PLATFORM | EBOOK

Your Partner to Turn Your Analytics Ecosystem into a Platform as a Service

Discover How Ironside Can Help You Realize Your Ideal Analytics Environment



How do you get a seamless, cloud-based data and analytics solution that you don’t have to manage?

Whatever your situation, Ironside Managed Services will advise and implement based on your unique needs and goals and will be fully committed to seeing that your ideal environment gets realized. We operate as an extension of your team with the expertise of ours.

Download this 8-page product overview to learn about Ironside’s Managed Services practice and begin to leverage our expertise to ensure you have the most efficient environment for your organization’s needs.

Here’s what you’ll learn about:

  • Our Approach
  • Key Features
  • How We Do It
  • Business Benefits
  • What To Expect
  • Managed Services Packages
  • How To Get Started

Managed Services Overview

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How To Get Started

Ironside will evaluate your technology, find optimization points, and ensure your chosen applications, environment, and data management platforms all run smoothly. Skip the stress and hassle of managing your environment in-house – save up to 50% by having us do it for you.

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About Ironside

Ironside was founded in 1999 as an enterprise data and analytics solution provider and system integrator. Our clients hire us to acquire, enrich and measure their data so they can make smarter, better decisions about their business. No matter your industry or specific business challenges, Ironside has the experience, perspective and agility to help transform your analytic environment.

PLATFORM | CASE STUDY

Allow Flexibility & Resiliency with Standardized ETL

COMPANY OVERVIEW


Founded in 1979, the client is a premier provider of auto, home, and business owners insurance in Massachusetts, Maine, and New Hampshire.

BUSINESS NEED


The client had a proprietary ETL solution that had no disaster recovery support. They were looking for a more standardized technology that allowed them flexibility and resiliency.

SOLUTION


Ironside was brought in to help the client design a new solution leveraging industry-standard data stage software to implement their Data Warehouse using standardized ETL. Ironside architected, installed, configured and continues to manage the software required. The engagement was made up of the following phases:


Understand


  • Established where the client was and where they wanted to be

  • Proposed 2-3 paths forward with recommendations


Initiate


  • Agreed up on path forward that would best accommodate their needs

  • Installed and configured the InfoSphere Information Server and db2 Cloud for the implementation

  • Worked with the client to understand the ETL that was already in the environment


Optimize


  • Optimized the straight port of the ETL to leverage benefits of both the data stage and cloud-based Data Warehouse

  • Improved the application configuration on the fly as needed

  • Verified that functionality matched the requirements


Change & Maintain


  • Shifted from Cloud Data Warehouse back to On-Prem Data Warehouse and verified that the optimizations worked for the On-Prem solution as well

  • Continue to support the environment through upgrades and usage and expanded the footprint to include a Cognos Analytics environment

  • Expanded the footprint to include a Cognos Analytics environment


KEYS TO SUCCESS


Through this engagement, the client achieved the following successes:

  • Gained a resilient environment that can recover if there is an outage at the primary data center

  • Trimmed daily ETL load times by approximately 50%

  • Freed up developers to develop rather than administer

About IBM

IBM is a leading cloud platform and cognitive solutions company. Leverage IBM’s Analytics portfolio of high-value products and solutions to turn the company you’re running today into the company you’re building for tomorrow.

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link='portfolio_entries,1123' wc_prod_visible='' prod_order_by='' prod_order='' sort='no' items='3' columns='3' paginate='none' query_orderby='date' query_order='DESC' size='fixed' orientation='av-orientation-square' gap='large' overlay_fx='active' id='' caption_elements='title' caption_styling='overlay' caption_display='always' color='' custom_bg='' av-medium-columns='' av-small-columns='' av-mini-columns='' av_uid='av-2ibtovw' custom_class=''] [/av_tab_sub_section][av_tab_sub_section tab_title='Analytics' vertical_align='middle' icon_select='no' icon='ue800' font='entypo-fontello' tab_image='' tab_image_style='' color='' background_color='' src='' attachment='' attachment_size='' background_attachment='scroll' background_position='top left' background_repeat='no-repeat' custom_class='' av_uid='av-1ztjhss'] [av_masonry_entries link='portfolio_entries,1124' wc_prod_visible='' prod_order_by='' prod_order='' sort='no' items='3' columns='3' paginate='none' query_orderby='date' 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background_color='#ffffff' src='' attachment='' attachment_size='' background_position='top left' background_repeat='no-repeat' animation='' mobile_breaking='' mobile_display='' custom_class='' av_uid='av-28fflmx'] [/av_one_fourth][av_one_half min_height='' vertical_alignment='av-align-top' space='' margin='0px' margin_sync='true' padding='30px,40px,50px,40px' border='' border_color='' radius='0px' radius_sync='true' background_color='#ffffff' src='' attachment='' attachment_size='' background_position='top left' background_repeat='no-repeat' animation='' mobile_breaking='' mobile_display='' custom_class='' av_uid='av-1rz7q7d'] [av_button_big label='Take our Data & Analytics Self-Assessment' description_pos='below' link='page,15594' link_target='' icon_select='no' icon='ue800' font='entypo-fontello' custom_font='#ffffff' color='custom' custom_bg='#00aec7' color_hover='theme-color' custom_bg_hover='#444444' custom_class='' admin_preview_bg='' av_uid='av-4pr12h'][/av_button_big] 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PLATFORM | CASE STUDY

Migrate from Oracle Discoverer to Cognos Analytics

COMPANY OVERVIEW


A private university in Massachusetts with approximately 18,000 undergraduate students and 7,000 graduate students that offers a comprehensive range of undergraduate and graduate programs in nine colleges and schools. As of 2016, the client had over $500 million in endowment funds and ranked in the top 50 in the National Universities category in the 2018 edition of U.S. News & World Report.

BUSINESS NEED


The client’s Advancement team had been leveraging Oracle Discoverer for their end user reporting needs for almost 10 years. Due to several platform and end-of-support challenges, the client engaged Ironside to help evaluate existing metadata, migrate over 500 existing Oracle Discoverer reports to Cognos, institute central governance and branding standards, and provide training and enablement to the Advancement team to foster their ability to create Cognos reports and leverage new self-service capabilities.

SOLUTION


Ironside, in collaboration with the business and IT stakeholders, developed a migration roadmap by doing the following:


Develop a Strategy


  • Perform extensive analysis to identify and rationalize report inventory

  • Develop a comprehensive plan to ensure successful migration

  • Migrate Oracle Discoverer reports to Cognos with minimal impact to business continuity

  • Enable functional users in the complete spectrum of Cognos Analytics capabilities


Create a Migration Plan


  • Create a collaborative plan to migrate the reports from Oracle Discoverer to Cognos that align with business objectives

  • Allow the right content to be available in Cognos Analytics in accordance with the client’s academic cadence and fundraising timelines


Migrate to Cognos


  • Assess existing reports and user needs to build an actionable migration plan

  • Develop a simple and intuitive metadata model to support report migration and enable self-service analytics

  • Migrate reports from an outdated Oracle Discoverer environment to modern, usable Cognos Analytics environment

  • Enable both IT and business users in Cognos Analytics through formal training


User Training & Adoption


  • Provide training sessions and interactive workshops to enable functional users and business stakeholders in Cognos Analytics areas

  • Leverage a “Day in the Life” approach to the training, which showcases the “what,” “how” and “why” of users’ everyday activities in the Cognos Analytics world


KEYS TO SUCCESS


The successful migration to Cognos Analytics allowed the client to:

  • Transition content and enable self-service capabilities to a better, faster BI platform

  • Reduce cost and risk exposure associated with maintaining an unsupported and insecure reporting system

  • Lower total Cost of Ownership for both the migrated reporting content and the platform itself

  • Improve content taxonomy allowing users to more easily identify the reports they needed

About IBM

IBM is a leading cloud platform and cognitive solutions company. Leverage IBM’s Analytics portfolio of high-value products and solutions to turn the company you’re running today into the company you’re building for tomorrow.

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link='portfolio_entries,1123' wc_prod_visible='' prod_order_by='' prod_order='' sort='no' items='3' columns='3' paginate='none' query_orderby='date' query_order='DESC' size='fixed' orientation='av-orientation-square' gap='large' overlay_fx='active' id='' caption_elements='title' caption_styling='overlay' caption_display='always' color='' custom_bg='' av-medium-columns='' av-small-columns='' av-mini-columns='' av_uid='av-2ibtovw' custom_class=''] [/av_tab_sub_section][av_tab_sub_section tab_title='Analytics' vertical_align='middle' icon_select='no' icon='ue800' font='entypo-fontello' tab_image='' tab_image_style='' color='' background_color='' src='' attachment='' attachment_size='' background_attachment='scroll' background_position='top left' background_repeat='no-repeat' custom_class='' av_uid='av-1ztjhss'] [av_masonry_entries link='portfolio_entries,1124' wc_prod_visible='' prod_order_by='' prod_order='' sort='no' items='3' columns='3' paginate='none' query_orderby='date' 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[av_section min_height='' min_height_px='500px' padding='default' shadow='no-border-styling' bottom_border='no-border-styling' bottom_border_diagonal_color='#333333' bottom_border_diagonal_direction='' bottom_border_style='' custom_arrow_bg='' id='' color='main_color' custom_bg='' src='https://www.ironsidegroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/yellow-rudder-1500x630.png' attachment='16316' attachment_size='featured_large' attach='parallax' position='center center' repeat='no-repeat' video='' video_ratio='16:9' overlay_opacity='0.5' overlay_color='' overlay_pattern='' overlay_custom_pattern='' av_element_hidden_in_editor='0' custom_class='' av_uid='av-3e8pueh'] [av_one_full first min_height='' vertical_alignment='av-align-top' space='' margin='0px' margin_sync='true' padding='50px,0px,0px,0px' border='' border_color='' radius='10px,10px,0,' background_color='#ffffff' src='' attachment='' attachment_size='' background_position='top left' background_repeat='no-repeat' animation='' mobile_breaking='' mobile_display='' custom_class='' av_uid='av-320m815'] [av_heading tag='h2' padding='10' heading='Become one of our successful clients.' color='' style='blockquote modern-quote modern-centered' custom_font='' size='' subheading_active='' subheading_size='15' custom_class='' admin_preview_bg='' av-desktop-hide='' av-medium-hide='' av-small-hide='' av-mini-hide='' av-medium-font-size-title='' av-small-font-size-title='' av-mini-font-size-title='' av-medium-font-size='' av-small-font-size='' av-mini-font-size='' av_uid='av-2os9ax5'][/av_heading] [/av_one_full][av_one_fourth first min_height='av-equal-height-column' vertical_alignment='av-align-top' space='no_margin' margin='0px' margin_sync='true' padding='0px,0px,50px,0px' border='' border_color='' radius='0px,0px,0px,10px' background_color='#ffffff' src='' attachment='' attachment_size='' background_position='top left' background_repeat='no-repeat' animation='' mobile_breaking='' mobile_display='' custom_class='' av_uid='av-28fflmx'] [/av_one_fourth][av_one_half min_height='' vertical_alignment='av-align-top' space='' margin='0px' margin_sync='true' padding='30px,40px,50px,40px' border='' border_color='' radius='0px' radius_sync='true' background_color='#ffffff' src='' attachment='' attachment_size='' background_position='top left' background_repeat='no-repeat' animation='' mobile_breaking='' mobile_display='' custom_class='' av_uid='av-1rz7q7d'] [av_button_big label='Take our Data & Analytics Self-Assessment' description_pos='below' link='page,15594' link_target='' icon_select='no' icon='ue800' font='entypo-fontello' custom_font='#ffffff' color='custom' custom_bg='#00aec7' color_hover='theme-color' custom_bg_hover='#444444' custom_class='' admin_preview_bg='' av_uid='av-4pr12h'][/av_button_big] [/av_one_half][av_one_fourth min_height='' vertical_alignment='av-align-top' space='' margin='0px' margin_sync='true' padding='0px' padding_sync='true' border='' border_color='' radius='0px,0px,10px,0px' background_color='#ffffff' src='' attachment='' attachment_size='' background_position='top left' background_repeat='no-repeat' animation='' mobile_breaking='' mobile_display='' custom_class='' av_uid='av-2cum7d'] [/av_one_fourth] [/av_section]

PLATFORM | CASE STUDY

Enable Cognos Analytics Migration in Financial Services

COMPANY OVERVIEW


Global provider of auto finance that offers retail loan and lease programs through auto dealers for customers across the credit spectrum. Also offers commercial lending products, such as retail floorplan, construction and real estate loans—and insurance for car dealerships. Over 25,000 users around the world.

BUSINESS NEED


In collaboration with Ironside, the client had recently migrated from a 10+ year old Discoverer system to Cognos 10.2.x. The migration greatly enhanced the client’s reporting capabilities, and they wanted to build on it by offering users an enhanced self-service analytics platform. They decided to upgrade to Cognos Analytics.

SOLUTION


The Ironside Business Intelligence team was engaged to help the client make a seamless upgrade to an optimal and scalable analytics platform. There were four steps to the process:


Conduct a Preliminary Assessment


  • Assess the company’s current Cognos landscape to create a checklist of items needed for the upgrade, enabling the client to prep the Cognos environment before proceeding

  • Specifically, review server and network firewall configuration, domain and access detail, product entitlements, updates & fix packs, 3rd party database client drivers, and data source connections


Review Architecture and Recommendations


  • Compare current architecture supporting Cognos landscape to capabilities of Cognos Analytics

  • Estimate end user demand and growth based on Cognos Audit Reports, network traffic, and user and content count—then make recommendations for long-term solution


Make In-place Upgrade to Cognos Analytics


  • Upgrade a mix of 500+ reports while ensuring minimal impact on users

  • Migrate content and security configs for users without losing functionality of reports

  • Mentor client’s Cognos admin team on upgrade execution steps, ensuring they can support the environment post-upgrade with minimal outside support


Ensure Successful Outcomes


  • Support the growing self-service needs of the organization through an intuitive, easy-to-use tool that helps generate successful outcomes

  • Facilitate staff reduction, reduce upgrade costs, provide foundational analytics, and train over 15 staff members


KEYS TO SUCCESS


Through the Cognos Analytics Upgrade initiative, Ironside’s client succeeded in its mission to:

  • Enable self-service using the latest Cognos Analytics tools

  • Reduce support staff resourcing through self-service and training

  • Help create the roadmap for Visual Analytics based on Cognos Analytics tools

  • Empower client support staff to implement future upgrades through mentorship

About IBM

IBM is a leading cloud platform and cognitive solutions company. Leverage IBM’s Analytics portfolio of high-value products and solutions to turn the company you’re running today into the company you’re building for tomorrow.

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background_attachment='scroll' background_position='top left' background_repeat='no-repeat' custom_class='' av_uid='av-3ua41ek'] [av_masonry_entries link='portfolio_entries,1122' wc_prod_visible='' prod_order_by='' prod_order='' sort='no' items='3' columns='3' paginate='none' query_orderby='date' query_order='DESC' size='fixed' orientation='av-orientation-square' gap='large' overlay_fx='active' id='' caption_elements='title' caption_styling='overlay' caption_display='always' color='' custom_bg='' av-medium-columns='' av-small-columns='' av-mini-columns='' av_uid='av-3inv0xo' custom_class=''] [/av_tab_sub_section][av_tab_sub_section tab_title='Data' vertical_align='middle' icon_select='no' icon='ue800' font='entypo-fontello' tab_image='' tab_image_style='' color='' background_color='' src='' attachment='' attachment_size='' background_attachment='scroll' background_position='top left' background_repeat='no-repeat' custom_class='' av_uid='av-2x2nruk'] [av_masonry_entries link='portfolio_entries,1123' wc_prod_visible='' prod_order_by='' prod_order='' sort='no' items='3' columns='3' paginate='none' query_orderby='date' query_order='DESC' size='fixed' orientation='av-orientation-square' gap='large' overlay_fx='active' id='' caption_elements='title' caption_styling='overlay' caption_display='always' color='' custom_bg='' av-medium-columns='' av-small-columns='' av-mini-columns='' av_uid='av-2ibtovw' custom_class=''] [/av_tab_sub_section][av_tab_sub_section tab_title='Analytics' vertical_align='middle' icon_select='no' icon='ue800' font='entypo-fontello' tab_image='' tab_image_style='' color='' background_color='' src='' attachment='' attachment_size='' background_attachment='scroll' background_position='top left' background_repeat='no-repeat' custom_class='' av_uid='av-1ztjhss'] [av_masonry_entries link='portfolio_entries,1124' wc_prod_visible='' prod_order_by='' prod_order='' sort='no' items='3' columns='3' paginate='none' query_orderby='date' query_order='DESC' size='fixed' orientation='av-orientation-square' gap='large' overlay_fx='active' id='' caption_elements='title' caption_styling='overlay' caption_display='always' color='' custom_bg='' av-medium-columns='' av-small-columns='' av-mini-columns='' av_uid='av-1satp18' custom_class=''] [/av_tab_sub_section][av_tab_sub_section tab_title='Platform' vertical_align='middle' icon_select='no' icon='ue800' font='entypo-fontello' tab_image='' tab_image_style='' color='' background_color='' src='' attachment='' attachment_size='' background_attachment='scroll' background_position='top left' background_repeat='no-repeat' custom_class='' av_uid='av-14gy7h8'] [av_masonry_entries link='portfolio_entries,1125' wc_prod_visible='' prod_order_by='' prod_order='' sort='no' items='3' columns='3' paginate='none' query_orderby='date' query_order='DESC' size='fixed' orientation='av-orientation-square' gap='large' overlay_fx='active' id='' caption_elements='title' caption_styling='overlay' 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PLATFORM | CASE STUDY

Achieve Analytics Success with Managed Services

COMPANY OVERVIEW


Watts Water is the premier channel partner in the plumbing industry, providing plumbing, heating, and water quality solutions for residential, industrial, municipal and commercial purposes. Global in scale, with subsidiaries in all major world markets.

BUSINESS NEED


As Watts’ IT team worked with an end-of-life IBM Cognos BI 8.x implementation, they knew they needed a partner to help them install and migrate to a Cognos BI version better suited to a more robust environment. They contacted Ironside, and both companies quickly saw the opportunity to form a larger partnership to streamline the data management systems behind the reporting tools.

SOLUTION


Ironside Managed Services partnered with Watts to help them maximize their data and analytics potential, while minimizing the time spent maintaining and troubleshooting the back-end components required to get there. In addition to the Cognos BI upgrade, the following projects were undertaken:


Install IBM InfoSphere Information Server


  • Install, integrate and manage InfoSphere solution that serves as a high-powered, enterprise-level intermediary that sits between the data and analytics resources to help monitor, cleanse, transform and deliver information for strategic business initiatives


Upgrade InfoSphere as Environment Evolves


  • Meet changing needs by upgrading InfoSphere from 9.1.2 to version 11.3.1 to increase synergies with the rest of Watts’s ETL processes

  • Introduce new features such as optimized data governance and quality, a GUI over InfoSphere’s REST API for easier access, and enhanced integration with Linux, data warehousing appliances, and Cognos


Enhance New Cognos BI System


  • Apply new release of Fix Pack 5 for Cognos BI 10.2.1 and achieve full integration with Watts’s platform within a week

  • Troubleshoot to remedy Cognos Workspace Advanced performance issues, and make sure users have an optimal experience


Improve Reporting and Dashboards
(per Ironside Solutions Center)


  • Design an intuitive, consumable sales dashboard that reflects global sales, product, and customer information in a single location

  • Enable Watts to use dashboard to reduce the time to value of their sales data and boost the speed with which they can act on the data


KEYS TO SUCCESS


Among the many benefits of using Ironside Managed Services, Watts is now able to:

  • Meet their goals of always having data delivered on time in the same format, increasing velocity to reduce reporting time, and getting data in the right format for each user

  • Receive proactive care and feeding of their systems from Ironside, lowering the incidences when support is required

  • Tackle root causes of problems rather than symptoms—again, reducing the need for future support

About IBM

IBM is a leading cloud platform and cognitive solutions company. Leverage IBM’s Analytics portfolio of high-value products and solutions to turn the company you’re running today into the company you’re building for tomorrow.

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link='portfolio_entries,1123' wc_prod_visible='' prod_order_by='' prod_order='' sort='no' items='3' columns='3' paginate='none' query_orderby='date' query_order='DESC' size='fixed' orientation='av-orientation-square' gap='large' overlay_fx='active' id='' caption_elements='title' caption_styling='overlay' caption_display='always' color='' custom_bg='' av-medium-columns='' av-small-columns='' av-mini-columns='' av_uid='av-2ibtovw' custom_class=''] [/av_tab_sub_section][av_tab_sub_section tab_title='Analytics' vertical_align='middle' icon_select='no' icon='ue800' font='entypo-fontello' tab_image='' tab_image_style='' color='' background_color='' src='' attachment='' attachment_size='' background_attachment='scroll' background_position='top left' background_repeat='no-repeat' custom_class='' av_uid='av-1ztjhss'] [av_masonry_entries link='portfolio_entries,1124' wc_prod_visible='' prod_order_by='' prod_order='' sort='no' items='3' columns='3' paginate='none' query_orderby='date' query_order='DESC' size='fixed' orientation='av-orientation-square' gap='large' overlay_fx='active' id='' caption_elements='title' caption_styling='overlay' caption_display='always' color='' custom_bg='' av-medium-columns='' av-small-columns='' av-mini-columns='' av_uid='av-1satp18' custom_class=''] [/av_tab_sub_section][av_tab_sub_section tab_title='Platform' vertical_align='middle' icon_select='no' icon='ue800' font='entypo-fontello' tab_image='' tab_image_style='' color='' background_color='' src='' attachment='' attachment_size='' background_attachment='scroll' background_position='top left' background_repeat='no-repeat' custom_class='' av_uid='av-14gy7h8'] [av_masonry_entries link='portfolio_entries,1125' wc_prod_visible='' prod_order_by='' prod_order='' sort='no' items='3' columns='3' paginate='none' query_orderby='date' query_order='DESC' size='fixed' orientation='av-orientation-square' gap='large' overlay_fx='active' id='' caption_elements='title' caption_styling='overlay' 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PLATFORM | CASE STUDY

Strategize and Implement Retail Analytics Migration and Integration

COMPANY OVERVIEW


Global retailer offering clothing, accessories, and personal care products. In business close to 40 years, with over 1,000 stores in North America and an online presence in more than 80 countries.

BUSINESS NEED


Outdated processes and siloed legacy solutions were hampering self-service analysis and fragmenting the company’s view of their data. IT leadership knew they were falling into technical debt and were trying to modernize and centralize. They needed an upgraded data and analytics ecosystem geared toward user experience and brought Ironside on as a partner.

SOLUTION


Ironside approached the engagement with one overarching principle in mind—namely, that a successful migration starts with targeted action. To that end, we worked with our client to:


Diagnose Issues & Maximize Resources


  • Install a new IBM Sterling Commerce engine to integrate with the company’s wider IBM Cognos BI reporting implementation—and determine which one should track fulfillment metrics

  • Balance the need for answers now with long-term analytics sustainability


Create a Centralized Data Source


  • Connect the new Sterling Commerce data source to the data warehouse, and build reports on it

  • Provide a timely feed of usable, actionable fulfillment information linked to other key metrics, allowing broader comparisons and new insights


Modernize the BI Environment


  • Perform a checkup on analytics system health, which led to the decision to upgrade the Cognos BI platform, migrate critical reports, and update cubes to support high-use data sets

  • Ensure a modern BI platform was ready to support the full enterprise view users would now have


Create New Assets & Enable Users


  • Leverage new updates to develop new data views and supply chain improvements

  • Implement a new end-to-end merchandise planning infrastructure, which required building a data mart containing relevant data warehouse information, dynamic cubes for key data sets, and reports on key metrics


KEYS TO SUCCESS


These projects delivered many benefits to the client by enabling then to:

  • Provide users with advanced functionality and improved user experience for faster, more dynamic BI results

  • Connect previously siloed data sources into a unified, accessible ecosystem allowing easy, self-service reporting

  • Design fulfillment and merchandise planning approaches to delivering analytics results quickly

  • Remove technical debt

About IBM

IBM is a leading cloud platform and cognitive solutions company. Leverage IBM’s Analytics portfolio of high-value products and solutions to turn the company you’re running today into the company you’re building for tomorrow.

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