Systems integration and consulting services
Critical to an effective BI solution is selecting a data architecture to fit your organization's technical and business characteristics. CGI helps determine the discriminating criteria that shape your requirements. We can then evaluate different database and data modeling techniques. And, using real data from your organization, determine trade-offs of the following design alternatives (data marts, data warehouses and operational data stores) for logical modeling, usability, data storage and access, query and database performance, scalability, and flexibility.
- Data Marts enable ad hoc query of complex data by end users. Ad hoc means today's business question may be different than yesterday's, and end users must be able to easily obtain the answers without the need for savvy programmers. Facilitating this environment requires a highly intuitive set of data structures coupled with sophisticated analytical end-user tools. CGI's approach is to use data dimensional modeling where it makes sense, and to build the mart either as part of an overall Data Warehouse strategy or supply a new mart from an existing Data Warehouse.
- Data Warehouses are ideal for those who need a robust analytical environment that merges and integrates data from across traditional departmental and system boundaries. Our experienced analysts lead the integration process by helping design a sound logical data model. Using sophisticated tools, we can extract and transform data and load it into the data warehouse environment, along with document data sourcing rules. Because CGI's expert data modelers and database analysts design the data architecture to be scalable and extensible, it will easily accommodate growth in data volume and enable new types of information to be incorporated as part of future warehouse phases.
- Operational Data Stores (ODS) integrate data from across traditional organizational and system boundaries to streamline transaction processing systems, rather than analytical environments (the focus of Data Marts and Data Warehouses). A CGI ODS solution provides consistent and consolidated data to an organization’s strategic systems, significantly reducing duplicative data capture across the enterprise.
The most common example is the Customer-oriented ODS that provides a unified view to an organization’s strategic business applications. These include Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems to manage, for example, the personalization of a customer’s web experience, cross-sell related products, and adjust service priority levels based on a customer’s expected value to the organization. Whether the information captured in an ODS services key knowledge workers, such as customer service representatives and account executives, or web-based applications, the ultimate objective is the same--to differentiate the company's service level from its competitors. For the customer, they want the company to "know who I am" and "provide me with one-stop, world class service."