The Client of the project was an international research organization dealing with biological sciences, offering drug development services for the pharmaceutical industry. The organization has 3 research centres in two countries and employs over 600 scientists. It has been operating successfully on the market for 13 years, the best proof of which is the introduction of 25 new drugs into the clinical trial phase in the last three years.
Unified Reporting Platform
Due to the growth and fragmentation of the client’s organization over different locations, it became increasingly difficult to control finances and human resources. Many employees had to devote a lot of time to creating complex reports that contained data from several systems. The problem was also the lack of consistency between databases – they were designed by different companies at different times and there was no documentation describing their content and design. For these reasons, a decision was made to organize and map existing databases and build a data warehouse and a reporting system based on them.
Before implementing a Unified Reporting System, teams responsible for finance and human resources spent two weeks each month analyzing data and developing reports. The whole process has been automated, thanks o which the employees have been unloaded and can focus on other tasks. The new system is dynamic and allows users to configure settings for various analytical and reporting needs.
An important benefit is the understanding of existing systems, data sources and connections between them. This project has also become a kind of audit during which problems related to the quality of data and the very construction and use of existing databases and systems have been identified.
Pentaho is a software supporting business analytics, from the stage of acquiring, integrating and transforming data, to designing and displaying reports, dashboards and pivot tables. It provides many server and client applications that extend its capabilities.
Pentaho offers software in both enterprise and community editions. Enterprise software is obtained through a one-year subscription and includes additional features and support that are not included in the community edition. The basic Pentaho offer is often extended by additional products, usually in the form of plug-ins, provided by both Pentaho developers and the user community.
The project began with designing and planning the development of the client’s IT architecture. The need to build business intelligence capability and its use in existing and target organization processes was taken into account. The target architecture has a unified approach to data analysis and reporting by creating a centralized platform the so-called Unified Reporting Platform). As part of the analysis, a repository was created in Enterprise Architect, which describes the application architecture (systems and services used in the organization), data (description of the most important domains in the company, data used and generated reports), business (objects and business processes occurring in the organization) and technology (software, devices and operating systems used in the organization).
After analyzing the architecture of the organization, the process of gradual implementation of the next elements of the platform began. When designing data structures, it was crucial to ensure their flexibility and adaptability to new customer requirements. Attention was also paid to the rapid development of the organization and the ability to modify dimensions through simple configuration. Over a year of cooperation, over 10 analytical views and reports were designed and implemented, which involved integration with over 25 data sources, including relational databases, APIs, batch files and cloud sources.