Stories from synvert customers



"In order to implement our BI platform, we selected synvert (previously saracus) consulting from a large selection of potential candidates. The contact with synvert was easy since the first moment and we could concentrate on the work from the first minute, which took place in a very pleasant atmosphere. Our BI solution had to be completely rebuilt, from the infrastructure to the enterprise DWH with complex ETL routes, to the dashboard. Thanks to the outstanding technical and social skills of the consultants, all project goals were successfully achieved within the planned budget. Above all, the implementation of the multi-dimensional analysis rooms proved to be very beneficial. Today, it allows our employees, that are responsible for the analysis, to handle a large amount of information in a very intuitive way. In order to ensure operation and further development with internal staff, we have also placed emphasis on technology and know-how transfer. This delicate point has also proved to be a real success, thanks to the excellent coaching skills of synvert."

Olivier Roux (Dr. sc. Techn., dipl. ing. agr. EPFZ), Deputy Head of Agricultural Information System Department

Success story

Project description

The Swiss Federal Office for Agriculture - unifying evaluation processes through the introduction of a data warehouse and a reporting system.

The Swiss Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG) is the federal department in charge of the agricultural sector. In addition to its political and administrative functions, it is also responsible for the collection, analysis and publication of agricultural data. With a data warehouse and reporting system, a professional, standardised and automated solution for this task was created, through a uniform database and a standardisation of the evaluation processes.

Objective of the project

The main objective of the project was to establish a data warehouse that could include and integrate everything related to agriculture in Switzerland. Several important factors were taken into account during the process, such as:

  • Setting up a uniform business intelligence competence in the Federal Office for Agriculture.
  • Simplification and automation of the existing preparation and reporting processes, and the replacement of manually created SQL-based evaluations with a standard, easy-to-use reporting solution (self-service).
  • Enlargement of the target group to include specialists and public address groups that should have interactive access to the statistics of the Federal Office in addition to the annual agricultural report.

  • Definition of a data model and data supply for the integration and consolidation of individual subsystems; special attention was paid to performance in order to enable ad hoc analyses in addition to standard reporting.
  • Smooth integration of existing data, as well as future source systems, through an expandable architecture using generic processing procedures.
  • Creation of uniform definitions of terms and calculation rules, as well as standard reports.
  • Multilingualism across the entire system.

The FOAG uses a classic data warehouse architecture based on industry best practices, and maintains and operates different source systems, including external ones which must be integrated into the data warehouse. Data from these sources can be delivered via various channels and is historicised and persisted in a staging area in the first step. To ensure scalability and the future extendibility of the system, the extraction and transfer of data from the source systems to the staging area were automated. The data warehouse is modelled using the Galaxy schema, with dimensionally modelled framework manager models built on top. For data-intensive evaluations, additional data marts are generated with pre-aggregated calculations to improve performance. The system supports both reports and dashboards for analysis and monitoring purposes, as well as standard reports for publishing statistics.

Benefits generated

  • Extensible DWH infrastructure based on best practices with established technologies.
  • Cross-source analysis and powerful ad hoc analysis capabilities.
  • Simplify and standardise source system connections.
  • Less manual effort required to create reports.
  • Create uniform definitions, reporting standards, and a consistent and professional look and feel to the reports.
Services accomplished

  • Business analysis and the creation of business and technical concepts.
  • Architecture design.
  • Construction of the ETL processes with generic components and complex historisation.
  • Data modelling of the relational data layers (core DWH, data marts).
  • Construction of the dimensionally modelled IBM Cognos Framework Manager models.
  • Creation of standard reports.
  • Configuration of the IBM Cognos BI system, with a specific focus on adapting it to the corporate design and ensuring that the authorisation concept was taken into consideration.
  • Comprehensive support during testing and productive rollout; training sessions for administrators and users.

The implementation of the data warehouse and reporting system has provided the FOAG with a standardised and automated solution for collecting, processing, and presenting agricultural data, all requiring very little effort. The expertise and experience of synvert consulting in architectures, design, and conception guaranteed a stable platform that serves as a foundation for future BI developments. As a result, synvert has become a valuable partner for FOAG for consulting and integration services.

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