Business Intelligence Solution for Social Housing - Case study


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Business Intelligence Solution for Social Housing - Case study

  1. 1. Case Study Social Housing Business Intelligence Solution Client – A leading Social Housing Service Provider Marketing Contacts:Client – A leading Social Vineet Dahiya InfoAxon Technologies Ltd.Housing Service Provider Mob - +91-9810425760 Email -
  2. 2. OverviewChoice Based Letting (CBL) is a nationwide initiative by U.K government to make allocation of social housing to home-seekers moretransparent, and to give home-seekers more choices in the selection of housing properties.The UK Government‟s 5 year housing plan, Sustainable Communities: Homes for All, published in January 2005, set out plansfor taking forward its CBL policy. Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG), UK monitors its progress and has setthe target of 100% of English local authorities to adopt CBL by 2010.The client is a service provider of Choice Based Letting (CBL) service to citizens by advertising and letting social housing propertiesoffered by its Local Authority Partners and Housing Associations in UK. It provides managed and hosted choice-based lettingsdirectly to a two-third of London boroughs, Birmingham Council and 25+ housing associations through channels like web, IVR,SMS, Digital TV (DigiTV) & Virtual tours.InfoAxon designed a robust, web based data warehouse/Business Intelligence solution to help “the clients” meet all housingassociations‟ and councils‟ demand for reporting, ad-hoc querying, and data analysis capabilitiesBusiness Needs and ChallengesThough the CBL system had highly flexible, extensible, and dynamic characteristics, it scored very low when it came to fulfill thefollowing requirements of the users:Reporting: The system lacked extensive capability of generating useful reports that could help the clients and their partnerssupport business requirements and take informed business decisions.Though it provided some in built reports, the report generation process had an adverse impact on the performance of the CBLapplication, making it very slow. Moreover, these reports did not have professional look and feel and were not user friendly as theydid not allow basic actions like filtering, sorting by users on them. And of course, they were not based on parameters selected byusers.Data Analysis: The system also did not provide users with data handy and in a format that allowed them to drill through it fast,track the trend, and draw several useful inferences which could support their business decisions.The growing volume of property related data and the necessity of using those data for supporting various business requirementsand decisions by the client and their partners (housing associations and councils) generated the following needs to be addressed.  A highly robust, scalable, flexible, and user-friendly system that can help support business requirements, enhance better decision making capabilities, and provide better control over the various operations.  An apt data repository in place which can be used for quick reporting, ad-hoc querying, and data analytics by the client and its partners.  A user friendly system that allows users to generate various useful, impressive and eye-catching reports based on different criteria.  To speed up the performance of native CBL application by freeing it from the duty of generating some inherited reports
  3. 3. Case StudyFollowing challenges were associated with business needs:  Designing a centralized data warehouse which must be equally responsive and evolutionary with the dynamic behaviour of CBL system. With the increase in its customer base and their varying needs, CBL system is highly flexible, extensible, and dynamic.  Building a web-based system, which is securely accessible to all the partners according to their authorization and have business intelligence features for generating a number of interesting reports, making ad-hoc queries, and performing data analysis.  Ensuring the data warehouse supplies the single version of high quality information to be used by specific business intelligence tools.To meet these business needs and challenges, InfoAxon proposed and designed a highly reliable and resilient solution using latestopen source technologies.Why InfoAxon?InfoAxon was chosen for several reasons to implement the beneficiaries‟ solution: Our 8 year track record in helping with business Intelligence solutions for the development sector was ideally placed to help achieve CBL System objectives. Use of existing pre-packaged open source business intelligence platform technologies that are available as readymade white label platform that enabled rapid implementation of the BI environment for the CBL system. Expertise in Open source integration to creative innovative solutions to similar problems by leveraging the power of open source and business intelligence tools. Ability to put together a multi-disciplined development team comprising of development experts and technology gurus.How InfoAxon achieved it?InfoAxon had a very clear understanding of requirements when preparing a strategy to design and deliver a solution that couldenhance CBL system with additional features that the client and its partners wanted to use. It followed an agile developmentmethodology to ensure a timely and cost-effective development of a solution that comprised of a web-based data warehouse andbusiness intelligence tools.The solution delivery process included two major steps:
  4. 4. Case StudyCreating and Populating aData WarehouseThe key activity for this step was loading data from CBLsystem‟s native database to new data warehouse in twophases, initial load of old data till date and an ongoingincremental load. InfoAxon ensured that data be loadedonly after they are properly cleansed, combined,structured, and aggregated. For this, InfoAxon chose touse the ETTL (Extract, Transport, Transform, and Load)process on the data. The following visual depictionillustrates how it all was carried out: An Overview of Solution Delivery ProcessCreating a Web-Based BusinessIntelligence PlatformInfoAxon used its pre-tested, professional, and cost-effective BIplatform powered by open source to create a web-basedbusiness intelligence solution for Social Housing. With a webbased solution, InfoAxon ensured accessibility of solution fromany geographic location.Single sign-on support implemented through integration withthe Central Authentication Service (CAS) with third partyapplication (SSL) made the system further secure to login anduse. This platform contained the following functional features: Parameterized Reports Dashboard Parameterized OLAP cubes for data analysis
  5. 5. Case StudyDashboard, Report, and AnalysisfeaturesThis BI platform enabled users to generate several useful reports indifferent formats (Web Page, PDF, EXCEL, CSV) and analyse the dataas and when required. Users can generate reports based on anumber of parameters such as bedroom size, property let, bid typeetc.Report based on certain parametersThe Dashboard showing reports in form of colourful charts anddiagrams made it easy for the users to interpret the facts.Dashboard showing graphicalrepresentation of dataIt allows users to drill through the information based on differentparameters by taking them to the OLAP cubes directly when they click onany of the slices of the pie chart. Users can also go to the OLAP Cubepage by clicking “Analysis.”
  6. 6. Case Study Detailed OLAP Cube analysisTechnology StackThe table below lists the components of technology stack used for developing the solution. OSS Components Details Presentation JSP BI Platform Pentaho BI suite ( Community Edition) Application Server JBoss 4.3 Enterprise Edition Database PostgreSQL 8.2 Operating System Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)
  7. 7. Case StudyWhat InfoAxon delivered?With its expertise in using open source technology and flawless approach to address the core needs of the client accurately,InfoAxon produced a solution that boasts of following capabilities: A centralized repository storing data in dimensional form and is readily available for reporting, querying, and analysis. It enhanced its users‟ capability to make better business decisions. The solution can be easily customized on demand of any new requirement made by the client‟s partners and customers. A solution well adapted to the dynamic behaviour of CBL system. It being developed using open-source technology and components was very cost-effective and provided cost edge benefits.
  8. 8. Case StudyOur Customer Showcase
  9. 9. About InfoAxon Technologies InfoAxon is a leading provider of enterprise services and business solutions powered by open source. We design, architect and support complete “Enterprise Solution Platforms” using Open Standards, Web 2.0 next generation technologies and Open Source Frameworks providing end-to-end solutions to business problems. India‟s First Global Open Source Integration Company We are Indias First Global Open Source Integration Company providing business solutions in areas of Content & Knowledge Management, Web2.0 Collaboration and Business Intelligence powered by our unique open source „Platforming‟ expertise.INDIA OFFICE: UK OFFICE:InfoAxon Technologies Ltd. InfoAxon Technologies UK Ltd.H-189, Sector-63, Building A, Trinity Court,Electronic City, Wokingham Road,NODIA-201307, U.P Bracknell, Berkshire RG42 1PL,India United KingdomPhone: +91 120 4798937 Phone: +44 1344 668000Fax: + 91 120 4350065 Fax: +44 1344 668148Website: | Blog: | E-mail: contactus@infoaxon.comSlideshare: | Facebook: