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Assessing ETL process for risk reduction and on-going management

Updated: Nov 14, 2022

Fortune 50 Telecommunications Company

Enterprise Information Management

The Extract Transform Load (ETL) process is one of the key functions that the NorthStar Data Management and Business Intelligence Center of Excellence is responsible for on a daily basis. Within each ETL, disparate data needs to be consumed, massaged, and loaded into SQL tables for reporting and querying purposes by the business. Data integrity is paramount and vital to businesses for decision making and overall confidence. “The source of truth…” is a phrase which lends itself to validity and reinforces the need for diligence and responsibility surrounding the data.

To accomplish this, ETL processes need to run efficiently and with a high rate of success. Troubleshooting issues that occur within the ETL process needs to be engaged with the proper sense of urgency, accompanied by effective communication back to the business, regarding the issues, ETA’s and their impact. Ultimately, once an ETL completes, the process does not end there, as a QA procedure must follow to ensure that the data which has been loaded, is indeed accurate. The NorthStar Data Management and Business Intelligence COE was tasked with taking over numerous ETL processes for a Fortune 50 Communications Company. These processes would now need to be managed, maintained and modified by NorthStar and the prospect of new/additional ETL processes would also need to be accounted for.

The first step in any NorthStar engagement is to build a strong relationship with the business and work to understand their needs and identify any issues or obstacles preventing them from reaching their goals. With key resources departing, a mandate was set to provide a seamless transition of ETL ownership to NorthStar in order to continue delivering timely and accurate data to the business. Utilizing, NorthStar’s vast knowledge of industry standard Business Intelligence tools and techniques, each ETL job was scrutinized in order to understand purpose, functionality, and performance followed by further inspection to determine possible refinements/improvements. Each process was thoroughly documented to provide a “starting place” for troubleshooting and quick reference purposes. Building this structure allowed for exposure and transparency for those involved and developed a methodology for future development.

Metrics We're Proud Of:

  • 85% or more of the ETL processes were still under single ownership with one ETL ending and two others migrated to a server, now managed by the SQL team.

  • 100% of all the ETLs under single ownership required modifications at least once, some with complete rewrites, others with enhancements, including more effective design/notation; none remained static.

  • 100% of the time, QA processes, ETL issues, modifications and business communications (when necessary), remain handled or initiated by the single owner.

The Results:

As a result of trusting NorthStar as their Business Intelligence experts, the client was able to achieve a seamless transition of their ETL processes. NorthStar continues to provide support for existing processes as well as new development as business needs evolve. The client’s confidence in the NorthStar team is evident in the positive interactive relationship enjoyed by both parties.

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