New data warehousing and reporting solution and its back end integration support the extension of Aurinkomatkat’s product and service offering
When business operations are developed and product and service offerings expanded, the need to adapt information systems to new requirements for reporting and analysis creates a special challenge. Partnering with an experienced consultant allows the customer focus on running its own core business.
CLEAR TRACKING OF PROFITABILITY, CONSISTENT ANALYSIS OF PRODUCTIVITY
New data warehousing and reporting solution enables coherent reporting from different sales systems as well as automatic flow of information into back end systems
Aurinkomatkat has traditionally focused on package tours; the company is Finland’s largest package tour operator. In 2011, Aurinkomatkat’s parent company Finnair decided to assign its entire leisure travel sales to Aurinkomatkat. Because of this, Aurinkomatkat needed a new, parallel sales system for sales of tailored travel.
To be able to monitor the profitability of package tours and individual travel alike, Aurinkomatkat required clear and uniform information from both sales systems. The need arose for a new data warehousing and reporting solution that would automatically retrieve information from both systems. The solution should also be integrated with the group’s SAP FICO accounting system as well as with the S-Bonus purchase reward system. The schedule posed an additional challenge: the reporting solution and its integration were needed on very short notice, as they were to be deployed in tandem with the new sales system.
Ixonos’ team of specialists approached the project by exploring Aurinkomatkat’s existing source systems as well as the company’s sales and reporting practices. The customer’s business intelligence and data warehousing systems, which had been purchased from IBM as a service, had to be upgraded to meet the new business requirements.
Ixonos’ specialists designed the new data warehousing and reporting solution hand in glove with the customer. Work began with definition of requirements and swiftly continued with implementation of the actual data warehouse and the reporting processes. Additions and improvements to the existing systems were made, bringing the necessary information up to date with the customer’s new reporting requirements. The ETL processes were implemented so that new data is extracted from the sales system and loaded into the data warehouse daily. The new data repository provides a large group of people with a consistent view of the information, making results easier to analyse throughout the organisation. Now all sales information is automatically transferred into the accounting system of the Finnair group of companies and that essential information is passed to the S-Bonus system of the S Group.
To comprehensively take into account the various user needs, the business reports were designed in close collaboration with the system’s users. Ixonos’ specialists designed 20 standard reports based on the customer’s requirements. A multidimensional metadata model was created to form a basis for the reports. This model also enables the customer to easily create new reports and perform ad hoc queries for analysis of sales and financial data.
Ixonos developed the data warehousing and reporting solution specifically for Aurinkomatkat’s needs, using well-known technologies they were familiar with, such as:
- the IBM Cognos 8 Business Intelligence platform;
- the Informatica PowerCenter ETL tool;
- the IBM DB2 database.
By using agile methods, Ixonos’ team of specialists was able to complete the development project on a tight six-month schedule.
Thanks to the new system, Aurinkomatkat receives reliable and uniform information from two separate sales systems. The reports, which were devised together with the users, support daily decision-making and enable tracking of e.g. the efficiency of publicity campaigns and the sales of each office. Aurinkomatkat now has an improved view of its operations and can monitor its profitability much more efficiently.
Integrating the system with the accounting system and with the S-Bonus system improved reporting substantially: the sales information automatically flows from the sales systems to the data warehouse and on to reporting, maintaining an intact audit trail. The tracking of travel-related information, such as aircraft seats available and passenger reservations, has improved. In addition, the statutory requirements relating to reporting during emergency conditions can now be met more efficiently.
Ixonos’ project team
A team of three Ixonos specialists designed and implemented the data warehousing and reporting system. The team also supported Aurinkomatkat in deploying the system.
“We worked very closely with the customer during this project. This was crucial to ensuring that the reporting supports the customer’s day-to-day decision-making. The reports were designed together with the users and in accordance with their wishes, and all needs for changes were quickly addressed.” Rasmus Päivärinta, data warehousing specialist
“The customer’s project manager led the project. The objective of the project remained clear to everyone throughout, and this made teamwork run very smoothly. Because our team members had strong experience in the technologies we used in the project as well as an extensive comprehension of the customer’s industry, we were able to successfully reshape the reporting on such a tight schedule.” Jan Welin, data warehousing specialist
Aurinkomatkat as a company
Oy Aurinkomatkat – Suntours Ltd Ab is Finland’s largest package tour operator and part of the Finnair group. In 2011, the company’s offering was broadened to include the leisure travel services of Area Travel Agency and Finland Travel Bureau.
“The transparent reporting has had positive effects on our entire organisation after the system was deployed. All our sales operations are reported in almost real time, which gives us a much sounder basis for planning. The expertise of Ixonos’ specialists was exceptional and the team was very quick to respond to all our change requests. This demanding project was such an exemplary success that we certainly want to continue working with Ixonos for a long time.” Päivi Anckar, Head of Finance, Aurinkomatkat
“The dynamism of Ixonos’ team really became evident when we had to revise our plan in mid-project. We added an entirely new interface with which neither company had any experience. Ixonos’ team redesigned its implementation project on the fly and yet delivered it on schedule. All in all, we reached the goals of the project ahead of time and at lower cost than planned, which is almost unheard of.” Harri Valkama, Project Manager, Finnair