CATEGORY: Data Quality
REVIEWER: Dawn Conant, director of business intelligence for Tickets.com, Inc.
BACKGROUND: Tickets.com, Inc. is a leading business-to-business ticketing solutions provider for live events. The company facilitates the sale of tickets by enabling venues and entertainment organizations with proprietary and cutting- edge software, retail outlets, call centers, and interactive voice response (IVR) systems. Tickets.com builds private-label ticketing gateways to enable live entertainment organizations with e-commerce distribution platforms. The company also sells tickets directly to consumers, providing tickets and information on virtually all events and entertainment organizations, as well as offering related products and services. Tickets.com's automated ticketing solutions are used by thousands of entertainment organizations such as leading performing arts centers, professional sports organizations, and various stadiums and arenas in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia and Latin America. Tickets.com is the official ticket supplier for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, as well as the exclusive online ticketing solutions provider for MLB Advanced Media.
PLATFORMS: Tickets.com runs Sagent Solution on Compaq/NT and Solaris. The data sources are Oracle8i, Sybase, Microsoft SQL Server 7.5 and proprietary database engines.
PROBLEM SOLVED: Tickets.com grew quite rapidly through acquisition. In a little more than two years, 11 different companies merged some aspect of each one's ticketing process. As a result of the mergers, Tickets.com markets nine different software code lines, ticketing services for clients that wish to outsource their ticketing processes in full or in part and comprehensive Internet ticketing capabilities. The 11 different companies each had distinctly different technical infrastructures, as well as major differences in data definitions, business processes and business cycles. As a result, the decision was made to develop a business intelligence (BI) environment into which the corporate data would be pulled, cleansed, transformed and integrated. The BI environment has become the central source for management reporting and data analysis. The generated reports are published to Tickets.com's intranet and made available to anyone in the company who needs the information.
PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: We currently use all available Sagent functionality that allows for address cleansing, robust analysis and statistics, Web-based reports and information delivery in a customizable and secure environment. Additionally, the functionality allows us to ensure data quality, design and build data movement, automate data movement, administer the data movement environment and manage an independent meta data repository. The only functionality we are not using is the portal. However, the Sagent Portal product is very appealing, and we may use it in the future.
STRENGTHS: From our perspective, the real strengths of Sagent are: the completeness of the tool set providing full support for the entire data warehouse/data mart development and implementation lifecycle; the seamless integration of all the individual tools; and the ability to watch the actual movement of data as it is happening, rather than having to wait until the job is complete.
WEAKNESSES: The Sagent reporting tools are not as robust as many of the OLAP tools on the market.
SELECTION CRITERIA: Our selection process included a number of products. Each product was categorized as either an integrated suite of tools or a specialized tool. Sagent was the top in the integrated suite category. Our decision was whether to select an integrated suite or a set of specialized tools that we could integrate. Ultimately, we selected the integrated suite as being the best for us. Our technical environment is so complex and diverse that we simply did not believe that we could support the additional technical demands of integrating multiple tools.
DELIVERABLES: Sagent Solution delivers a number of accurate data analytics for us to use including reports for operations, ticket sales, settlements for determining revenues and customer buying behavior.
VENDOR SUPPORT: The best part of working with Sagent has been the relationship that we have developed with the vendor's professional services organization. Both the management and the consultants have been extremely responsive, supportive and competent. Through this relationship, we have had exceptional pre- and post-implementation support.
DOCUMENTATION: The documentation is adequate for our needs.
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