Our company considers itself a next-generation technological company, and its organizational structure and operations are highly automated. Instead of employing a standard monolithic ERP system (e.g., SAP), we have built our IT infrastructure using corporate-environment open-source standards. Automation is approached from a decentralized perspective based on this open-source IT backbone. In other words, our company uses different software packages for different functions and ties them together to form an enterprise collaboration platform. The result is impressive: we enjoy no-compromise IT functionality and flexibility with extremely low software costs. It was into this environment that our company sought to integrate a reporting and analytics tool. Our company’s operational and historical data was consolidated into a homegrown data warehouse, based on a MySQL database. We were looking for a powerful and flexible business intelligence solution that would easily integrate with its existing system, which would not require rebuilding the data warehouse, which would allow non-technical business users to quickly create new reports and analytic queries and which would be relatively inexpensive.
Before we implemented Prism, we relied on the technical expertise of a small number of people to create manual queries. Upon request from business users, the queries were run manually using a MySQL client and the results were exported to Excel for delivery.
Before selecting Prism, we evaluated a well-known open source package (with paid premium service and support) and also looked at a Microsoft product.
We wanted a powerful and flexible business intelligence solution that would easily integrate with our existing systems, which would not require rebuilding the data warehouse, which would allow non-technical business users to quickly create new reports and analytic queries and which would be relatively inexpensive. After evaluating the alternatives, we concluded that Prism was the only solution to deliver on all of the company’s requirements. Whereas our previous approach required hours for each new report, Prism enabled non-technical personnel to create reports in minutes.
During the trial phase, we set up a test database and tested the software successfully using very cheap PC hardware. After selecting and purchasing Prism, more powerful hardware was used. Setup was very easy.
We use Prism to generate all of our standard operational, managerial and financial reports. As adoption within the company is increasing, more and more managers are creating and customizing their own reports. Technical staff is still available to help, but demands on their time are now a fraction of what they were before.
The biggest benefit of having Prism is that we quickly achieved uniform and comprehensive monitoring and reporting on all key performance indicators. Additionally, management now has very fast and easy access to any information they want, via custom reports, and are able to quickly test "what-if" hypotheses using Prism.