Guide

The Race To Access Enterprise Data

Accessing data across a mixed enterprise of IBM Power Systems,™ Windows,® UNIX,® and Linux® servers is becoming more and more critical every day. Businesses need fast, easy access to information from multiple database sources, including DB2, Microsoft SQL Server, ORACLE, and MySQL, without the need to be aware of these sources. In the race to access data across an enterprise, there are some clear goals: You want to deliver data to users quickly and easily; you want to be able to deliver the information they need to do their jobs; you want to answer business questions quickly and correctly; and you want to have the correct tools to work with the data.

But, are these goals easy, or even doable? Even very basic tools that can generate only lists and reports still require a thorough understanding of the enterprise architecture, databases, and techniques to extract and display data. And, many IT experts are leery of trusting users with the “keys to the data kingdom.” There are some big hurdles in the data access race.

Hurdle 1: Getting Easy Data Access And Analysis

Whether you’re running a single System i, or multiple systems across your enterprise, you have questions about your business that must be answered. You want to know what’s happening today and what’s likely to happen tomorrow. All the answers are there—you’ve been collecting the data for years—but now you need to analyze it. What’s the easiest way?

Hurdle 2: Keeping Time And Costs Under Control

There are many data access solutions available, from simple inquiry and presentation tools to full-blown ETL (extract‑transform‑load) solutions. The costs and time required to implement each solution is usually in direct proportion to its features. And, because there are so many options, you can easily get bogged down.

Add in the massive amount of consulting and training necessary for some solutions, and your investment can grow exponentially. Many solutions require additional setup and configuration investments. And, there’s the question of how much user training is necessary to become productive—how soon can your users get the data they need and produce useful results?

Hurdle 3: Being Ready For Future Needs

Another big consideration is what you’ll need for today, for next year, and in the future. Do you have the option to go slowly, adding features over time, or are you being pushed toward an immediate, all‑or‑nothing approach? There are arguments for making an investment in a big solution now, but this approach carries a big risk: your staff is already busy—can they handle the heavy load of implementation, training, and producing results in a relatively short time? So, what is the best way to access your data today and still be able to expand when you’re ready to grow? Obviously, you want an approach that can handle the current needs of your organization and grow with your future needs.

Ready To Race

SEQUEL ViewPoint® helps you handle the hurdles and reach the finish line quickly. With SEQUEL you can extract, analyze, and present data from your System i, and your remote multi-platform databases. Even non-technical users can build powerful queries (SEQUEL calls them views), reports, and dashboards to access data using their interface of choice—graphical, 5250 command line, or web. For fast data access and answers, SEQUEL offers the following:

 

Simple Installation

With SEQUEL, you don’t have to create data cubes or warehouses because SEQUEL works directly with your transaction data. An easy‑to‑use Install Wizard installs SEQUEL on your system. SEQUEL is ready to use in minutes, with easy setup.


Minimal Training

If you have any experience with SQL-based data access, or relational database concepts, you’re ready to use SEQUEL. If you don’t, or need a refresher, SEQUEL offers many training options, including on-site training, in-house training, web‑based training, and more. SEQUEL training covers the full spectrum of users, from people just starting out to power users.

 

Powerful Data Access

SEQUEL lets you access data in minutes and filter the data dynamically, without changing views. You can run requests and display data without data paths or cubes. Using desktop shortcuts, you can request customer lists and multi-level reports, use interactive data tables, and run powerful scripts. You can even add run-time prompts for interactive search criteria and schedule them using single-platform or multi‑platform job schedulers like Robot SCHEDULE® and Robot SCHEDULE Enterprise.® And, your sales reps don’t need to carry printed information or download data to their laptops. They can connect quickly and securely to the network and use the SEQUEL Web Interface to display the data they need.

 

Multiple Delivery Options

SEQUEL’s output options speak for themselves. SEQUEL dashboards are the ideal way to present key business data. A dashboard can summarize and display important business metrics using any combination of SEQUEL objects (views, table results, or graphs), action buttons, webpages, images, Windows applications, fonts, colors, and more. SEQUEL lets you present your results in quick displays and spreadsheet-like tables, graphical reports, and interactive tables. You can pivot table data in real time, add or remove data elements on the fly, and create conditional highlighting. SEQUEL design wizards help you create reports and tables quickly and add them to menus, shortcuts, and dashboards.

 

Future Expansion

As your data analysis needs grow and change, your SEQUEL dashboards can evolve to display an increasing variety of critical information. Everyone, from executives to end users, can use dashboards to see views (queries), lists, charts, applications, gauges, reports, and other items in a single display for centralized access to enterprise data.

It’s Time To Get Moving

For many data access and analysis solutions, the time required to select, implement, and train users can take months. Getting bogged down in that expensive process can keep you from getting the business answers you need today. SEQUEL helps you access your data today and grows with you as your business data access needs expand.

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