We selected Talend Open Studio for Data Integration because of its ability to handle large data flows. The tool has tremendous potential for managing our data flows and offers many opportunities for automation, significantly improving productivity. In addition, the tool's graphical approach minimizes training time, something that was critical for our budget.Philippe Capelle, IT Service Manager for the General Council of Nièvre
The General Council of Nièvre
Divided into 4 districts, the 312 municipalities in the department of Nièvre cover an area of approximately 7000 m² with more than 220,000 inhabitants, of whom 40,000 live in Nevers. Nièvre comprises 32 townships, each represented by a Councilor who leads development and represents departmental policies at the Departmental Assembly, also known as the General Council.
Nièvre has a strong industrial tradition - with the “Royal” Forges of Guerigny, the steel industry at Imphy, etc. More recently, this sector expanded with the growth of the automobile industry (subcontractors of major car manufacturers, engineering services, companies based on racing, etc.). The automobile and transportation sector of Nevers Magny-Cours, with its high-tech companies clustered around the racing circuit (Bol d'Or, etc.) is a showcase at both national and international levels. The department also has large lumber resources, with 225,000 hectares of forests representing 40 million m³ of marketable timber.
Need for analysis and decision support
The President and elected members of the General Council have specific requirements for analysis and decision support. They need to analyze current projects and track HR and financial records, social data, etc. Organizing IT in terms of Business Intelligence was clearly a priority.
To achieve this, the General Council of Nièvre pulls data from a wide variety of business applications. However, the quality of extracted data and the transformation capabilities of the tools were very unsatisfactory-manual extractions, unreliable data, multiple media, redundancies, inconsistent workloads. “We were using query tools for first-level queries,” explained Philippe Capelle, IT Service Manager for the General Council of Nièvre. “The data then had to be consolidated and crossed-checked manually; it was time consuming and produced unreliable results. To stop this downward spiral, we searched for a solution that would let users focus on their primary business, produce reliable information and streamline the chain of information processing - all within a limited budget while promoting cutting edge and open source technologies.”
Talend, Jaspersoft and BIRT: a complete BI system
The General Council of Nièvre evaluated several technologies, including JasperSoft's open source BI (comprising Talend, Jaspersoft ,and BIRT) and SpagoBI. It chose the first option for several reasons. “We selected Talend Open Studio for Data Integration because of its ability to handle large data flows,” explained Philippe Capelle. “The tool has tremendous potential for managing our data flows and offers many opportunities for automation, significantly improving productivity. In addition, the tool's graphical approach minimizes training time, something that was critical for our budget. Five people completed the training, which gave us a good start. To date, we are using Talend Open Studio for Data Integration for all our ETL projects.”
“The low cost of the solution was also key,” continued Philippe Capelle. “We were able to quickly develop pilot projects - for example, regular monitoring and automation of EIS (Earned Income Supplement) files; dashboards for Human Resources Management-that demonstrated Talend Open Studio for Data Integration's potential.”
Today the pilot development phase is complete. Having acquired in-depth experience using Talend Open Studio for Data Integration, the General Council of Nièvre wants to extend its use of the tool to manage all data flows.
There are a number of projects in the planning phase. Currently, the IT team is working on creating dashboards for service managers and directors, including finance and expenses, current projects and task management, quality control of application data via automatic alerts and reminders, and database synchronization. The team is also focusing on the automated processing of recurring events to avoid working under tight deadlines - such as budget development, planning for a heat wave, or Presidential promises.
Planning, making data reliable, granularity
Before implementing Talend Open Studio for Data Integration, the IT team at the General Council wasted a lot of time producing and consolidating data, with questionable results. “We were also constantly working under tight deadlines or in response to requests and we had little opportunity to take advantage of previous developments,” explained Philippe Capelle. “Today, we can predict and plan. And we now have data whose reliability is no longer in doubt. Little by little we are regaining control of our information system. Before, our vision was shaped by the tools that we used. We now know where the information is stored and how to use it.”
The General Council of Nièvre is currently planning to migrate to Talend Data Integration. “The Talend solution lets us interface more easily with our users, on changing work habits, and on our processes,” concluded Philippe Capelle. “We can now focus on the quality of information and Talend's solutions can help us move forward. We also feel that deploying Talend Data Integration will let us take advantage of its rich functionality, a shared repository and the Job scheduler. We can optimize and increase the reliability of job production, while focusing on internal processes. Data reliability and consolidation, and the automation and improvement of processes will also let us significantly develop the decision support component. More and more, our managers are asking for the data they need to make informed decisions. Talend helps us meet these expectations.”