FAQ: Is Sequel Data Access Right for My IT Department?

Get the answers to 10 questions IT managers have before choosing Sequel.
See Sequel in action.
January 30, 2017
Is Sequel Data Access right for your IT department?


You’re ready to move on to modern business intelligence software for your IBM i. But you’re still not sure if Sequel Data Access is the right choice for your business.

When it comes to selecting software, everyone has questions to ask. Here we answer some of the most common questions IT managers ask before selecting Sequel.


1. We already have a data access tool. Why switch?

Traditional IBM i data access tools struggle to scale. They might be fine for running one query every now and then, but they aren’t sufficient for the business intelligence needs of most organizations today.

Business users and executives want information and they want it fast. Switching to Sequel helps your IT department get the data quickly. Plus, Sequel makes it easy to translate data into relevant information for those who requested it. Business intelligence dashboards, for example, display data visually. Anyone can look at it and immediately understand what it means.

With Sequel, you’ll meet pressing business intelligence needs today, tomorrow, and for years to come.


2. Can we convert our existing queries?

Countless IT departments switch to Sequel after using Query/400 for decades. Why? Because Sequel makes it simple to convert existing queries from Query/400. You can convert queries in the green screen if you prefer to write commands. Or you can convert queries in the graphical user interface (GUI) if you prefer to navigate an intuitive interface. Either way, it’s fast and easy. So you can get started getting more out of your existing queries from day one.



3. What skills do users need to use Sequel?

Users don’t need to be technically savvy to use Sequel. As a result, you can expand access to Sequel to business users and executives across your organization. They can use the friendly GUI or a familiar browser to dig into the details of the data. Empowering users with data is a great way to ease the burden on IT. Allow them to run queries or simply present them with data in a dashboard—whichever works best for your organization.

Of course, expanding data access is not a requirement of Sequel. You can choose to empower your users or you can decide to limit IBM i data access to your IT team.


4. Is self-service data access really realistic? What about the risks?

Business users and executives can, realistically, access data and report on it themselves. Self-service data access might be a good fit for your business. For instance, if you have a small IT department and endless requests for data, self-service data access might be the answer you’ve been looking for.

Many businesses have justifiable concerns when it comes to self-service data access. They wonder, “Will users somehow gain unauthorized access? Will they see something they shouldn’t? Worse yet, will they somehow alter the data and compromise its integrity?”

It shouldn’t be a risky business to offer self-service data access. And with Sequel, the risks are mitigated. Access can be restricted to only those who need to see data, so your average Joe business user won’t see something she or he shouldn’t see. While users can work with the data, they won’t be able to alter it. So your data will maintain its integrity.


5. How exactly will we keep our data secure?

Empowering users may seem scary at first. But it doesn’t need to be. Here’s why. Sequel keeps your data secure and makes sure that it’s only available to those with the right authority. Security can be employed to keep users out of certain IBM i libraries, folders, and files. You can add restrictions at a field level or even keep users from seeing data entirely.

When it comes to keeping your data secure, Sequel has your back—no matter what.


6. Why should we spend time building executive dashboards?

Dashboards are an excellent way to give business users and executives access to data. And building a dashboard doesn’t need to be a chore. Sequel makes it simple with drag-and-drop tools and snap-to-grid functionality. All you need to do is select which set of data should fuel the dashboard and determine which elements should be represented on a dashboard.

Your IT department can build dashboards and deliver them to users. Or you can empower users to build dashboards themselves. The data is updated in real-time. Building a dashboard—even if you have to do have to build it yourself—is a solid investment for the long-term. Dashboards help your executive team to be proactive and make important business decisions fast. The result is a significant ROI.



7. Will our users be able to access data on the go?

In today’s mobile world, everyone expects information to be at their fingertips. However, traditional data access tools create barriers to immediate, accessible data.

One of the biggest benefits of Sequel is that it removes the barrier. Instead of going to the office and logging on to the green screen, users can tap into their essential business data on the go.

How exactly? Sequel offers truly mobile data access. Sequel’s browser interface, Sequel Web Interface (SWI), is accessible on any device (phone, tablet, or laptop) and in any browser (Internet Explorer, Safari, Chrome, or Firefox). Executives, travelling sales reps, or other business users can launch SWI and immediately dial into their data. This means that they will be able to make decisions immediately, whether they are in the office or not.


8. How will Sequel help us meet our business goals?

The entire point of business intelligence is to understand the success of your business and analyze ways to improve it in the future. Traditional data access tools give you the data, but not actionable information. Instead, it’s up to IT to translate the data. Executives and business users are left waiting and they often only have a murky view of the big picture.

Sequel, on the other hand, does the translating for IT. Dashboards ground data in context and add insight into trends. Run-time prompts allow users to dig deeper into the data of a certain region during a specific time period. And sophisticated reports help teams piece together all pieces of the puzzle. As a result, executives are able to understand exactly what’s happening in the business. The big picture is clear.

When you understand the status of your business today, you can more accurately prepare for tomorrow. Business goals can be realistically set, and you’ll be able to meet them head-on.



9. How much time will we save by switching to Sequel?

There are endless ways to save time by accessing IBM i data with Sequel. For one, Sequel is much faster than the traditional methods for IBM i data access. Query/400, SQL programming, and the like can slow you down. And when data access is slow, it doesn’t take long for the requests for data to pile up.

By switching to Sequel, you’ll save time by accessing data faster. From there, the time-savings increases exponentially. Faster access to data leads to faster reporting and minimal (or no) wait times. Instead of being stuck with an endless pile of data access requests, your IT department will have a clear backlog.


10. So, is Sequel right for my IT department?

The best way to find out if Sequel is right for your IT department is to see it in action. Request your live, personalized demonstration of Sequel today. After just 30 minutes with the Sequel experts, you’ll have your answer. And you’ll know exactly how Sequel will help you meet the IBM i business intelligence needs of your organization. 

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