Article

Modern Data Access Solutions: Are They Worth It?

IBM i
Learn more about modern data access.
Posted:
December 22, 2016

What is the real cost of a modern business intelligence and data access solution today? This topic has been debated for years and will continue for many more. IBM i customers know and expect a highly available technology that has consistent processing, security, and operation. While change is typically a good thing, adding in new processes, new hardware, and possibly new staff all at the same time can be overwhelming.

When it comes to traditional data access and reporting solutions the real “cost” is less about money and more about lost time and missed opportunities. Traditional or antiquated access solutions have completely lost the point of delivering data to the end user in a format that is timely and usable. While it’s hard to not be distracted by all the bells and whistles of a new product versus actually solving your business problem, IBM i customers can’t afford to lose time to large scale, out-of-scope, out-of-date solutions.

Modernizing Doesn’t Require a Big Investment

What does it cost you to build an enterprise business intelligence solution? There is new hardware, new staff, new licensing and maintenance, new operations software (such as anti virus, security, backup, scheduling), and the cost of waiting months for your solution to work. All of this is an extremely expensive sell to upper management. They want to see quick results that are measurable and tangible. This is very expensive compared to investing in an IBM i centric solution. Your data is just waiting for you to extract directly from your transactional database without adding any additional data warehouse files, or hardware.

The right modern IBM i centric data access tool can open new doors to your data. You can deploy business intelligence dashboards and pivot tables faster and with less trouble than with any other approach. The idea that you need to off-load the data to achieve performance is not a factor here—leave the data on the IBM i and access it in real time. The benefits are enormous: no latency of synchronized databases, and no questions or skepticisms from the end users on the validity of the data.

Data Access and Reporting: Sleek, Powerful, Ready-to-Use

With modern IBM i centered tools like Sequel Data Access, you can avoid the time-consuming and costly process of defining a new universe of data. With the SQE, you can run requests directly over transaction files or extract files, and eliminate the need to create separate systems to manage. If database files are extremely large, you can refine access paths, indexes, and JOIN relationships to fine-tune and improve performance. And, if summary files are required, it’s easy to create them directly on the current system.

Do you have old native queries that need to be converted? It is a simple task with Sequel. In a matter of minutes your old Query/400 objects can be converted to Sequel objects on a multi-panel dashboard. Your old query is now a summary table ready for upper management or the sales manager to drill into, on the fly, against your live data.

Being a native tool, Sequel can access the host file definitions and descriptions directly unlike the ODBC connections used by more generic solutions. All field definitions, file layouts, and relationships are readily available within seconds. There is no need to employ an army of analysts to redefine your database on another platform.

Multiple Databases? No Problem.

What about reporting on other critical data sources in your network? If you have an IBM i sitting along side other databases like SQL Server on windows or an Oracle database, you can connect and access this data too. Sequel can be your single point of access to all the data in your enterprise, and you can quickly implement a powerful, cost effective, and flexible business intelligence solution, without creating a time-consuming development project with new staff and hardware requirements.

Every user at your site—executives, managers, and other business users—can enjoy fast, easy access and distribution of the information they need to make better-informed business decisions. The best inventions or ideas are usually very simple. This idea applies here too—store your data on the same system that runs your business and use Sequel to access, analyze, display, and report on all your enterprise data.

 

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