The CIO of a mid-sized manufacturer asked Trexin to work with his small IT team and their internal finance department customer to quickly and inexpensively begin using Microsoft’s cloud to create a data hub with immediate self-service business intelligence capabilities and a future path towards more advanced analytics.
Structured as an 8-week timeboxed project that was later extended to 12 weeks, Trexin adopted an iterative development approach using 2-week sprints and 3 parallel workstreams with the following activities:
- Business Requirements & UI Development: Understanding the target business processes, clarifying what operational data from 3 source systems was needed, developing the first iteration of a consolidated data model in MS Power BI, and prototyping reports and dashboards against a legacy on-premise MS SQL Server Data Warehouse.
- Cloud/Data Architecture & Platform Build: Creating a modern data/analytics environment in MS Azure, integrating the data from the source systems, shifting the Power BI connections to Azure, incrementally building up the data hub based on refined business requirements, and conducting Azure performance engineering to enhance the platform.
- Data Strategy & Governance: Drafting a comprehensive top-down data strategy and governance model, applying industry best practices, collaborating with Client stakeholders to tailor the solution, and coaching the team to socialize concepts and secure stakeholder alignment and adoption.
Opting to use Azure Synapse Analytics, Trexin configured a new Microsoft Azure cloud environment and established the data hub’s structural foundation with Azure Data Lake Storage (ADLS) (Gen 2) assembled in a staged “bronze”, “silver”, and “gold” configuration. By the end of the second sprint, Trexin had complete end-to-end data movement from the 3 source systems through Azure to Power BI and Power Query using pipelines to bring in raw data and Spark notebooks to transform data. By the end of the project, Trexin had aggregated data from more than 50 source system database tables with 5-minute ERP system refresh rates. With this self-service business intelligence and analytics platform in place, the VP of Financial Planning & Analysis was able to independently create & modify their own reports & dashboards, which previously required IT assistance and a 1 ½ day turnaround. Trexin also delivered a 2-year data strategy and roadmap including data governance and data security aspects and ensured that our Client’s team achieved self-sufficiency and ownership of all new platform processes and tasks through an explicit knowledge transfer series and training.