Manufacturing

Data Management

Global Glassmaker Retools ETL, Explores Future Modern BI Platform

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A global glass manufacturer’s goods keep customers comfortable and safe. The company is as devoted to safety as it is to creating pioneering, energy-efficient products that are industrially tough and aesthetically pleasing.

With locations and clients across the planet, the U.S.-based builder’s products are found everywhere – in cars, trucks, homes and skyscrapers. The company delivers its products on time and on budget. When it recently faced the challenge of getting important data to its various worldwide plants in a timely manner, it reached out to BlueGranite, a trusted partner, for help.

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The manufacturer’s one-size-fits-all approach to extracting data from multiple applications, transforming it, and loading it into the central data warehouse worked great when only users at corporate headquarters accessed the system. But timely access to data is also now essential to the manufacturing process. And while performing the daily data Extract, Transform, Load (ETL) process at midnight EST for use when business opens in New York benefits U.S. users, it’s not helpful to a plant manager in Europe, who’s scheduling operations in a completely different time zone. Performing the ETL process on all the company’s applications at once was also creating system lags and bottlenecks.

We worked with the company to tackle the challenge of delivering the right data to the right people, at the right time. We also provided a detailed data platform assessment and a future technology roadmap.

Overcoming the first hurdle meant reworking the company’s existing ETL solution. By loading data at four separately scheduled times, aligned with each plant’s regional time zone (rather than all at once), the company is now able to give its users worldwide access to timely, relevant information. Loading the data in batches also creates quicker turnaround and requires less processing time – eliminating system drag.

Using BlueGranite’s roadmap, our affiliate is also exploring self-service reporting platforms. Modern BI can eliminate the need for a business intelligence team to pull specific data and manually create multiple reports for many users, all of whom want different things – which can take hours, if not days. The roadmap also includes possible cloud-based technology that can handle the masses of big data currently generated by everything from cell phones to manufacturing equipment. And the plan also explores the benefits of a data lake – a repository to house those mountains of data that’s often used as a sandbox to allow analysts to play with data sets.

The company knew what future BI advances it wanted to see and we’ve given it the steps to get there. And we’ll be there for the long haul, able to assist every step of the way. If you’re looking for guidance on your BI journey, we’d love to help chart a course. Contact us today.

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