The Office of the Prime Minister, PMO in short, under the authority of the Prime Minister’s Department, is entrusted to secure an efficient environment for the Prime Minister to perform his duties and responsibilities effectively by providing speedy services and organize tasks and responsibilities of the honorable Prime Minister.
In mid 2007, with the increase of various report and analyses requirement, PMO initiated a Business Intelligence tender. During the one day technical evaluation for each vendor, Speedminer managed to demonstrate all the cases put forth in within less than 2 hours, during the remaining time, all ad-hoc additional questions asked was also answered to the judges’ satisfaction and thus scored extra bonus points. Other BI software vendors were stuck at some point in the test cases and therefore not able to complete the test even with additional time allocated. Finally, Speedminer was chosen based on merit.
The whole implementation process of data warehousing and business intelligence (inclusive of end-user training) was completed within a 4-month period. The key reason for such speedy implementation was due to the CUBE-LESS architecture of Speedminer, where additional dimensions can be added or modification of data relationship can be done easily, as oppose to other CUBE-base solutions which often require redesign of the data model and thus make the meta-data change to incur major work. Speedminer is easier to implement and simpler to maintain.
Speedminer was implemented and used in three different departments namely the Human Resource Department, Accounts and Administration. The data sources for the data warehouse are a combination of SQL Server, Lotus Notes, PostgreSQL, text files and OCR scanning documents. The user-friendliness and zero-footprint client deployment enables user, and management to access information from anywhere, anytime by using a simple internet browser.
Separate servers were used as ETL servers and parallel ETL process are implemented to ensure high performance to load from disparate data sources. Through the advance ECP (Enterprise Cache Protocol) feature, the DEVELOPMENT and PRODUCTION server are able to shared many common data and meta data, leaving only Analysis, Reports, Subject Areas and necessary components stored separately between the two environments, this greatly save the storage space, and making the migration from Development to Production much simpler.
Speedminer also managed to link tables with Many-to-Many relationship. The problem was encountered with the need to link the attendance, leave (holiday/off site) tables to the staff information table. The attendance was in PostgreSQL database, and leave/staff data was in the Lotus Notes database. The primary keys of the tables do not match directly and require processing and computation. However with Speedminer, all these challenges were resolved one by one very quickly and allow the project to complete within the timeline planned. For the Administration department, analyses developed including monitoring staff attendance, incoming time trend, monthly assembly attendance trend analysis, analysis of the office vehicle usage, meeting room usage and statistics of educational excursions to Prime Minister’s Office.
The Human Resources department on the other hand requires extraction of data from printed documents. We delivered a simple scanner to scan the document to text (OCR), and with the intelligence within Speedminer ETL module, the formatting of the text into proper column as well as eliminating extra characters and adjusting the information was done automatically, the need of user correction of the data is therefore reduced to minimum. A total of 12 types of analytic reports were created for the Human Resources Department. They ranged from reports that analyzed staff positions, retirement age, increments, staff movements within the organization etc.
As for the Finance Department, the analyses developed including planning annual expenditure controls, budget workflow forecast, overseas trips expenditure and others. With these reports, the top management is able to gauge historical trends of staff performance, human resource issues and have specified detail information of budget expenditure for specific departments.
With just 3 days of training, PMO staffs were able to build their own analyses and reports, the system has helped the IT department to offload some of the need to create and prepare reports for the end users. With the confidence on the product, Speedminer was also introduced to Implementation Coordination Unit of Prime Minister Department, which then became another reputable customer of Speedminer.