Dubai Municipality to embark on data warehouse project

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By  Published  October 6, 2006

Dubai Municipality is to create a centralised data warehouse containing statistics from its different departments using technology from Cognos and IBM.

The project will involve extracting data from disparate departmental databases and placing it into a data warehouse based on Oracle’s 10g database using IBM’s Ascential and Websphere products.

This will be supported by Cognos 8 business intelligence tools which will enable analysis of and reporting from the information.

Nasser Tufail, managing director of BSG — which distributes Cognos products in the region and which will deploy the Cognos solution for the Municipality — explained the benefits of the new system.

“The biggest benefit is being able to disseminate information to different kinds of users based on their needs,” he stated.

“You will have the operations people who need one kind of information, the senior executive management who need a very high level of summarised information to make decisions and analysts who need to observe trends and build forecast models, trends and statistical indicators,” he added.

Tufail explained that having all the statistical information from the different departments held on separate databases was causing accuracy problems, duplication of data and preventing the Municipality from creating ad hoc reports containing more detailed information.

“The problems were basically because if things changed in one system they didn’t get reflected in another,” he said.

“There were accuracy problems, redundancy, basically problems with things being replicated in multiple systems. There was no way for end-users to create ad hoc reports and you couldn’t actually go down into that information and zero in at the detailed level to look for information, or things that would not be obvious to you using a static tool.”

He added that the information to be held on the system would initially be accessible to internal users such as executive management, business analysts and operations staff. The next phase of the project, which is due to begin around the end of next year, will make information available to the public.

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