Hybrid BI Data Delivery in 24 hours

Jason Gleason

Case Study

Client Snapshot:

Tuatara Brewing is based in Wellington, New Zealand and produces craft beer for the NZ, Australian, and UK markets and beyond. The company is at the forefront of the burgeoning independent craft beer industry in NZ, that was previously dominated for many years by two large corporate breweries.

The Problem

As a rapidly growing company Tuatara needed a Business Intelligence solution to measure and manage products and financial data. With a small IT footprint, Tuatara wanted to synchronise on-premise data with Microsoft Azure SQL databases. Tuatara’s challenge was how to synchronise data that was held in accounting software (MYOB) and Excel spreadsheets with an Azure SQL Database quickly and has the fault tolerance to allow for changes to the source applications.

The Approach

Using the Eightwire Data Exchange, Tuatara’s software vendor was able to integrate on-premise data stores with Microsoft Azure databases within a matter of hours. Initial estimates for the integration project were for forty hours of effort, with considerable risk associated with how to pull data out of MYOB.

To deliver the project, the vendor:

  • Installed an agent on the application server that held Tuatara’s business critical applications and spreadsheets, so Eightwire’s Data Exchange can work with systems behind Tuatara’s firewall.
  • Using Eightwire’s Data Exchange web application, a developer created connections to MYOB and several folders containing spreadsheets.
  • The destination data store was outside of Tuatara’s firewall so the developer simply pasted the connection provided by Microsoft Azure and the connection was complete.
  • Several processes were created by the developer to pull data from MYOB and Excel and push it into the Azure data store. The Azure SQL Database was empty so all tables were created and populated on the first run.
  • With the data feed running, the developer was then able to build PowerPivot reports to query and display the data using Azure as a source system.

From start to finish, the developer built the data feeds and had them running in less than a day. This allowed the vendor to deliver a Business Intelligence project in a week with assurance that the data integration wouldn’t needlessly extend time frames. Based on estimates using traditional integration tools, this was a 50% reduction in time and effort, nearly all of which was made up in the integration stage.

The Benefits

For Tuatara, the benefits were twofold. First, it had an operational data warehouse within weeks of starting the project. At conclusion, the Eightwire Data Exchange was estimated to have reduced the integration effort by 80%.

Secondly, with Eightwire’s automatic error handling, failed feeds have been minimised. Common errors such as powered off servers and changing spreadsheet formats are handled seamlessly by notifying IT and vendor staff or by fixing the error automatically. Data quality issues are also dealt with seamlessly such as Unicode to non-Unicode transformation, multiple date formats (Gregorian and Julian) in the same column, and column order and names changing between loads.

This was a 50% reduction in time and effort, nearly all of which was made up in the integration stage.

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