Article

Who Knew You Could Do THAT with SEQUEL Data Warehouse?

IBM i, Windows
Posted:
June 27, 2016

While SEQUEL Data Warehouse is primarily a tool for building and managing data warehouses and data marts (along with the associated ETL), our customers are always finding innovative "off-label" uses. These are some of the common ones we've heard about. It's likely you will find more things to do with SEQUEL Data Warehouse, too. And every additional use you find within your organization increases the ROI of your investment!

Using SEQUEL Data Warehouse to Build and Maintain Tables for Custom Applications

As well as using SEQUEL Data Warehouse for their data warehouse and ETL, several clients have installed a separate SEQUEL Data Warehouse environment just to build and manage the tables, indexes, and views required for applications they have developed (unrelated to the data warehouse). SEQUEL Data Warehouse's unique metadata layer—with its powerful features for standardizing column names, strong support for modern SQL names, automatic generation of DDL, data conversion, documentation, cross references, data modeling, and other features—make SEQUEL Data Warehouse an ideal tool for managing just about any custom database, whether or not any ETL functionality is also used.

Feeding Data to Regulatory Agencies

Many organizations need to send data to outside parties such as regulatory agencies on a regular basis. The format of the data is mandated by the recipient and often a custom program is needed to pull and manipulate the data from several sources to get in into the required format. This sounds just like ETL—many of our customers tell us they use SEQUEL Data Warehouse for tasks like this. One client recently told us that the IT department had quoted 80+ hours of development for a new requirement of this type. The data warehouse team said, "Hold on. We can do that..." and delivered the completed project in just eight hours! They also noted that SEQUEL Data Warehouse's automatic auditing and error management were included, whereas the IT quote did not provide for these tasks. In addition, SEQUEL Data Warehouse makes it a breeze to handle future changes when required.

Application Integration

One of our long-time customers in the insurance industry uses SEQUEL Data Warehouse for all inter-application data exchange. Among other tasks, SEQUEL Data Warehouse creates the GL interface data for their Oracle-based GL system, and also sends payment information to the AP system for check printing. SEQUEL Data Warehouse is their central data hub, and is essential to the daily operation of their business. This customer is growing quickly, aggressively acquiring competitors and establishing new lines of business. SEQUEL Data Warehouse allows them to quickly and easily merge these new sources of data into their operational, business intelligence, and regulatory reporting worlds.

Data Conversion for New Applications

One of the challenging tasks involved in replacing an application is the conversion of data from the old format to the new format. The hard way to do this is to write custom conversion programs. You will need dozens, even hundreds, of these. They can take many months to write and test. Then, they are run once at the time of the conversion and are no longer useful! This is a job for SEQUEL Data Warehouse ETL. In many cases, we've heard that SEQUEL Data Warehouse dramatically simplified the data conversion task and reduced the development time by a significant factor. But the real benefit is the automated audit and error subsystems in SEQUEL Data Warehouse. Just like in the development of ETL for a data warehouse, you will find surprises in the data. Your initial understanding of what needs to be done is often incomplete. This leads to delays and missed deadlines. SEQUEL Data Warehouse's productivity puts you ahead of schedule and allows you to recognize and react quickly to those surprises. In fact, several of our clients actually justified the cost of acquiring SEQUEL Data Warehouse solely on the cost savings of the data conversion for a new ERP application being implemented. The ongoing use of SEQUEL Data Warehouse for their new data warehouse was a bonus!

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