Data Migration - Navigating a Most Difficult Process

July 31, 2018

Greetings,

Today Astir would like to share another successfully case study with our audience.  This case study involves a common situation: Company A acquires Company B and now must integrate their systems and data into their existing technology environment.  This can be a complex, cumbersome task that requires many resources and multiples more man hours to complete.  If done correctly, new sales opportunities can present themselves and revenue can be further increased.  If done incorrectly, not only do those sales opportunities get dropped on the floor, important relationships can suffer… leading to long-term revenue loss.

In this case study, a very large Astir customer acquired a similarly sized firm and needed to tackle the gargantuan task of merging their customer, sales, and marketing data into their existing systems.  The data was extremely sensitive and needed to be cleansed, validated, and migrated very quickly.  Given overlap in customers and products, there was an overwhelming need to quickly integrate this data in order to avoid incorrect and ineffective sales follow-ups in order to preserve relationships during the transition period.

Astir IT was engaged to help the customer navigate this process quickly and complete the migration with minimal impact to daily operations.  A team of on-site resources were placed with the customer and worked closely with internal teams to create a set of standard operating procedures and workflows in order to execute a smooth migration process.  Once the data migration was underway, all steps were meticulously documented and multiple back-ups were put in place to ensure that no data was lost or corrupted.  Finally, new data housing systems were built in order to create and maintain a clean, efficient access system for the resulting merged data. 

The initial set-up process and standard operating procedures put into place prior to the data migration resulted in a smooth transition for the customer, and there was zero down-time.  The Astir team remained in place for a short time after the initial migration in order to continually monitor progress and perform any maintenance and training needed.  Ultimately, the customer was able to leverage the merged database to expand their operations.

If you are interested in learning more about how we have addressed a specific topic that you do not see here or on our website (www.astirit.com), please contact us to discuss further.

Business Intelligence, Consulting , ,

Helping Customers with Data Management

July 17, 2018

Hello,

Continuing our series of case studies and presenting examples of how Astir IT products, services, and solutions help businesses like yours, Astir IT would like to discuss data management.  Data has become a more and more critical aspect of virtually every business, shaping everything from out digital presence, our sales and marketing efforts, and our strategic business decisions.  Therefore, it has become overwhelmingly important to have a proper data management system in place.  Whether you need a simple, small-scale database, or a sophisticated data warehouse with a multi-faceted front-end UI for retrieval and analysis, it is necessary that data is collected and stored correctly.  Having an incomplete, fragmented, or otherwise problematic data management system results in bad data and worthless analysis, which derails strategic business decision-making. 

One particular client had this exact problem.  They had the distinct need to replace their current data management system, as their data was plagued by inaccuracies, incomplete entries, and redundancies.  Bad data was skewing their statistical analysis, and they lacked the resources and bandwidth to implement an efficient and effective cleansing process.  The client could not risk making business decisions that were predicated on incorrect data, and eventually, they could not justify the costs associated with the necessary manual intervention needed to cleanse, analyze, and report the intelligence to executives.  They were in dire need of a new data management system that automate their processes, and provide cleaner, more consistent customer data.

In order to rectify this situation, the customer engaged Astir IT to build a new data warehouse and reporting engine.  The requirements were very straight forward: build a new data management system with a front-end reporting UI that would provide sales and marketing with actionable intelligence for their daily operations, and provide executives with clean, reliable analysis for strategic decision making.  Astir used a multi-phased approach in order to cleanse their existing data, migrate it into a new data warehouse, and establish an automated data gathering/input system that would eliminate future occurrences of duplicate or incomplete data entries.  Astir also created a user-friendly, intuitive front-end reporting engine that offered users multilevel dashboards and statistical reports.  The overall solution enabled marketing and sales organizations to efficiently track campaigns, record customer and prospect interactions, fine-tune targeting approaches, and ultimately convert sales. 

The customer executive team was particularly happy with the solution, as they gained a secure, reliable methodology to quickly and accurately measure organizational efforts and output; which could be leveraged to shape the future of their business.

Astir IT was also engaged to provide the customer with an on-site resource for the ongoing, daily management of this new data management solution.  The resource was not only highly skilled in data architecture and database/data warehouse development, he was also an expert in business intelligence.  This resource was able to successfully improve organizational buy-in by continually evolving the system to accommodate changing business requirements and expanding the scope and capabilities of the system.

If you are interested in learning more about how we have addressed a specific topic that you do not see here or on our website (www.astirit.com), please contact us to discuss further.

Data Warehousing, IT Staffing, Project Placement , , , , ,

Data Analysis and Reporting

July 06, 2018

Hello Everyone,

Data is the life-blood of any business.  It can be used to understand employee behavior, customer interactions, market fluctuations, etc., and it can alter the way business decisions are made.  Your business not only needs reliable access to the right types of data, you need that data to be clean, free of duplicates and mistakes, and available for complex analysis.  Astir IT specializes in business intelligence and Big Data and would like to present you with a case study of how we helped a client optimize their data environment.

As always, if you are interested in learning more about how we have addressed a specific topic that you do not see here or on our website (www.astirit.com), please contact us to discuss further.

We had a customer who had a data problem.  Data on customers, employees, competitors, etc. was all collected using different methods and housed in different places.  The customer lacked the expertise and tools necessary to combine, clean, and analyze the data in any meaningful way, and their strategic business decisions were suffering from it.  The customer came to Astir IT needing the creation and maintenance of operational dashboards.

After working closely with the customer, there were four (4) main operational areas that were affected by this lack of actionable data: HR, Finance, Accounts Payable/Receivable, and Operations.  Astir tackled the initial business analysis task, and helped the customer fully flush out the requirements:

  • Human Resources Analytics: Identifying headcount trends, attrition rates, employee demographics, etc. in order to provide insight into trends concerning hiring, terminations, and retention.
  • Finance Analytics: Advanced analytics in the area of bookings-to-revenue lifecycle; giving the client an accurate representation of the ordering process, backlogs, reserves, and billings in order to make inferences and trending projections for upcoming quarters.
  • Invoice Analytics: Invoicing specific analytics designed to flush out information throughout the invoicing lifecycle; such as policy violations, expenditures, supplier lists, etc.
  • Forecasting: Inference based analytics measuring planning, financial forecasting, expense data, cost center levels, account expenses, etc.

 

Once the business intelligence metrics were fully defined, a dashboard solution was implemented that initially combined, standardized, cleansed, and deduped existing data in order to populate a series of multi-tier dashboards.  In order to maintain these dashboards and ensure the customers ongoing ability to make use of the dashboards, a set of proper procedures were designed and implemented to collect and transmit data into a single repository, which was mined by the dashboards.  The customer was presented with a reliable and secure methodology to consistently measure and understand the right data in order to improve their strategic business decisions.

Application Development, Astir IT, Mobile Application Development , , , ,