least expensive data warehouse ever?
JAYA: A local software developer is claiming that
it can implement data warehousing solutions with
fewer consultants and for as little as one-fifth
the cost of solutions from larger rivals.
solution uses its own data engine, which cuts
licence fees and the need to fly in expensive
consultants from abroad; it can be implemented
in less time with fewer people; and it requires
less hardware to run.
(www.speedminer.com) began life a decade ago when
Thomas How, who was then implementing the first
generation of data warehousing solutions, first
noticed how the cost and complexity of data warehousing
was keeping it out of the hands of companies and
organisations that sorely needed it.
for example, had traditionally not been a major
market for data warehousing solutions, he said.
For the most part, data warehousing solution vendors
had gone after the much more lucrative financial
services market, and so data analysis tools specific
to hospitals' needs had not been developed.
issue was that hospitals had massive data sets
- Selayang Hospital's was in the region of 300
gigabytes, he estimated - that required massive,
and expensive, scalability in hardware and software.
How and his colleagues spent the better part of
the next decade building a data warehouse solution
that would fit those needs, he said.
In the past two years since the Speedminer solution
had been made available, it has been installed
in sites such as the Darul Ehsan Medical Centre,
Selayang Hospital, the National Heart Institute
and Gleneagles Intan Medical Centre in Malaysia;
Fouzhou General Hospital and a general hospital
at the People's Liberation Army's Guang Zhou Command
in China; and the Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Humanitarian
City in Saudi Arabia, which is claimed to be the
world's largest rehabilitation facility.
said his company -- Speedminer, a subsidiary of
Hesper Technology Sdn Bhd (www.hesper.com.my)
-- offered that huge scalability at minimal cost
because of its data engine technology.
most common data warehouses use a two-dimensional
relational OLAP (online analytical processing)
database, or ROLAP, architecture. But a two-dimensional
relational database was inadequate for data mining,
so solution vendors have added more dimensions,
and thus flexibility, by building lookup tables.
Unfortunately, building these tables ate up processing
cycles and required more hardware for scalability.
There is an alternative called multidimensional
OLAP (MOLAP), How said, but what MOLAP gained
in processing speed it lost in flexibility.
The Speedminer Data WareHouse and Business Performance
Management solutions were based on what How called
an object-based OLAP database, which he claimed
was almost as fast as MOLAP but could match ROLAP's
And since the technology was developed in Malaysia
by Speedminer, a Multimedia Super Corridor company,
all its expert support was local.
This factor, and the fact that Speedminer had
a complete suite of business intelligence tools
and was well versed in implementation issues,
meant lists of savings. Expensive licence fees
for the database technology and the importation
of expensive consultants from regional head offices,
whose fees which typically accounted for half
of implementation costs, were no longer part of
implementation times also meant that projects
had less time to go wrong, How claimed.
All in all, he said, a 200-bed hospital might
be able to implement data warehousing solutions
for RM200,000 in under two months with Speedminer,
compared with RM1mil or more for a comparable
solution from a larger rival.
"We are able to
offer realtime data warehousing solutions at a
very reasonable price for hospitals in Malaysia,"
And not just hospitals. How said his company had
already completed a proof-of-concept data warehousing
exercise for a Malaysian conglomerate, and was
seeking partners in Malaysia and around the world
in such sectors as manufacturing and insurance.
To this end, he said, Speedminer's parent company
Hesper Technology had incorporated Speedminer
Australia, where the subsidiary had a technology
on the technological front, Speedminer was preparing
a web-accessible version of its database architecture
for release by the end of this year, he added.