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Empire Airlines Delivers Turnkey Analytics System From Information Builders and Scale Computing

Information Builders today announced that Empire Airlines has implemented WebFOCUS Business User Edition as part of a bundled solution called Scale Analytics Appliance from Information Builders and Scale Computing.

Empire Airlines is using the appliance to deliver real-time data and insights to executives, managers, and operations-level personnel, with minimal involvement by IT professionals. The turnkey solution addresses a broad range of analytics needs, from data preparation and integration to self-service reporting and data discovery.

Empire Airlines is a passenger and cargo airline based in Hayden, Idaho that operates more than 120 scheduled cargo flights per day in 18 states and Canada. As its business grew and its operation became more complex, senior managers at the company wanted to acquire a software platform to bolster their BI, analytics and reporting capabilities. Ideally, this platform would be part of a bundled solution or "appliance" that could support other business functions as well, including e-mail, a domain controller, and a terminal server to support workers at remote locations. They evaluated enterprise BI solutions from leading technology vendors, but found their products to be too complex and expensive for their needs. Then they discovered Scale Analytics Appliance, a "datacenter-in-a-box" with server, storage, and virtualization software, all integrated into a cohesive appliance that includes BI, analytics, and other business applications as well.

Previously Empire Airlines used Microsoft Excel spreadsheets to monitor its maintenance repair overhaul (MRO) contracts. Now, instead of having to peruse Excel spreadsheets to stay abreast of complex jobs, authorized personnel can click into a WebFOCUS analytics application, or InfoApp, to sort, summarize, and visualize MRO data by client, plane, work order, time frame, part, and other variables. InfoApps deliver highly interactive analytics content, such as data visualizations, charts, graphs, and reports, through an "app store-like" experience. Instead of learning complex tools and worrying about data preparation, users can tap into these analytics apps to obtain insights right away.

"The Scale Analytics Appliance, and its embedded instance of WebFOCUS, has everything we need for reporting, BI, and analytics - along with essential functionality to run our business," Melanie Ellingson, director of IT at Empire Airlines said. "We are very pleased with what we have been able to accomplish with this appliance in a short period of time. We now have one set of BI tools to analyze all types of data. The appliance was easy to set up and it contains powerful alerting capabilities that we plan to use extensively for monitoring our key performance indicators."

For example, one of Empire Airlines' new InfoApps uses an interactive pie chart to reveal operating information about all planes currently in service. Employees use these apps to gain control over their data and to create proactive alerts that flag important developments within their purview. Other InfoApps show current delay and cancellation information and up-to-the-minute financial information. Empire Airlines is also using WebFOCUS to send scheduled reports to its customers on a regular basis to keep them informed of key information.

An unintended benefit of the Scale Analytics Appliance has been the ability to use the data being generated to drive organizational change at Empire Airlines. Based on detailed delay and cancellation data, the company has formed a Performance Improvement Committee that meets weekly to analyze trends and anomalies and make process recommendations based on the findings. This committee has brought together all levels of employees from various departments and encouraged true collaboration that is delivering real performance results and making a significant business impact.

"The Scale Analytics Appliance enables companies to obtain sophisticated reporting and analytics without requiring significant IT support," Gerald Cohen, president and CEO of Information Builders said. "Our partnership with Scale Computing has created an app-like environment that enables small- to mid-sized organizations to leverage information from any source for better decision-making at a fraction of the time and cost of enterprise BI solutions."

Published Wednesday, September 13, 2017 11:02 AM by David Marshall
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