PLATFORMS: Data Workbench is running against a Red Brick database on an IBM platform.

BACKGROUND: ConAgra Frozen Foods, headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, is a division of ConAgra Incorporated, the nation's second largest food company. PROBLEM SOLVED: As ConAgra Frozen Foods anticipated deploying its growing data warehouse beyond their initial 75 users, it required a tool that would automate many of the administrative functions associated with a data warehouse and provide flexibility to enable the system to expand.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Today ConAgra is using Data Workbench to automate the creation and validation of its meta data. Data Workbench's automated table creation eliminates errors and significantly reduces the time needed to populate members into DecisionSuite's meta data model to just a few minutes. A few mouse clicks let administrators populate the entire meta data model without writing a single SQL statement. Continual updates to the model are easy to manage as business or database requirements change, giving ConAgra the flexibility to easily add additional fact tables to the meta data. Data Workbench's wizard-driven interface quickly guides administrators through the process of describing complex drilling hierarchies and aggregation table information. In turn, Data Workbench automatically reconciles the information with the data warehouse to generate default filter names that describe dimension, attribute and drilling table information from a business perspective for immediate use by end users. ConAgra uses Data Workbench to capture query statistics that pinpoint opportunities for improving DecisionSuite's relational OLAP engine and/or RDBMS performance. Using Data Workbench, they are analyzing the performance of each SQL statement to improve system performance and track table usage by report to optimize future aggregate table maintenance.

STRENGTHS: DecisionSuite's Data Workbench has saved ConAgra significant time and resources with its meta data validation. The application alerts their administrators to problem areas that need immediate attention within the meta data and provide direct access to errors for immediate correction. Data Workbench "color highlights" exceptions with accompanying suggestions for correction to accelerate problem resolution. As the data warehousing deployment grows beyond ConAgra's initial 75 users to add additional headquarters and remote users over the Web, Data Workbench enables ConAgra to maintain a high level of support to their organization.

WEAKNESSES: The initial visual interface to the product was not intuitive; however, with its latest release Information Advantage has dramatically improved the GUI to become more visually appealing and improved how administrators navigate and manage the meta data tables.

SELECTION CRITERIA: ConAgra elected to purchase DecisionSuite's Data Workbench tool to more rapidly deploy and expand their OLAP application.

DELIVERABLES: Data Workbench creates and populates the meta data tables necessary to efficiently manage the relationship between the database and DecisionSuite to efficiently deliver OLAP analyses to the end user.

VENDOR SUPPORT: ConAgra Frozen Foods considers Information Advantage as a partner in our data warehousing implementation. Information Advantage's education, consulting and hotline support has efficiently led us to become a self-sufficient operation.

DOCUMENTATION: DecisionSuite Data Workbench's documentation included a comprehensive, context-sensitive on-line help system and a Getting Started document with additional operating tips and examples.

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