Throughout its growth, an organization will experience a surplus of data. Over time, performance will decrease due to excess data growth. The following case study deals with this very problem. The project involved one of the world’s largest relief and development organizations. It’s billions in operational funds (including grants, product and foreign donations) is put to use to provide emergency relief, education, health care, economic development, and to promote justice to those in need globally. The organization operates as a federation of inter-dependent national offices with three different levels of central control. Intertech’s job was to help fix the performance issues and solve other problems related to the surplus of data.
The organization is faced with an increasing population of data and an improper data/report model in place to support report demands within the organization. The client reached out to Intertech to assist them with optimizing their current Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Environment and resolve performance issues. The database included medical and educational records of millions of children that was converted from an old Lotus Notes application and was poorly normalized. With ministries located around the world accessing the system, optimization was of importance. Our team contributed to sizing the hardware, normalizing the data, designing a conversion process, building a data warehouse, developing the nightly data population process, and rewriting reports.
Intertech evaluated their current environment, proposed recommendations to improve reporting performance, and implemented those recommendations for a more optimal reporting platform. Our team proposed a product delivery based service to the client by providing assistance revolving around the tasks below in deploying the Microsoft SQL Database Monitoring Reports. • Requirements Gathering • SQL logging analysis • Reports design (13 new SSRS reports) • Data mart design • ETL Development • Reports Development • System Documentation • Knowledge Transfer • Hardware Sizing Intertech used an iterative approach with weekly check-ins using WebEx to ensure the team was aligned and working toward the goal. This helped tremendously as team members were scattered all over the globe (Philippines, Minnesota, North Dakota, California, and Washington). With such a large-scale system, there was a significant discovery process for designing our approach.
The outcome of this project improved reporting capabilities while considerable performance gains were realized. Newly created data marts were put in place for reporting purposes rather than reporting against ODS. Accompanying that, custom reports were made available with dynamic reporting capabilities. All of this together increased performance by more than 15%, making the organization much more efficient and effective – letting them get back to the work that matters.
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