CATEGORY: Business Intelligence
REVIEWER: Jim Harnden, senior VP and CIO for Junior Achievement.
BACKGROUND: Junior Achievement (JA) is the world's largest organization dedicated to educating young people about business, economics and free enterprise. Through age-appropriate curricula, JA programs begin at the elementary school level, teaching children how they can impact the world around them as individuals, workers and consumers. JA programs continue through the middle and high school grades, preparing students for additional key economic and workforce issues they will face in the future. Today JA reaches more than 4 million students through 149 offices nationwide and 2 million students in more than 100 countries worldwide.
PLATFORMS: The CleverPath software runs on Windows, connecting to a variety of diverse data sources housed on both Windows and UNIX systems.
PROBLEM SOLVED: Because we are a nonprofit organization, we receive much of our funding through grants from various donors. These donors normally request an accounting of results in the form of reports detailing the number of participating volunteers, money spent on supplies, number of students benefiting from specific programs and other similar statistics. Because our diverse data sources were not consolidated or even necessarily in the same format or platform, it often took us two or more weeks to manually generate our quarterly reports. In order to efficiently produce more frequent reports reflecting real-time data, we needed to consolidate our information systems across 150 offices nationwide, improve our knowledge management capabilities, and extract and deliver the most current back-end information.
PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: With our new CA- based solutions, we have the power to extract data and assemble the needed reports instantly. The query, analysis and reporting features of CleverPath Forest & Trees permit us to easily and securely execute all information requests. The ability for each geographical area to have its own personalized view means that JA employees can immediately and effortlessly locate information or content using the search capabilities of CleverPath Portal. By significantly reducing the time needed to provide donors with information they request and providing better service to donors, we expect to see an increase in donations received. Increased donations will enable JA to benefit and inspire more students.
STRENGTHS: The speed and efficiency of the CleverPath solution has been a great benefit to us. We have gone from waiting two to three weeks for critical reports to being able to generate those reports instantaneously. We are also in the process of integrating CleverPath with other CA solutions to provide additional functionality. Integration between CleverPath and Advantage Data Transformer Enterprise Metadata Edition will enable us to pool information from a variety of remote databases, and AllFusion ERwin Data Modeler will help us create and maintain databases and warehouses to store all of our corporate information.
WEAKNESSES: As the functionality of the Forest & Trees interface is robust, we are looking forward to future enhancements of the visual components.
SELECTION CRITERIA: Junior Achievement chose CleverPath and related solutions because of CA's ability to deliver an end-to- end solution. CA went beyond supplying software to meeting our information technology and delivery challenges. It was also natural for us to turn to CA for our technology solutions because our organizations already have a long- standing relationship; since 1999, JA and CA have partnered to teach 18,000 children worldwide the skills needed to succeed later in life.
DELIVERABLES: Junior Achievement is delivering an advanced information architecture that provides a common, shared view of all information throughout our organization. In addition, each geographical area has its own personalized view, enabling JA employees to immediately and effortlessly locate information relevant to their location.
VENDOR SUPPORT: CA truly understood our mission and helped us develop an IT plan that will accelerate us toward our goals. CA is a true partner in every sense of the word.
DOCUMENTATION: The CA documentation is complete and easy to use, and the online help is both comprehensive and easy to navigate.
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