DATA Robots FOR EXCELLENCE
A DATA DISCOVERY TOOL WITH EXCELLENT MS OFFICE INTEGRATION
OUR COMPANY AND CLIENTS
Data Mart for Excel is a reporting product service provided by Caratrel Consultants Pty Ltd.
Caratrel Consultants Pty Ltd have been providing IT consultancy since 1995 and is a member of Oracle Gold Partner Network, IBM PartnerWorld, and Microsoft Partner Network. Our industry partnership with multiple vendors reflects our commitment for Datamart4Excel to provide enterprise reporting intelligence from all data sources and ERP infrastructures (DB2, Oracle DB, MS SQL, SAP R/3, Oracle eBS, QSP e5, and other tier one GLs). We have over 50 years combined experience in the IT industry. Caratrel has provided IT consultancy to large companies including:
Our client accountants are enthusiastic and absolutely love the Data Marts created and customised for their specific Financials application. Our product service is currently used by accountants, IT analysts and business users because we strive to create a collaboration tool that can be deployed throughout the enterprise.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
If you would like more information about Datamart4Excel contact us through our Contact Us page:
Caratrel Consultants Pty Ltd, ABN 99 063 223 923
Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia
Phone: +61 (0) 418 217 114
HISTORY OF DATAMART4EXCEL
The unique selling point of Datamart4Excel (D4E) is the ability to provide users with unlimited filters when extracting data. Accessing any database by itself is quite easy and is already available to end-users via Excel's Get External Data function. However D4E's unlimited filters utilises the user-friendly mechanisms of comma-delimited list of criteria, from-to ranges, wild characters, and unlimited combinations thereof - much of which do not translate easily to SQL without advanced parsing and variable replacement technology.
To create Datamart4Excel with its unique selling point, the authors based it on their previous original work on compiler design and programming language interpretation. The authors had earlier developed parsing and recursion technology to create a recursive version of the FORTRAN language which they called NFOR. This unique and world-class technology has been repeatedly proven and tested with other application software found in several large companies.
Today, this parsing and recursion technology forms the main software code behind Datamart4Excel.
Case studies are available for the types of users that have a need for a data discovery tool. Below are actual instances where our company has proven the value of using Excel to create customised Data Marts for data discovery.
Our client accountants are enthusiastic and absolutely love the Data Marts created and customised for their specific Financials application.
CASE STUDY NO. 1: D4E FOR ACCOUNTANTS
A large global Finance company implemented Oracle e-Business Suite to replace several accounting packages in use across multiple countries. As a result, Oracle eBS provided an opportunity to consolidate Financials information where possible, save on license costs, and implement common training and knowledge for accountants. However, accountants quickly found out that despite the consolidation of accounting information, the use of Excel as a tool for collaboration, consolidation, and data discovery actually expanded. They are now able to apply Excel analytical processes to Financials data that were not available before. Many tools were proposed - FSG, Discoverer, and others - but were not Excel-based and were rejected because of the extra effort to fully utilise within Excel. BI and OLAP tools were also rejected as they did not provide real-time information relative to the main ledger.
A highly customised data mart tool was created using Excel to provide a simple but powerful real-time extract tool for the Oracle eBS. The tool is used inside Excel and queries the ERP and returns spreadsheets without leaving Excel. The data analysis process is completely uninterrupted. Accountants have expressed complete satisfaction in the performance and reliability of the Excel-based tool. The fact that the accountants now rarely use the web-based enquiry options of the Oracle eBS, is proof that the the Excel-based tool has accurately identified their needs. See our solution profile for Accountants.
CASE STUDY NO. 2: D4E FOR IT ANALYSTS
An insurance company implemented a 3rd-party insurance package in MS SQL. The package came with pre-built SQL procedures that provided reports. During the course of implementation, programmers and business analysts were asked to create additional SQL procedures to extract information from MS SQL databases. Basically a reporting system was needed to augment the vendor-supplied reports. To handle the testing and verification of report data, the business analysts used Excel and collaborated with users to confirm data validity.
To assist in testing, the IT analysts used a customised data mart created using Excel, to compare data created by the SQL procedures against data extracted directly via the data mart. As data is extracted directly into Excel, the business analyst is able to refer immediately to the user, whether the extract is correct or not. See our solution profile for IT Analysts.
CASE STUDY NO. 3: D4E FOR BUSINESS USERS
A small department was using an application that was soon be retired or replaced. In the meantime, the application is critical to the process of collecting and managing receivable funds. However, the application has several crucial issues:
a) it uses generic text fields for multiple purposes that have become inconsistent over time; and it was going to be prohibititive to re-program the application,
b) data needed to be cleaned up en masse because over time, the text fields now have invalid or inaccurate data, and
c) over time new reports were needed that were not catered for in the original specifications that cannot be done by generic reporting tools.
The clean up of the data was a critical audit issue as it can potentially mean loss of collectible funds. They need to be analysed individually and across the each other, rectified and then put back into the database. Furthermore, without the ability to clean up data now and in the future, the application is doomed to fail. The users are already using Excel to cleanse actual data but can only store them outside the application.
A highly customised data mart tool was created using Excel that provided a method of extracting application data into Excel spreadsheets, and using the same spreadsheets, users are able to analyse the information and provide the latest corrections. Using the same tool, the corrected records are then uploaded back to the database in real-time. The user can immediately confirm within the application that the changes were correct.
The Excel-based tool was a complete success as evidenced by the fact that the application now has accurate data and a sustainable path to the future. See our solution profile for Business Users.
CASE STUDY NO. 4: D4E FOR DATABASE ADMINISTRATORS
A Finance company created a small in-house application. It has been in use for over 10 years and because it is not part of the core system, the original developers have left the company. Some critical database tables needed to be updated as part of a clean up of obsolete information. The users are able to provide the updated information but do not have any method of inputting the changes other than through the spreadsheets they work on. As there was no real need for programing, the DBA's were the logical team to assist. However, the DBA normally requires updates to the database in auditable forms such as SQL code to insert or update tables. The users did not have SQL skills and can only valdiate their work via Excel. Therefore, there was a gap identified in terms of a common collaboration tool between database administrators and data owners. Collaboration was necessary as the critical database table was not available for update access by application users.
A highly customised data mart tool was created using Excel to serve as migration tool for loading auditable data into the database by the application owners but administered and implemented by database administrators. Consequently, the collaboration with DBAs allowed the maintainance of application data without programming assistance from IT. See our solution profile for Database Administrators.
CASE STUDY NO. 5: D4E FOR EVERYONE
A multinational company implemented a customised data mart tool using Excel initially for the head office only. The solution was deployed via a shared drive with Excel clients in the local PCs. After successful implementation, there was a need to deploy to other accountants overseas. By upgrading the Excel client to be based on MS Terminal Services and Citrix, the solution was automatically made available to international users. There was no need for travel to upgrade local PCs. Consequently, the Excel-based solution was a common data discovery tool that enhanced the management of Financials across a wide community.
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DATA MART FOR EXCEL
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