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2008 Vision Award for Business Impact

Category: Data Integration
Implementation Site: Editions Techniques pour l'Automobile et l'Industrie (ETAI )
Solution Provider: Talend

Use Case Justification: Increase of productivity and quality.

Business Impact: Open source software is ready for enterprise use at a lower cost of ownership.

Excerpt from winning entry

Editions Techniques pour l'Automobile et l'Industrie (ETAI ) produces and sells data within the automotive, manufacturing and retail industries. For the automotive industry, ETAI collects raw data from suppliers, consolidates and reconciles this data, and sells applications based on the thus-created technical database.

Talend Open Studio helps ETAI to automate the integration of heterogeneous and disparate data and increase the quality of production tasks. With no standard for data, ETAI struggled with getting disparate data repository formats, along with many paper documents with information that needs to be keyed in. The process was very time- consuming and always presented data quality challenges. Numerous programs in Access, Java, Python, PL/SQL, etc., had to be run, and many steps of the process were manual and required domain expertise.

Conversely, in ETAI's other businesses (directories, magazines, trade shows, etc.), it made sense to consolidate nontechnical repositories, to leverage data models that are similar between verticals.

ETAI chose Talend's data integration solution not only to automate the assembly processes for the automotive technical databases, but also merge all data management systems for ETAI's other businesses. It was critical for the company to concentrate efforts around a single tool that would meet all their needs.

Talend's solution offered greater flexibility due to its use of industry standard languages for which component libraries are readily available. In comparison with other vendors, it was the fastest for executing a complex process of the prototype, processing 2 million records 30-50 percent faster than the other contenders and the existing custom program.

Beyond the complexity of consolidating and reconciling data, the heterogeneity of data sources also created a challenge. ETAI's data sources include MySQL, DB2/400, Access and many others. The technical database is hosted on Oracle but is deployed on MySQL. And the company's backend systems run on AS/400. A broad connectivity palette, which Talend provided, was hence a strong requirement.

Talend's software best met ETAI's criteria and offered an exceptional level of technical support, while being cost-effective. It is now being used for daily consolidation of all data entry repositories, enabling ETAI to detect and fix data discrepancies and maintain control over an important cause of errors to eliminate the need to edit the consolidated data.

Overall benefits of using Talend Open Studio:

  • Reduced time needed to build the complete database (translated in 5 languages) - The process went from 15 manual steps to only 2 steps - both fully automated. The overall process duration is now five hours long compared to the three weeks it used to take.
  • Improved quality of data, including data across various databases (CRM, professional directories, etc.).
  • Increased productivity - one single person can handle the database assembly process with minimal training, as opposed to the 5 people previously needed to undertake the task.
  • Decreased risk of dramatic impact during the final integration process, due to daily checks for data discrepancies.
  • Cost savings - Talend's open source model alleviated the costs significantly, especially in the deployment phase.

Judging Comments
This project shows the value tools can bring to the largely manual task of operational data integration, as well as demonstrating the cost-savings to be had form open source tools.