CATEGORY: Business Intelligence
REVIEWER: Shawn Conklin, data warehouse manager for Aventis Bio-Services, Inc.
BACKGROUND: Aventis Bio-Services Inc., is one of the world's largest plasma collection companies. The company maintains 68 collection centers in the U.S. and Germany, and collects approximately 2.5 million liters of plasma from hundreds of thousands of donors per year. Aventis Bio-Services is part of Aventis Behring, a $1 billion leader in the therapeutic protein industry. The work of both companies is vital to the production of more than 30 life-saving products for the treatment of patients with diseases such as hemophilia, immune deficiencies and inherited emphysema, as well as critical care and surgery patients.
PLATFORMS: The Informatica software is on an HP 9000 running HP-UX 11.
PROBLEM SOLVED: To best manage plasma collections and inventories across geographies, each Aventis Bio-Services collection center is required to track key performance metrics such as repeat versus new donor rates and plasma collection and costs. We first had to address data quality issues, including inconsistent data definitions that were clouding users' understanding of the information. We then needed to ensure that performance metrics could be analyzed comprehensively and in a timely fashion. This meant finding a way to save center personnel from spending dozens of hours every week manually collecting data from multiple systems; liberate headquarters analysts from having to compile the collected data into inflexible reports that were invariably weeks old; and provide the ability to quickly understand, intuitively manipulate and easily drill into the data for accurate and actionable insight. We implemented a solution based on Informatica's PowerAnalyzer business intelligence software and PowerCenter data integration platform.
PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: The Informatica software ensures that all users have consistent information and, by eliminating inconsistent data definitions, enables different departments to all "speak the same language." Using customized dashboards, the solution delivers key performance metrics daily to more than 250 center and corporate staff plus top officials at Aventis Behring. Instead of waiting weeks for dated information locked in static reports, users can see at a glance key performance measures, achievements versus goals and "stoplight" indicators that signal trends and variances requiring attention - all in near-real time. By analyzing and interacting with this information on a daily basis, users are able to make more informed operational decisions in such areas as calibrating plasma collection to market demand, minimizing the destruction of plasma, managing labor and improving the effectiveness of donor outreach and marketing. PowerCenter has automated the data collection and roll-up process that feeds PowerAnalyzer so that personnel can concentrate more on collecting plasma, not data. The visibility and productivity improvements driven by the Informatica solution have already resulted in multimillion dollar savings for us and have prompted senior vice president and general manager, Dr. Alberto Martinez, to claim the solution "has revolutionized the way we do business and given us a competitive advantage."
STRENGTHS: PowerAnalyzer uniquely leverages PowerCenter, which makes it easy to consolidate data from multiple source systems and minimizes data collection-processing times. Power-Analyzer's strengths also include its exceptional ease of use, with its highly visual and personalized presentation of information and its intuitive interface for interacting with the data. It is extremely easy to drill down into data to uncover and assess root causes and equally easy to identify and track trends. Because of its Internet-centric architecture, PowerAnalyzer is also easy to deploy and maintain, and is thus ideal for pushing business intelligence capabilities out to large numbers of users regardless of their physical location. In addition, PowerCenter's codeless development greatly accelerates time to market with new information types and sources while minimizing maintenance efforts and costs. Moreover, both solutions are highly scalable, thus enabling the Aventis Bio-Services solution to continue expanding cost-effectively.
WEAKNESSES: The installation instructions could be improved with additional details.
SELECTION CRITERIA: We selected PowerAnalyzer for its ease of use combined with its robust real-time BI capabilities, as well as its integration with PowerCenter, which greatly reduces the overhead associated with back-end data collection and integration.
DELIVERABLES: PowerAnalyzer visually presents key performance metrics via dashboards and provides an intuitive environment for analysis including a unique approach to ad hoc querying, reporting, drill downs, analytic workflows, what-if analysis and proactive, real-time alerts.
VENDOR SUPPORT: Informatica supports both PowerAnalyzer and PowerCenter from implementation to deployment and beyond.
DOCUMENTATION: Informatica documentation adequately provides the information needed for installation and usage of the products.
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