However, another misconception is that a feeder even needs to be a part of the fed calculation. This is not at all true. Remember, you’re just “marking” a fed cell, in the easiest and most efficient way possible.

Say that we need to derive an hourly pay rate from an annual salary:

[‘Hourly Rate’] = N: [‘Annual Salary’] \ DB(‘Calendar’, !Year, !Period, ‘Annual’, ‘Hours’);

Based on our prior analysis of “Monthly Bonus”, we can eliminate “Hours” in the Calendar cube as a contender to feed “Hourly Rate”. We could definitely use “Annual Salary” to feed these cells.

However, say we have another element called “FTE”. This is basically used to signify a valid employee with a value of 1, and could also be used to calculate part-time employees with a value less than 1 – say, 0.5. But no matter what specific value it is, if it’s greater than zero it signifies a valid employee. And since any valid employee will have some value in “Annual Salary”, “FTE” would also be a great feeder for “Hourly Rate”:

[‘FTE’] => [‘Hourly Rate’];

At this point you might be asking yourself, “Why wouldn’t I just use ‘Annual Salary’?” Well, in the instance of a single rule such as “Hourly Rate”, yes it might not make much sense to confuse the situation by using a value outside of the components of the calculation you’re feeding. However, consider the situation (a very likely one) where you have a number of these elements that you can assume every valid employee will have in all situations. Instead of feeding them with parts of their calculations, which will all be different and obviously dependent upon how they’re calculated, you can potentially feed them all with “FTE”:

[‘FTE’] => [‘Hourly Rate’],
[‘Social Security’],
[‘Medicare’],
[‘FUTA’],
[‘SUI’];

This example is a purely aesthetic one, but it could potentially help performance in the event you are pulling amounts from another cube, one-for-one with no calculation on the amount. We’ll discuss this further in the following section on inter-cube feeders.

Inter-Cube Feeders and How to Avoid Them

In my experience inter-cube feeders are the biggest drag on performance, and they should be avoided if possible. Continuing our example with “FTE”, we can use this value to aid us in pulling amounts from another cube. Let’s say our originating cube (“PositionInfo”) is just a snapshot in time of employees (i.e. it does not have time dimensions) and we need to pull those values into our “Headcount” cube and apply them to Period and Year. We can feed “FTE” in the “Headcount” cube like this:

[‘FTE’] => DB(‘Headcount’, ‘Fcst Years’, ‘Year’, !Scenario, !Company, !CostCenter, !Location, !Employee, !EmpInfo);

It (hopefully) goes without saying that when you’re dealing with inter-cube feeders you’re going to run into situations where your dimensions do not match and you’re forced to feed to consolidations, as we do in this example when we feed to all forecast years in the “Year” dimension and all months in the “Period” dimension. Feeding to consolidations is probably the single biggest reason as to why you should avoid inter-cube feeders as much as possible. When you’re feeding to a consolidation such as “Fcst Years”, you’re actually creating multiple feeders, equal to the amount of elements in the consolidation. To illustrate this, imagine we actually have time dimensions in our originating cube (“PositionInfo”); we would feed the “Headcount” cube with one feeder:

[‘FTE’] => DB(‘Headcount’, !Year, !Period, !Scenario, !Company, !CostCenter, !Location, !Employee, !EmpInfo);

However, when we feed to “Fcst Years”, we’re essentially creating the following feeders:

[‘FTE’] =>

DB(‘Headcount’, ‘2011’, !Period, !Scenario, !Company, !CostCenter, !Location, !Employee, !EmpInfo),
DB(‘Headcount’, ‘2012’, !Period, !Scenario, !Company, !CostCenter, !Location, !Employee, !EmpInfo),
DB(‘Headcount’, ‘2013’, !Period, !Scenario, !Company, !CostCenter, !Location, !Employee, !EmpInfo),
DB(‘Headcount’, ‘2014’, !Period, !Scenario, !Company, !CostCenter, !Location, !Employee, !EmpInfo);

As with feeding each component of a calculation, this creates a huge strain on performance and should be avoided. But it cannot always be avoided, and so you should take actions that minimize the adverse affects. So let us operate under the assumption that if we can feed our great “universal” feeder (“FTE”) from the “PositionInfo” cube to the “Headcount” cube, we can then create all our other feeders inside the “Headcount” cube. Here would be our feeder from the “FTE” element in the “PositionInfo” cube to the “FTE” element in the “Headcount” cube:

[‘FTE’] => DB(‘Headcount’, ‘Fcst Years’, ‘Year’, !Scenario, !Company, !CostCenter, !Location, !Employee, ‘FTE’);

We would then be able to use that newly-fed “FTE” element in the “Headcount” cube to feed all of the elements for which we otherwise would have written inter-cube feeders:

[‘FTE’] => [‘Hourly Rate’],
[‘Social Security’],
[‘Medicare’],
[‘FUTA’],
[‘SUI’];

Conclusion

Hopefully this can help some of you to improve your model’s performance through making your feeders more efficient. We’re never going to completely eliminate the headaches that come with feeders, but we can at least minimize the heartburn that comes with a poorly-performing system.

EPM Success for Geophysical Survey Company

NWS

PREDICTif  successfully assists major geophysical survey company to select the right Enterprise Performance Management product for its financial reporting and analysis needs

CUSTOMER:

A leading seismic data-acquisition imaging and software systems company who assists petroleum exploration companies to identify and measure subsurface geological structures.

REQUIRED CAPABILITIES

  • Financial consolidation and reporting
  • Interactive analysis
  • Forecasting and Budgeting
  • Oracle Hyperion Planning, Essbase, Financial Reporting, Financial Data Management

CHALLENGES

The Customer used an out-dated solution that was under-utilized and deficient in terms of data mining and planning automation. As a result, the business was heavily dependent upon IT for both support of its existing solution and development of new functionality when the enterprise required. The software deployed was also 2 major versions behind that of the publicly released version and had run out of vendor support. Significant growth in its Solutions business units served as a catalyst to replace its manual, error-prone, labor intensive financial reporting and planning solution with a more automated, streamlined and efficient one.

The company, comprised of multiple legal entities that span the globe, was challenged with having to manage all of its financial operations in a single, multicurrency environment. It also had needs to transform individual financial plans from a group of entities into a single, consolidated corporate level plan.  All this made the existing solution severely limiting in terms of the ability to predict its revenue and costs for each of its business units.

SCOPE

Needing objective and unbiased professional advice on various EPM solutions on the market, the Customer engaged with PREDICTif who led a rigorous product selection process to ensure that they procured the right EPM product for its current and future needs. The overall goal was to assist the Customer in identifying an EPM product that met its current and future business needs:

  • Integrate seamlessly with its main ERP solution (Infor’s Syteline), its existing Microsoft SQL Server based data warehouse and miscellaneous data sources;
  • Upgrade its antiquated and unsupported EPM architecture to a modern and sustainable one;
  • Automate and streamline its financial reporting and planning processes eliminating manual, redundant and time-consuming steps;
  • Enable drill-downs and what-if analysis for gaining insight and better financial plans;
  • Establish a single version of the truth and generate accurate/ up-to-date reports;
  • Leverage both web and Excel as available interfaces for ad-hoc analysis, interactive report authoring and viewing;
  • Offer an easy-to-learn and easy-to use tool that enables the business to achieve self-sufficiency; and
  • Ensure long term, advantageous total cost of ownership.

 

SOLUTION

PREDICTif led a systematic product selection process leveraging its extensive experience with EPM solutions, vertical specific evaluation criteria and its own, proprietary production selection templates to ensure a thorough evaluation was undertaken. PREDICTif led the preparation of the PoC, the coordination of the vendors and finally, the short-listing and evaluation/selection of vendors who best addressed Customer’s business requirements.

Over the course of the evaluation, PREDICTif:

  • Assisted the Customer in its identification of the appropriate use cases that addressed all critical business needs;
  • Prepared the use case documentation and accompanying data;
  • Worked with Customer personnel in order to facilitate software vendors’ involvement in the PoC;
  • Supported the Customer as needed throughout their participation in the evaluation process;
  • Administered the different software vendors’ PoC’s and validated their results;
  • Incorporated PREDICTif’s proprietary software evaluation process and compared/contrasted its weighted scoring criteria against that of the differing, competing vendor technologies;
  • Led vendor’ demos and meetings in an effort to contribute towards the information gathering process;
  • Provided cost estimates for license and implementation costs; and
  • Produced a high level roadmap and long term implementation plan for each technology so that the Customer understood not only the current state, but also the future vision of the chosen technology.

The PoC was conducted in parallel by three vendors over the course of a two-week period.  We aggregated all the gathered information and then, used PREDICTif’s weighted software selection criteria to contrast that against the Customer’s business objectives to render an option on a best of breed solution.

After evaluating several leading vendors, Oracle Hyperion/Essbase was selected for a number of reasons:

  • Oracle Hyperion Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) software meets the key business requirements, enables the automation of planning and reporting processes and powers the finance team to perform data mining and ad-hoc analysis;
  • Oracle Hyperion is easy to use, easy to implement and easy to support/maintain;
  • It is a cost effective, high return investment, conducive to quick wins, resulting in lower total cost of ownership;
  • It establishes a solid platform for future reporting and analysis needs; and
  • Oracle utilizes updated and modern technologies, presents a strategic product development roadmap and enjoys both financial as well as organizational stability.

RESULTS

Post product selection, the Customer negotiated with Oracle and ultimately procured the Hyperion product stack including Essbase, Hyperion Financial Reporting, Hyperion Planning and Financial Data Manager (FDM). Utilizing the acquired Oracle stack of products, the PREDICTif team successfully implemented and replaced the customer’s outdated solution with that of a new one fully automating countless functions and in the process, eliminating nearly half of the Excel worksheets it previously utilized resulting in increased productivity. Additionally, PREDICTif:

  • Upgraded the customer’s financial reporting and analysis architecture to a modern and fully supported technology;
  • Increased the architectures performance resulting in a more robust and stable environment;
  • Eliminated a multitude of manual, error-prone and time-consuming steps resulting in a more efficient and accurate financial analysis and reporting process;
  • Delivered to the business users the ability to do ad-hoc analysis and create their own reports;
  • Delivered a solution to the business that the customer personnel were able to support and maintain without significant IT support or involvement; and
  • Provided the business a solution that resulted in a significant return on investment.

Flexible financial and operations reporting solution for Texas Grocer

NWS

A Texas grocer engages PREDICTif to deliver a flexible financial and operations reporting solution

CUSTOMER:

A regional chain of grocer, pharmacy and retail.

REQUIRED CAPABILITIES
Manage financial and operation reporting with different rules for different accounts, as well as for different business units; but with one final standardized output. Handle multiple hierarchies, centralized security and quick response times.
CHALLENGES

Operating over 100 supermarkets in both metropolitan and rural areas of Texas and Louisiana, the customer faced numerous challenges related to its financial and operational reporting as the company became reliant upon an inefficient, highly customized reporting application. The application was based on an antiquated and unsupported technology, Query 2000. Further compounding the difficulties associated with reporting on a customized system was the fact that the customer had no dedicated vendor support or experienced technical resources which in and of itself resulted in multiple technical limitations:

  • Difficult to create and maintain the reports;
  • Manual process required to generate reports;
  • No scheduling capabilities;
  • Reports couldn’t be published which causes duplication and inaccurate reports;
  • Was difficult to modify and reuse existing report templates;
  • Lack of templates resulted in longer cycles to develop new reports;
  • Generation of reports was slow as they were directly processed out of AS400 Mainframes;
  • There was no alerting and bursting capability to detect and manage business significant
  • events;
  • Legacy solution was burdensome as it related to the creation of ad hoc reports;
  • Did not support the customer’s data retention schedule and data cleansing; and
  • Newly developed reports can not be tested by users to ensure accuracy.

SCOPE

The objectives were to provide the customer the capability to accurately report on a timely basis, reuse templates and achieve self sufficiency after the project.

  • Deliver a financial reporting solution that leverages the TM1 9.4 OLAP engine and Cognos BI 8.4 report studio;
  • Automate the report process and make it easy for business users to create new and ad-hoc reports;
  • Provide training and knowledge transfer so that business users are self independent in terms of support and enhancement; and
  • Implement alerting and bursting capabilities to manage critical business events and support data retention process

SOLUTION

The customer acquired IBM’s Cognos BI 8.4 and TM1 9.4 to address the constraints of the legacy solution. The IBM Cognos suite provided the customer the flexibility to generate and reuse reports as well as the ability to automate report generation and alert/burst functionality for significant events.

After a thorough vendor selection process, PREDICTif was selected to implement an end-to-end reporting solution for the customer. The project encompasses the entire life cycle of software installation, configuration, customization, testing, implementation, user groups training and knowledge transfer. PREDICTif delivered the solution under budget and before the planned completion date.

  • Developed a comprehensive project plan with detailed scope and timelines;
  • Created business requirements documentation and technical requirements documents for the project;
  • Installed and configured Cognos 8.4 on DEV, QA and Production with QA and production being multi-server environments to improve performance and ensure redundancy (3 application servers, 2 web servers and 1 content server);
  • Converted all existing Query 2000 reports to Cognos reports using Report Studio, Query Studio, Analysis Studio and built cubes using Framework Manager Models;
  • Created 45 additional complex reports;
  • Developed and delivered the ability to create Ad hoc reporting;
  • Completed ETL Mapping (Fact builds and Dimension Builds) function using Data manager;
  • Designed and implemented a Datamart for the customer’s HR Department;
  • Consolidated/replaced a quandary of spreadsheets into one single company wide data entry by utilizing TM1;
  • Used F5 load balancers to conduct thorough load balance and fail-over testing to ensure the performance and robustness of the BI solution;
  • Provided thorough documentation of all the reports and user manuals; and
  • Offered training to both power users and end users on Query Studio, Report Studio and Analysis Studio.

RESULTS

PREDICTif’s TM1 solution streamlines the customer’s financial and operational reporting process and enables the customer to have accurate information at hands in order to make critical and timely business decisions.

  • The number of hours spent generating consolidated financial statements was reduced substantially allowing more time for analysis;
  • Multiple disparate business units were brought together under one streamlined reporting process, with a standardized company-wide output;
  • The comprehensive training and detailed documentation that the customer’s personnel received equipped the customer with the knowledge to support and maintain their system with minimal assistance from its IT support; and
  • PREDICTif helped establish best practices and project methodology within the customer’s organization that will benefit the customer in its future BI implementation projects.

Business Intelligence (BI)

BLG

Business intelligence (BI), once a competitive differentiator, is now a commodity. Most companies have implemented BI solutions that provide historical reporting, dashboarding, metrics and scorecarding for past events. Companies know what has happened but the ability to know what will happen will be the competitive advantage that companies need to excel in this volatile and ultra-competitive environment. Predictability is the next step in the evolutionary process of Business Intelligence.

Traditional Business Intelligence and data warehousing focus on strategic, long term decision support. While strategic Business Intelligence continues to be a requirement to support long range vision, Predictive Business Intelligence (PBI) takes business Intelligence beyond a process that has traditionally looked backwards and has been reactive in nature. PBI empowers the enterprise in realizing competitive advantages and provides the business with the necessary agility to meet the challenges of today’s rapidly changing business environment by mitigating risks and maximizing opportunities. PBI greatly improves both long term strategic decision making and near team operational decisions.

The ability to make Predictive strategic decisions will separate enabled companies from their competition enabling them to capitalize on opportunities and reduce exposure to risk. Statistical analysis on operational and transactional data will provide insightful information on business trends and enable the business to make strategic decisions quickly and more effectively. For example, when a retail chain is determining whether to establish a presence in an unfamiliar territory, it could utilize growth data from other locations and combine it with the local data as well as current projection data to provide support for the decision making. The data might be sketchy and sparse, but statistical analysis will offer a sound basis for decision making. Other examples can be found in oil & gas exploration or pharmaceutical development projects for instance. These projects often entail long development cycles and considerable up-front cost the outcome of which has significant impact on the overall performance of the business. Predictive decision making will enable those companies to analyze more data in order to gain a complete view of the business cases and leverage proven statistical models to aid those impactful decisions. The completeness and quality of the data analyzed are critical to determine the accuracy of the prediction. Although companies in these verticals go to great lengths to develop elaborate risk management models to address common concerns, predictive business intelligence In support of existing risk management processes, provides a richer set of data and more interactive analysis to ensure a better outcome.

 

JB Poindexter makes substantial hardware cost savings thanks to IBM Cognos Express

NWS

With help from IBM Cognos Express and PREDICTif Solutions, JB Poindexter and Co. was able to upgrade, consolidate, and standardize their diverse reporting systems, saving at least $50,000-75,000 a year in hardware costs, and increasing productivity by 100-125%.

CUSTOMER:

J.B. Poindexter & Co., Inc. is a privately held diversified manufacturing company with operating subsidiaries engaged in the production of commercial van bodies, step-vans, funeral coaches, limousines, mid-sized buses, pick-up truck bed enclosures and tonneau covers, precision machined components and expandable foam plastics.

The company operates with a decentralized management and operating structure. Subsidiaries have complete operational, financial and administrative responsibility, with professional and executive management support provided by the corporate staff.

“The highly knowledgeable consultants at PREDICTif understand business intelligence. That’s why they recommended IBM Cognos technology to fit our business needs, technology that we are very happy with. IBM Cognos is intuitive, can be owned and managed by the business, and has amazing reporting, planning, and dashboard features. It also happens to be one of the best bargains on the market.”

Jay Krishnamurthy Vice President-IT, J.B. Poindexter and Co.

CHALLENGES

J.B. Poindexter & Co. has grown significantly in the last few years, acquiring six separate business units. As each unit maintained its own staff, product lines, customers, as well as its own ERP system, reporting processes were difficult to manage. The business and corporate units had limited visibility into crucial arenas, such as performance at plant levels, costs, margins, overhead, material savings, etc. Due to the nature of their sustainable growth, they lacked consistency in information and standardization processes.

In addition, the information reporting and planning processes that were in place were antiquated. With manual and laborious systems in place that included spreadsheet formatting, crucial business information was often inconsistent and difficult to come by in a timely manner.

J.B. Poindexter & Co. needed away to upgrade their system into an automated, consolidated, and standardized. That way, corporate and business units would be able to quickly and easily view crucial information at both a detailed and broad level, allowing them to manage effectively and respond to any potential problems or risks immediately.

APPROACH

  • Leverage PREDICTif’s recognized experience and expertise to implement a business intelligence solution tailored to JB Poindexter and CO.’s needs.
  • Purchase multiple IBM Cognos Express modules.
  • Consolidate, standardize, and automate reporting and forecasting processes across all distinct business and corporate units.

RESULTS

  • Implementing IBM Cognos and PREDICTif services, provided end users with an intuitive budgeting, forecasting, and reporting solution with BI capabilities.
  • Created a system of easy-to-understand dashboards that automatically provide critical information across all business units, allowing management and corporate to assess performance and risk in a timely manner.
  • Implemented a cost-effective solution, saving $50-75,000 a year in hardware costs alone.
  • Eliminated the need for report builders by empowering end users with an easy-to-use system.
  • Allowed IT staff to focus on IT needs instead of spending several hours a day loading data and fixing reporting issues.
  • Increased productivity by 100-125%.
  • Reduced time to deliver manual reports by well over 200%.

BENEFITS AT A GLANCE

  • Upgrade and consolidate budgeting, forecasting, and reporting systems into one easy-to-use solution, IBM Cognos Express.
  • Using IBM Cognos Express, significantly reduce manual reporting from the separate business units by over 200%.
  • Generate consolidated, standardized reports that include product line costs and margins, fast and efficiently to make better business decisions.
  • Create easy-to-use reporting dashboards across all business units and corporate units, so that all levels of management can assess performance and risk in real time.
  • Increased productivity by 100-125%.
  • Employ PREDICTif Solutions  consultants to install a cost-effective solution, and even complete phase one of the project early and on-budget.
  • Leverage PREDICTif’s proven expertise to build a solution specifically tailored to J.B. Poindexter’s needs.

Financial reporting & consolidations solution for a leading Oil and Gas Equipment services company

NWS

Delivered a financial reporting and consolidations solution in a multi-currency and multi-account environment

CUSTOMER:

A leading Oil and Gas Equipment services company.

REQUIRED CAPABILITIES

  • Financial consolidation and reporting
  • Finance group’s self sufficiency
  • User friendly interfaces

CHALLENGES

As one of the leading global equipment service and pipeline construction companies, the customer faced numerous challenges related to monthly financial consolidation processing. In preparation for the opportunities and demands of being part of a publicly held company, the customer and its 25 plus legal entities had to manage all of their financial operations in a multicurrency environment, transforming individual financial statements from a group of entities into a single financial statement.  Their legacy solution which consisted of putting consolidated statements together using spreadsheets had severe limitations.

  • Disparate spreadsheets were not a scalable solution to implement across multiple lines of business;
  • Manual consolidations processes were complex, error prone and left no time for analysis; and
  • Currency translation with exception rates for items like intercompany receivables and common stock became a maintenance dilemma.

SCOPE

Efficiency, user-friendliness and self sufficiency were the three main objectives of this project.

  • Deliver a Cognos TM1 based solution to streamline the monthly financial consolidation process;
  • Provide a user-friendly user interface for analysis, ,reporting and dissection of data in an interactive manner; and
  • Establish self sufficiency so that the customer’s business users can easily support and upgrade the solution independent of its IT group.

SOLUTION

PREDICTif was engaged to provide an end-to-end solution and after evaluating several potential software vendors, IBM Cognos TM1 was selected for a number of reasons most notably,  the ability to provide a real-time approach to consolidating, viewing, and editing enormous volumes of multidimensional data.

Cubes having dimensions ranging from 3 to 10 were created. GAAP entries, Eliminations and Adjusting entries were made through the TM1 Consolidations product.   Reports created both in TM1 and Excel were readily accessible through the web with no additional effort.

  • TM1 is an in-memory OLAP server, which means that can typically respond to queries more quickly than its competing products;
  • By implementing TM1, the customer was able to compress the consolidations process into a matter of hours, giving analysts much more time for data analysis; and
  • The customer found out that it could eliminate numerous steps from the process itself further contributing towards more time on analytic activity rather than the mechanics of generating month-end reports.

PREDICTif provided a training curriculum that was tailored to the customer’s needs and culture. Power users received comprehensive technology and solution specific training and as a result, quickly became proficient enough to instruct other end users.

RESULTS

PREDICTif delivered significant value to the customer’s return on investment related to the software and IT infrastructure investment. The solution received positive feedback from the customer’s user population and significantly improved the financial consolidation and reporting process.

  • The deployment of the TM1 Consolidations and Reporting solution reduced the number of hours spent generating the consolidated financial reports and freed up considerable more time for analysis;
  • The network traffic due to large volumes of attachment in the email has decreased;
  • Financial analysts can generate reports and dissect large volumes of data using an interface they are familiar with; and
  • The customer’s finance group uses, supports and enhances the solution without dependence on the IT support.

crc1
Consolidations Process After TM1

crc2

PREDICTif help find an enterprise dashboard & scorecard solution for energy company

NWS

A global integrated energy company seeks PREDICTif’s help to find an enterprise dashboard and scorecard solution to track KPIs

CUSTOMER:

A global major integrated energy company.

REQUIRED CAPABILITIES

  • An Enterprise Level Dashboard and Scorecards that tracks KPIs against Refinery Actual, Planned, and Scheduled Metrics with reduced data latency and enhanced ease of use

CHALLENGES

As one of the world’s largest integrated energy companies, our customer conducts business in every aspect of the crude oil and natural gas industry, including exploration and production, manufacturing, marketing and transportation, chemicals manufacturing and sales, geothermal energy, and power generation. Our customer sought an enterprise solution to track key financial and operational KPIs.

  • The customer did not have Metrics for key performance indicators in critical financial and operation categories;
  • Unable to track down any change in the key metrics and identify the contributing factors to the change;
  • No dashboarding capabilities to provide a snapshot view into operational performance at world wide refineries; and
  • There was 1-2 day of data latency, and as a result, the reports did not contain up-to-date information.

SCOPE

The customer’s requirement was to create an enterprise level dashboard that tracked key KPI’s against their Actual, Planned and Scheduled Metrics. The scope also included the creation of dashboards and scorecards to give a high level representation of critical operational data.

  • Increase visibility — create dashboards that allow the business a high-level view of  granular data in order to get to timely address business problems immediately;
  • Increase accountability — assigns owners for each metric as well as the accompanying responsibility for performance;
  • Increase focus — concentrate on priorities and eliminate distractions;
  • Improve communication — communicate results and actions taken to manage performance; and
  • Improve collaboration — use metrics to link together people, departments and processes.

SOLUTIONS

After evaluating several world class solutions, IBM Cognos BI was selected for a number of reasons – one of which being IBM Cognos BI provides a highly customizable and informational dashboard and scorecard solution. Cognos metrics studio, metrics designer and framework Manger version 8.4 provide needed metrics functionality to meet the requirements. PREDICTif was engaged to provide an end-to-end BI solution and develop Refinery Metrics and Balanced Scorecards using Cognos Metrics Studio/Metrics Designer 8.4.

  • Analyzed existing requirements for the need to created metrics, metrics types, planned values, actual values, charts and various scorecards;
  • Installed and configured Metrics Studio and Metrics Designer on the existing Cognos BI 8.4 environment;
  • Used Framework Manager to initially model a package that will be used to as a source for creating the metric designer package;
  • Created various Metrics and Metrics Types (Actual Vs Scheduled, Actual Vs Planned, Planned Vs Scheduled etc) and compared the different metrics;
  • Developed customized Report Studio Reports to be used as part of this metrics analysis;
  • Used Metric Designer to create a metric package for use in Metrics Studio;
  • Used Custom calendar and performed various admin tasks like pushing data into staging area and then into metric store etc;
  • Developed a balanced scorecard based on the various metrics created earlier; and
  • Trained Administrators, BA’s and Developers to maintain this metrics model and package and also them on used metric studio.

RESULTS

PREDICTif delivered a Cognos BI solution that increased the visibility to significant business events and enhanced the customer’s ability to detect and resolve business issues and maximize market opportunities.

  • The Cognos BI Dashboard provided a consolidated view of refinery operational metrics from all of the customer’s worldwide refinery units;
  • The Scorecard solution offered insight into operational issues and enabled teams to design and implement measures to resolve issues;
  • The data integration solution significantly reduced the latency and delivered up-to-date information to business users; and
  • The customer was able to support and upgrade the solution independently after PREDICTif provided extensive and specific training and detailed documentations.

IBM Cognos Success for Smith & Associates

NWS

Smith & Associates reacts faster to emerging opportunities gaining faster insight into supply chains and operations with IBM Cognos software

CUSTOMER:

Smith & Associates is a world-leading distributor of electronic components. The company employs more than 300 people, with regional headquarters in Houston (TX), Hong Kong and Amsterdam, and numerous sales and purchasing offices across three continents. As a pioneer in the management of the electronics industry’s complex supply chains, Smith & Associates has built up the experience, skills and reputation that enable it to earn a consistent number-one ranking for sales in the industry.

CHALLENGES

In a highly time-sensitive business environment, Smith & Associates needs to be able to source the right electronic components at the right price, and ensure that they can be delivered to meet customers’ tight manufacturing schedules.

THE SOLUTION

IBM® Cognos® Business Intelligence and IBM Cognos TM1® deliver rapid, real-time insight into inventory levels, pricing and the supply chain, enabling Smith & Associates’ traders to source, purchase and deliver the components that its customers need. PREDICTif Solutions, an IBM Business Partner, helped to embed analytics into the traders’ existing systems, providing seamless access to reports even while the traders are on the phone to customers.

THE BENEFITS

  • Gives traders and trade managers a deeper understanding of important factors such as cost of inventory, helping them to make better sales decisions and maintain profit margins.
  • Integrates business intelligence and planning data, providing a comprehensive solution for all types of business analysis.
  • Doubles the speed of many reporting processes, delivering near-instant, real time access to information. Smith & Associates expects performance to improve even further with the introduction of the new Dynamic Query mode.
  • Provides an intuitive set of management tools, reducing workload for the IT team and enabling easier development and upgrades.

“The distribution of electronic components is an extremely fast-moving business,” explains Marc Barnhill, Chief Trading Officer at Smith & Associates. “The reason we’ve been able to maintain our leading position is that we use our expertise to make good decisions quickly, and ensure that we can deliver the components our customers need, when they need them, and at the right price. Our ability to make these decisions depends on the quality and timeliness of the information we have access to – which is where business analytics technology comes in.”

EMBEDDED ANALYTICS WITH IBM COGNOS SOFTWARE

For several years, Smith & Associates has been using IBM Cognos Business Intelligence and IBM Cognos TM1 software to provide its traders, trade managers, accountants and marketers with vital data.

“We use IBM Cognos software across the whole business, and almost 20 percent of our staff are direct users,” says Phyllis Tsu. “All our financial reporting and planning processes are handled by Cognos Business Intelligence and Cognos TM1, and we have also started using these tools to provide rapid insight into operational areas such as sales, pricing and inventory.”

Reacting quickly to emerging opportunities

When an opportunity arises, Smith & Associates’ trading team needs to be able to take rapid action – checking current inventory and suppliers’ availability, calculating prices and assessing delivery times, and finally making an offer to the customer. The business moves so fast that traders often need to be able to quote a price to the customer during the course of a single phone call.

“The traders need to be able to generate quite complex analyses extremely quickly, and they need a very user-friendly system that they can use while they are on the phone,” explains Phyllis Tsu. “So two of the main requirements for our trading analytics solution were that the response speed had to be excellent, and the interface had to show them all the information they need on a single screen.

“From an IT perspective, this meant that we wanted better integration between Cognos Business Intelligence and TM1, and we also needed to boost performance so that traders’ queries could be run within seconds. In both cases, the answer was an upgrade to IBM Cognos 10.”

QUICK AND EASY MIGRATION

Working with PREDICTif Solutions, an IBM Business Partner that specializes in business analytics implementations, Smith & Associates upgraded from version 8.3 to version 10.1 of IBM Cognos Business Intelligence. The team used the Lifecycle Manager feature to check that each of its key reports would work properly on the new system before migrating them over.

“Lifecycle Manager is a valuable addition to Cognos Business Intelligence,” comments Phyllis Tsu. “It shows what each report will look like before and after the migration, so it’s easy to compare them and make sure that everything is working correctly. As a result, we were able to complete the entire project within a month – two or three times faster than our last upgrade.”

SEAMLESS INTEGRATION

She adds: “The PREDICTif team has played a big role, not only in the upgrade but in our whole business analytics journey. Aside from their technical knowledge and expertise, they also provided a solution guide that gave us a best-practice approach to Cognos deployment. In addition, PREDICTIF’s unique APIs [application programming interfaces] helped us integrate analytics into our trading and ERP systems – so our traders can call up Cognos reports with a few mouse-clicks, without having to switch applications. The integration is so seamless that in many cases they don’t even know they’re using Cognos.”

BOOSTING PERFORMANCE

The ability to access reports from both Cognos Business Intelligence and TM1 within the trading system is a major advantage for busy traders who need to access information while they are on the phone with customers – but it would count for nothing if the solution did not respond quickly enough. The second major benefit of the new version of the Cognos solution is that performance is in many cases twice as fast as before.

“The new version of Cognos Business Intelligence definitely handles traders’ queries faster than the previous version – although the improvements may not seem impressive when you’re talking about a few seconds or sub-seconds,” says Phyllis Tsu. “But when you look at major reporting tasks such as the end-of-month financial close, the improvement is obvious: a process that used to take over an hour now runs in less than 30 minutes.”

HARNESSING NEW FEATURES

From a performance perspective, the Smith & Associates team is also excited about the new Dynamic Query Mode, which uses advanced caching and local/remote processing technologies to accelerate query speeds even further. IBM benchmarks have shown 50 to 75 percent improvements with Dynamic Query Mode – a success which Smith & Associates hopes to emulate in the near future.

Another feature of the latest version of Cognos Business Intelligence is Active Report, which enables Smith & Associates to send reports to branch managers and  allows branch managers to interact with data without needing access to the central Cognos system.

“Previously, we used to send reports to the branches in Microsoft® Excel® format, and although this was not nearly as powerful or secure as the Cognos solution, the branch managers liked the look-and-feel,” explains Phyllis Tsu. “With Active Report we have been able to create a dashboard that looks just like the spreadsheets, so it gives them the best of both worlds.”

Other features that the company may deploy in the future include Business Insight, which makes it easier for users to create their own personalized dashboards, and Cognos Mobile.

“We use a whole range of smartphones and devices – from the iPhone and iPad to BlackBerry, Android and Windows Mobile,” says Phyllis Tsu. “If we can give our users access to Cognos via these devices, so that traders can access all the information they need when they’re visiting a customer or on the road, it could be a big win for us.”

DEEPER INSIGHT, BETTER BUSINESS DECISIONS

Focusing back on the benefits Smith & Associates has already achieved with IBM Cognos 10, Phyllis Tsu concludes:

“Above all, our traders and other users across the business can now get a much more comprehensive view of operational information and how it affects their day-to-day work. For example, previously a trader might just have looked at a product’s pricing and its availability from suppliers. Now, they can also see current inventory and understand how inventory costs affect the profitability of a deal. Everything they need is on one screen and available within seconds – so if a customer is asking them about prices and delivery times, they have all the answers at their fingertips.” 

ABOUT IBM BUSINESS ANALYTICS

IBM Business Analytics software delivers actionable insights decision-makers need to achieve better business performance. IBM offers a comprehensive, unified portfolio of business intelligence, predictive and advanced analytics, financial performance and strategy management, governance, risk and compliance and analytic applications.

With IBM software, companies can spot trends, patterns and anomalies, compare “what if” scenarios, predict potential threats and opportunities, identify and manage key business risks and plan, budget and forecast resources. With these deep analytic capabilities our customers around the world can better understand, anticipate and shape business outcomes.

Shanghai East Hospital Enhances Patient Care by Speeding Data Exchange and Analysis

NWS

Shanghai East Hospital Enhances Patient Care by Speeding Data Exchange and Analysis

 

CUSTOMER:

Located in the Lujiazui area, Shanghai East Hospital is a comprehensive health institution providing medical treatment, disease prevention, professional education, and research. The 850-bed hospital is one of the largest healthcare providers in the Pudong New District, employing 22 PhD tutors, 65 masters degree supervisors, and other senior healthcare professionals. The hospital provides up to 1.4 million outpatient services, 25,000 inpatient services, and 100,000 emergency treatments a year.

CUSTOMER QUOTE:

“Oracle’s business solutions streamlined the integration of our hospital’s management systems, lowered overall complexity and costs, enabled intersystem data exchange and connections, and made it easier to-share patient data”

Liu Bo, Director, Information Center, Shanghai East Hospital

CHALLENGES

Integrate hospital management systems to enable information such as doctor and technician schedules to be shared between different clinical and technical departments

Enable staff to improve the use of hospital resources by analyzing doctor and technician workloads and the use of medical equipment

Lower system development and maintenance costs

SOLUTIONS

Engaged Oracle Gold Partner Shanghai Yanhua Smartech to integrate disparate systems using Oracle Data Integrator and Oracle Service Bus, and to build an analysis system using Oracle Business Intelligence and Oracle Essbase

Facilitated a smooth information exchange between clinical and technical departments using the Oracle platform, facilitating up to 100 system queries per second

Enabled hospital management to analyze doctor and technician workloads, allowing accurate schedules that ensure a health professional is always available to treat patients

Optimized the use of medical equipment and avoided scheduling conflicts

Cut system development workload by 50%

Expect to explore the use of Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition and Oracle Essbase to analyze patients’ prescription rates for preventing drug misuse and analyzing prescription trends

Electronics Distributor Solves Migration, Logistics and Billing Problems

NWS

A major independent electronics distributor solves migration, logistics and billing problems with performance management.

CUSTOMER:

A leading, global independent distributors of semiconductors, electronic components, and computer products to the world’s major manufacturers

REQUIRED CAPABILITIES

  • Single-version of truth
  • Interactive reporting
  • Operation and finance dash-boarding
  • Real-time data access

CHALLENGES

This multinational organization relies on the ability to quickly and accurately report, analyze, plan and forecast across its entire global enterprise. On time delivery of components to customers is a critical business event for the client and a principle reason why the client is a leading company in the electronics distribution industry.

The analysis of continuously changing operational data is routine; planning and developing “what-if” scenarios for operations and logistics must be conducted not just annually, but on a daily and weekly basis. Data from multiple sources is constantly being entered by myriad users; the data is then manipulated and accessed as orders are placed to buy, sell, and deliver electronic components around the clock through numerous global offices and warehouses.

 

  • A lack of transparency into freight data lead to significant billing allocation issues, a lack of control over expenses, and delays in internal departmental’ budgeting. The customers standard reports only enabled limited visibility into the business leaving key insights buried;
  • Significant opacity into actual freight costs developed because of the multiple sources and means by which charge data were handled;
  • There was concern over the continuity of knowledge and information at both inter- and intra-department levels. Additionally, knowledge and data sharing were limited and as a result, hindered productivity and responsiveness;
  • Due to the absence of a BI platform, freight and inventory levels along with their associated costs were extremely difficult to manage effectively due to the lack of real-time interconnectivity of data across departments as well as locations; and
  • The business stake-holders did not have visibility into the inventory and freight related data;
  • Accurately planning and forecasting based on available data was becoming an impossible task to accomplish because of the number of disparate data sources; and
  • There was increasing concern over data validity due to data opacity;
  • Data opacity and resulting billing problems were estimated to be costing the client one-half of a million dollars in 2007.

SCOPE

The initiative is to deliver an end-to-end enterprise performance management (EPM) solution to increase cross business unit data sharing and as a result, enhance the customer’s agility to maximize short- and mid-term market opportunities given the real-time nature of the client’s business.

 

  • Delivered an end-to-end EPM solution, its accompanying infrastructure and data integration services;
  • Integration of the Accounting and Finance Departments with that of Operations in order to improve strategic planning, forecasting (including rolling forecast capabilities), analytics and various reporting for freight and inventory;
  • Provide real-time internal data for financial and operational planning to reduce data latency and accelerate response time-to-market opportunities;
  • Establish mechanisms for knowledge sharing to increase productivity of the workforce;
  • Addresses BI performance issues resulting from disparate systems that were not interconnected;
  • Provide back up and lock down document functionality that traditional spreadsheets are not capable of;
  • Resolve conflicting cross-departmental data issues to simplify Inter-department reporting; and
  • Establish a single version of truth by implementing a suite of tools for use in extracting, reporting, analyzing and forecasting the existing data while at the same time, compiling and cohering that data

SOLUTION

PREDICTif was chosen first to evaluate a number of technologies to be used for the initiative. After a careful product selection process, IBM’s Cognos tool set was selected due to its capabilities that allowed for real-time data drill-down and analyses, rolling forecasts, multi-level management tasking, visibility, interaction across departments and management levels.

 

PREDICTif then architected, designed and implemented a solution to address a set of logistics and billing related issues based on PREDICTif’ proven BI and EPM solution offerings. PREDICTif’s ability to provide an immediate implementation of Cognos TM1 mapped to a short-term scalable plan was of paramount importance to the customer as short term return on investment was a critical variable in the decision making process related to engaging with a solutions provider.

 

The PREDICTif team, comprised of financial and operational business experts, Data and BI solutions architects, along with PMI® certified consultants, adopted a proven project delivery methodology. The methodology consists of three main phases: Foundation, Implementation and Evolution. The Foundation Phase establishes the project readiness in terms of people, infrastructure and processes. The Implementation Phase entails a typical project lifecycle that constitutes many steps including requirement gathering, design, development, testing and deployment. The Evolution Phase establishes the customer’s self sufficiency in terms of the abilities to support, maintain and upgrade the delivered solution.  The solution provided:

 

  • Real-time access to multiple data sources from a single point
  • Agile forecasting and reporting
  • Product specific drill-down capabilities
  • Multi-level management reach and connectivity
  • The interconnection of operational and financial data across multiple departments
  • The ability for Client executives along with managers across departments to interact and manipulate data collaboratively, approve or amend changes, forecasts, and formulate budgets in real-time

 

RESULTS

PREDICTif established an IBM Cognos BI and TM1 infrastructure that the customer uses to enhance their operational excellence processes in order to drive maximum business value.

 

  • Delivered an IBM Cognos TM1 user-friendly Freight Analysis Model that was first deployed on a 32-bit environment and later upgraded to a full 64-bit environment for enhanced performance;
  • Created a new suite of analysis, forecasting, and reporting tools providing visibility into the inventory and freight data across multiple dimensions. This transparency allows executives and managers to connect different data elements in order to meet various business needs, such as allocating freight costs to different parties as well as building strategic plans and forecasting with precision;
  • Offered end users the ability not only to view and analyze reports, but also to accurately view the impact of changes to freight and inventory mix and thereby create rolling forecasts to better manage operations and budgets;
  • Achieved improved ROI as a result of enhanced analytic capabilities, forecasting and reporting across the enterprise because the data is no longer opaque;
  • Ushered in a new dimension of responsiveness by delivering a flexible, real-time environment for the organization in order to perform multiple business functions and improve strategic planning in real-time for immediate and future cycles.

Cognos migration success story for auto parts company

NWS

Leading retailer and distributor of auto parts successfully migrates from Cognos Impromptu 7 to Cognos 8

CUSTOMER:

A leading provider of communications, high-speed Internet and entertainment services in small-to-mid-size markets delivering advanced communications services through its broadband and fiber optics network in more than 33 states.

REQUIRED CAPABILITIES

  • Migration of IBM Cognos Impromptu 7 to IBM Cognos 8 BI
  • Improved performance and efficiency
  • Migration of Catalogs and Reports
  • IBM Cognos 8 BI Training

CHALLENGES

Our customer was interested in eliminating inefficient, error-prone reporting and the resolving of numerous performance issues that were inherent to their existing Cognos Impromptu 7 reporting solution. Their legacy solution…

  • Used a client based tool that made data integrity maintenance difficult and at times, unresponsive and unable to address data validation;
  • Used a database based security model that is difficult to manage and maintain;
  • Had existing Impromptu reports using hot files, macros, and Excel files for reporting;
  • Structure, data and formatting relative to producing reports was overly complex;
  • Was error prone as many existing Impromptu reports contained numerous errors as a result of incompatibility; and
  • Incorporated existing Impromptu reports which had many limitations in terms of report format, report data and report output.

SCOPE

The scope of the project covered a wide spectrum of functional areas and included:

  • Installation, configuration and performance tuning of Cognos 8.3 to requirements;
  • Migration of existing reports and catalogs to reap the benefits of new Cognos 8;
  • Ensuring the accuracy of the administrative aspects relative to migration and consistency of user access and security with that of existing systems in order to minimize downtime;
  • Resolution of security issues resulting from a client based impromptu solution to that of a web based Cognos 8 solution;
  • Providing training to end users for a seamless transition from Cognos Impromptu 7 to that of Cognos 8.3;
  • Additional functionality gained by the business without compromising its data integrity;
  • Fine tuning performance while addressing data validation;
  • Delivery of a Cognos based security model complete with the training of the users to ensure adaptation of change; and
  • The leveraging of more advanced functionality found in Framework Manger and Report Studio.

SOLUTIONS

The Customer chose PREDICTif for migration of their existing IBM Cognos® Impromptu 7 to that of IBM Cognos 8. PREDICTif demonstrated the necessary depth of experience in designing, building and delivering scalable BI solutions the customer required in a solution provider.

The PREDICTif team, comprised of IBM Cognos Certified consultants, used PREDICTif’s proprietary methodology to deliver the project, in three main phases we refer to as: Foundation, Implementation and Evolution.

The Foundation Phase established the readiness of people, infrastructure and process to ensure both PREDICTif and customer teams were immediately productive at the inception of the project. The Implementation Phase delivered the solutions that met the business objectives of the project. The Evolution Phase ensured customer’s self sufficiency post production.

Foundation Phase

  • Reviewed the existing process and collected existing reports, data sources, and information needed for the process as a part of Discovery Stage;
  • Generated a detailed Migration plan after numerous planning sessions with the customer;
  • Provided foundational training of Cognos 8 to customer’s personnel to ready them for the participation in requirement gathering, design workshops and testing; and
  • Installed and configured Cognos 8 and made all the needed integrations to dependent data sources within DEV, TEST and PROD environments.

Implementation Phase

  • Applied PREDICTif’s best practices in all designs of reports, metadata and data models to achieve consistency and meet industry standards;
  • Completed the migration of all the catalogs and reports that are free of functional errors, ambiguous relationships and loop joins;
  • Created many reports from scratch as those reports lost the formatting and data formats post migration to guarantee end users the exact same report formats;
  • Validated all the reports manually with the Impromptu reports for consistency in report data, report formats, and report output;
  • Produced numerous reports of medium to high complexity which included calculations, data based on numerous groupings, multiple prompts, filters, conditional formatting, charts, various associations, master-detail relationships, date-time calculations, and heavy formatting;
  • Created an efficient security solutions for user access that leveraged Cognos 8 security features; and
  • Worked with customer’s personnel throughout the projects to ensure knowledge transfer to the customer.

Evolution Phase

  • Created custom training materials on Report Studio and Cognos Connection as well as administered classroom training sessions to power users and end users to ensure a smooth transition from Cognos Series 7 to Cognos 8; and
  • Produced detailed documents for new report authoring and overall system support and maintenance to guarantee customer self sufficiency post production.

RESULTS

PREDICTif successfully delivered a solution that met the required functionality and training requirements for the Customer’s self sufficiency.

  • Produced a successful migration of all Models and Reports from Cognos Impromptu Series 7.1 to Cognos 8.3 as well as a user-friendly, refined Framework Manager Model that enabled customer personnel to create ad-hoc reports more easily;
  • Completed deployment of all reports under budget, ahead of schedule and exceeded customer’s expectations;
  • Established an efficient approach for providing access to each user based on roles and groups in Cognos 8;
  • Provided end users the required visibility into their data and a more efficiency related to creating the required reports; and
  • Enabled end users to query and build reports, create ad-hoc reports and use various other functions built into Report Studio.

Oracle BI Enterprise edition solution for UK Based Leeds Teaching Hospitals

NWS

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust Builds Budget Reports Six Times Faster, Achieves 100% ROI in 12 Months

CUSTOMER:

Leeds Teaching Hospitals National Health Service (NHS) Trust is one of the largest hospital systems in the United Kingdom and includes Europe’s largest teaching hospital. The trust provides acute services for the population of Leeds; is a regional center for specialist services, including cancer and cardiac surgery; and treats more than 1 million patients each year.

CUSTOMER QUOTE:

“Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition enabled us to move to a balanced scorecard approach for strategy management and planning. The insights it provides will be critical to our ability to identify where we can make operational savings of US$33 million each year for the next four years while continuing to deliver excellent quality healthcare to the public”

Robert Angel, Assistant Director of Finance, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

CHALLENGES

Consolidate financial and non-financial clinical and corporate data from all hospital departments into balanced scorecards to monitor performance against national and local indicators, deliver timely and accurate statistical returns to the Department of Health and central NHS, and achieve near 100% accuracy for strategic planning

Allow senior clinicians in radiology, neurology, oncology, trauma, orthopedics, pathology and analysts to access and interrogate real-time cost and performance statistics for the medical procedures carried out by their departments, identify the cost of each patient episode, and compare costs and outcomes between departments

Enable hospital managers to drill down into financial data on both clinical spend and non-clinical expenses, such as administration, catering, cleaning, utilities, and estate management, and enable analyzing multi period extracts of expenses in each area and identifying variances against the plan

Minimize training requirements for nontechnical medical and administrative staff and deliver new analytical and reporting capabilities at the speed of user and business demand

Meet government target of saving US$33 million for the next four years without negatively impacting critical factors, such as the availability of beds, wait times for appointments with consultants, timeliness of operations, and the quality of patient care

Solutions

Used Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition to deliver personalized budget and Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Nominal roll reports via monthly dashboard e-mails, delivering extensive management reports to 750 clinical and nonclinical cost center managers from all disciplines

Enabled Corporate Finance to see individual transactions in just a few clicks, using Oracle Business Intelligence Answers to drill down from high-level summary to journal and subledger details, accessing scanned-in invoices from links embedded in the dashboard e-mail

Enabled all budget holders to render up to eight reports simultaneously on a single page in approximately three seconds, a process that took up to six minutes with the legacy system and involved opening multiple workbooks Gained immediate adoption from previously resistant users who gained competency with minimal training

Leveraged Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition’s intuitive development tools so key users could build new reports, meeting rapidly expanding user demand in 5 to 30 minutes instead of three to four hours using legacy tools

Used drag-and-drop functionality to feed quarterly balance sheet statements and statistics from the enterprise resource planning (ERP) system and other sources into Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition

Conducted rapid modeling of complex data to compile balanced scorecards

Benefited from Oracle Business Intelligence Answers to shift the focus from extracting data to gaining timely business knowledge

Studied period-on-period comparisons and analyzed price and volume element variances to assist forecasting and future planning with 99.9% accuracy for outturn projections based

Benefited from Oracle Business Intelligence Answers to shift the focus from extracting data to gaining timely business knowledge

Studied period-on-period comparisons and analyzed price and volume element variances to assist forecasting and future planning with 99.9% accuracy for outturn projections based on half yearly figures when tested on historic data over a three-year period

Conducted detailed spend analyses to determine how best to achieve US$33 million annual savings while minimizing impact on front-line services

Gained 100% payback on investment in Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition within 12 months, an outstanding achievement for a complex and large-scale solution

Progressed with Oracle Business Intelligence Delivers roll out to provide budget holders with automated e-mail alerts if KPI thresholds were being exceeded, facilitating exception-based management

Committed to further roll out of Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition to all hospital departments within two years

Leeds Teaching Hospitals National Health Service Trust chose Oracle over alternative business intelligence solutions for its unrivalled functionality and scalability and because it could extract data from multiple sources without manual intervention.

“The leading competitor tools that we evaluated could not offer automated data extraction. It would have taken an IT team member around one-and-a-half days per month to manually extract the data into spreadsheets and load it into the solution for analysis with alternative solutions. Or we would have been looking at solutions where revenue costs increased with each step change in functionality or data refresh,” Robert Angel, Assistant Director of Finance, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.

Cognos BI 10 Migration and Lifecycle Manager

BLG

At PREDICTif Solutions, we have successfully migrated Cognos 8.4 to Cognos BI 10. The migration was pretty straight forward.   We imported Cognos 8 content to Cognos BI 10 and verified it through Lifecycle Manager. We discovered that about 85% of the reports migrated successfully without any special attention and only a handful of reports required the same amount of attention as the most complex reports from a Cognos 7 to Cognos 8 migration.

By far, the most time consuming part of the migration process was verifying reports.  We used Lifecycle Manager (Upgrade Manager in previous releases) to speed up this process.   Lifecycle Manager allowed for a systematic way to compare original and updated reports automatically. If there were any differences between each version of Cognos, reports could be compared side-by-side and any discrepancies are marked in red.

Lifecycle Manager is an invaluable tool, but it does have its limitations that require some additional effort. Other than multiple report formats, it is not designed to verify a report on multiple scenarios. A user could run the report multiple times with different scenarios, but without history, there is no way to keep track of previous results.   There is also a similar limitation in dealing with multiple data sources. Normally, if there were multiple data sources in Cognos BI, the user is prompted to choose which data source to use. However, Lifecycle Manager does not prompt the user. The only way to process the report in Lifecycle Manager would be to disable multiple data sources in Cognos Administration or manually set the report in Cognos BI to use a specific data source.   Still, both of these limitations can be further minimized by having multiple projects Lifecycle Manager. Different reports scenarios or data sources can be accounted for by different projects.

How to consolidate data in TM1

BLG

When loading data into a TM1 cube, the Turbo Integrator command used is CellPutN.  This sends a numeric value to a specific cell in your cube.   This command does not consolidate values, if the cells you are loading to have a value, it will be over written by the new value you send.  If you are loading two or more records to the same cell, each value will be over written by the next only the value from the last record from data load file will be retained.

For example, below is the data you want to send to the cube.

ACCOUNT STORE NUM COST CENTER CURRENCY LOCATION YEAR MONTH DATA
10050 C1 MKT USD NYC 2011 JAN 1000
10050 C1 MKT USD NYC 2011 JAN 500

 

Note that all cells (dimensions) for these two rows are the same but the data is different. By using the syntax CellPutN, the result for Account 10050 will show as 500 not the desired consolidated value of 1500.  To accumulate data as you load, you need to add the existing value from the cube to the data you are loading before loading the data to the cube.  Using the TI function CELLGETN to retrieve numeric data from a cell in the cube and then use CellPutN to send the consolidated value back to the cube.

TI Solution in two steps:

vDATA = vDATA + CELLGETN ( ‘FINANCE’,ACCOUNT,STORENUM,COSTCENTER,CURRENCY,LOCATION,YEAR,MONTH )

CELLPUTN( vDATA ,’FINANCE’, ACCOUNT,STORENUM, COSTCENTER, CURRENCY, LOCATION, YEAR , MONTH )

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