Business challenge

In the knowledge economy, speed of insight is a key competitive differentiator. How can companies take advantage of the latest analytics technologies to seize new opportunities ahead of their rivals?

Transformation

Destiny Corporation deploys IBM PureData System for Analytics (Netezza) for companies in banking, insurance, retail and other data-heavy industries, and helps clients gain insight to data in minutes.

Results

500x

faster analytics performance delivers near real-time insight

Accelerated

processing makes it feasible to tackle large data sets

Empowers

knowledge workers and speeds up analysis with a business-driven solution

Business challenge story

Scaling up to new challenges

In just about every industry today, processes and business cycles are dramatically faster than they were ten years ago. Constant increase in computing power, the increasing dominance of the web as a sales channel and the ubiquity of connected devices have driven the emergence of a true 24/7 economy. Start-ups anywhere in the world can harness powerful software running on the cloud to build new businesses rapidly and scale them as fast as demand permits. They can also seamlessly stitch together processes across agile partners in design, manufacturing, logistics, and customer service.

For established organizations, all of these changes have rapidly leveled the playing field, eroding many of their traditional advantages and economies of scale. These organizations must be prepared to move as fast as their new competitors—but the critical first step is to see the right opportunities and identify the competitive threats in a timely fashion.

However, existing approaches to analysis and reporting are often stuck in the age of the spreadsheet. Even where organizations have adopted data warehouses and enterprise analytics tools, the usual heavy reliance on IT specialists leaves business users frustrated at the lack of flexibility and speed in getting answers to critical business questions.

Dana Rafiee, U.S. Managing Director, Destiny Corporation, comments: “We work with Fortune 500 companies across financial services, banking, insurance, and retail. Even at large and sophisticated companies, it is surprising to see that the approach to managing and querying large sets of data often has not moved with the times.

“Many of the clients who engage with us are struggling to identify and respond appropriately to new competitive pressures because it takes them too long to gain a clear insight into opportunities and issues. They are accustomed to queries that take 20 or more hours to run or to analyze smaller samples of data due to the need for immediate answers to business questions.

“When we tell these clients that they can get answers to their business questions in minutes, their initial response is disbelief! We show them how easy it is with IBM® PureData™ System for Analytics, a proven industry standard for more than fourteen years.”

With IBM PureData System for Analytics (Netezza), one banking client accelerated a key reporting job from 43 hours to 12 seconds!

—Dana Rafiee,U.S. Managing Director,Destiny Corporation

Transformation story

Business-driven analytics

Destiny Corporation, an IBM Premier Business Partner, has a long history of deploying IBM PureData System for Analytics solutions, formerly Netezza, for clients, using the data warehouse appliance to power deeper and faster queries on large and complex data sets. This works seamlessly with other IBM analytics software such as IBM Cognos® Analytics, IBM BigInsights® for Hadoop data services and IBM InfoSphere® Streams for real-time analytics.

“Ten years ago, we often worked with clients to determine which subsets of data would provide a representative statistical sample for analysis,” recalls Rafiee. “Back then, it simply was not feasible to run complex analytics on all of the data unless they were prepared to wait weeks for the results. Today, despite the fact that data volumes are growing faster than ever, organizations using PureData System for Analytics can rapidly query their entire data sets, eliminating the risk of choosing a non-representative sample. This technology now allows organizations to analyze facts, not just statistical samples.”

Beyond the outright performance benefits it offers, Destiny Corporation favors PureData System for Analytics for its simplicity, ease of management and user-friendliness for non-technical business personnel. “It’s very easy for business users to create results sets inside the appliance,” comments Rafiee.

“They can create tables with result sets on the fly inside the PureData appliance without any help or validation from IT personnel, often after just a couple of days of training. The solution has no indexes, so there is no need for deep DBA experience to set up the data—the appliance automatically handles all of that for the business users behind the scenes.

“Business users can gain access to BigInsights Hadoop data from the PureData appliance using IBM’s Fluid Query. This allows for queries to be executed on data at rest in the most appropriate location, whether it is PureData System for Analytics or BigInsights Hadoop or both in the same query.”

As part of the deployment process, Destiny Corporation offers training workshops to get business users up to speed with PureData System for Analytics. According to Dana Rafiee, this is a vital step for getting the most performance out of the solution, because the ease of integration and operation can leave users unaware of its full capabilities.

“Business users are accustomed to extracting data from source systems and databases to analyze it elsewhere. PureData can fit into any existing ODBC-capable analytics architecture to make applications execute queries faster. However, the real power of the solution is when clients run the analytics inside the appliance. We recently redesigned one banking client’s predictive analytics processes to run on their existing PureData appliance. They saw critical reporting jobs go from 43 hours to 12 seconds!”

Results story

Faster and deeper insight

Across the board, Destiny Corporation’s clients typically achieve at least 500 times faster performance for analytics queries and reports, which ultimately helps them to identity opportunities and make informed decisions faster. For a health insurance firm that needs to analyze large sets of claims data, deploying PureData System for Analytics cut many critical legacy Oracle and Teradata jobs from 22 hours to just two minutes—without requiring any changes to the query logic.

Dana Rafiee offers another example: “A banking client runs a very heavy analysis job as part of the Federal CCAR (Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review) stress-testing, and was previously using various tools to pull data into an application. With PureData System for Analytics, they cut the process time down from days to minutes.”

In addition to providing greater speed in analytics, this enables deeper and more complex analysis within the same timeframes for full sets of data rather than samples. By looking at more dimensions, clients gain a better understanding of their business performance, health, and new opportunities, which helps drive smarter decisions.

“Our clients can look at their full data in all its richness, getting fast answers to complex queries,” says Rafiee. “They can also ask more and different questions that were never possible prior to PureData within the same timeframes as before. Answering one question will often open up new avenues of inquiry, enabling businesses to take an iterative approach to business intelligence. What’s more, users do not need to wait for support from their IT colleagues to be able to ask the next big question—that is something that VPs of Analytics really love about this solution!”

About Destiny Corporation

Destiny Corporation is a consulting firm that specializes in understanding each client’s business requirements and designing complete solutions to meet them. For topics such as business process optimization, analytics, and data warehousing, Destiny is the trusted, objective advisor for its clients.

Solution components

  • PureData System for Analytics (powered by Netezza technology)
  • PureData System for Analytics N1001-002

Take the next step

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