Truckee Donner Integrates BI Across Multiple, Disparate Systems
Truckee Donner leveraged Logi to a complete cyclical workflow that includes the ability to document, review, manage, and report such critical information as every general order condition and rectification in the life of a facility.
The Truckee-Donner Public Utility District offers electric and water services in the Truckee, California area. The organization is a non-profit, publicly owned utility governed by officials elected by the registered voters of the District.
Truckee-Donner needed to comply with California regulations requiring utilities to be able to produce detailed, accurate information on every aspect of maintenance in a very short time period. The utility must record the ‘who, what, when, where, why, and how’ of everything they do, and be prepared to answer questions about specific records at any time. There are serious consequences for failure to do so. In line with Truckee-Donner’s mission, they needed to identify an effective solution at the lowest possible cost.
Truckee-Donner needed a BI solution that would allow them to mine data from a variety of data sources, handle huge amounts of data, and produce intuitive reports for a wide range of users; from field technicians to knowledge workers. Truckee-Donner required a solution that could be developed and deployed quickly and easily without requiring training for non-technical end users.
“Custom reports used to require one to two hours each. They now require mere minutes. Logi Analytics has easily saved our developers a month of work.”
Ian Fitzgerald, Geographic Information System Coordinator, Truckee-Donner PUD, selected Logi Analytics due to ease of use and agility as well as the intuitive, web-based user interface.
“We also looked at the Crystal Reports server-based reporting system which was almost too rigid. While it was great for reports, there were no dashboards, which are a crucial component. The time required to develop, run, and test our system is significant, so we looked for solutions that wouldn’t require extensive development efforts.
“We own part of the Oracle Fusion application and looked at Oracle for BI, but we found it didn’t meet a lot of our requirements, such as connecting to multiple data sources without the need to code. It was also extremely expensive.
“We looked for something reasonably priced with a development style that was based on drag-and-drop and configuration, and not code-intensive. It was important for us to be able to go in and build custom BI apps without learning new code or writing any code,” stated Mr. Fitzgerald.
The resulting system Truckee-Donner implemented encompasses a complete cyclical workflow that includes the ability to document, review, manage, and report such critical information as every general order condition and rectification in the life of a facility. Management and configuration of the system is straightforward and simple.
Mr. Fitzgerald continues, “At Truckee-Donner, we like to apply the notion of harnessing multiple technologies to simplify our work. The Logi Analytics architecture allowed for seamless embeddability and integration into other applications. This enabled us to build a single, unified system, integrating each technology’s unique capabilities.
“For example, to manage recording the many details of inspections, we merged GIS, GPS, and SOA technologies, automating the record creation process.” In past setups, inspection data often had to be filtered through database tables, cryptic and unreadable to the untrained user. Truckee-Donner needed a software interface that made deciphering the data quick, easy, and sensible. With Logi Analytics, Truckee-Donner was able to use a familiar technology like a Web browser to provide an interface to the user that was instantly recognizable and unintimidating. Running BI, BPM, and GIS engines behind the browser, the mined data is now well organized and easily decipherable, whether in a graph, table, map, or report. Diving deeper into the data is as simple as mouse clicking on a graph or table entry.
With Logi Analytics’ browser-based BI approach, a user can traverse data from multiple systems with a few mouse clicks. Starting with an inspection ticket status, they can bring up the number of tickets assigned to each user, then view tickets assigned to individual users, access the history of that ticket, map the location and, finally, assign an outstanding ticket to a utility crew as a work order.
Truckee-Donner also simplified crews’ abilities to identify tickets assigned to them, understand ticket priority level, show the tickets’ geographic location, and make vehicle-routing abilities available to minimize travel time.
Agility, Quick Integration, Easy Deployment
Mr. Fitzgerald states, “I connected to four different data sources instantaneously: Oracle, MySQL, Access, and Excel flat files. It is great to be able to have a single graph that shows data visualizations from multiple data sources, and the end user sees an attractive, seamless experience. Our solution handles a large amount of information and also has a mobile component.”
Due to Logi Analytics’ code-free development environment, Mr. Fitzgerald was able to develop and deploy everything in only four weeks as the only person working on the Logi Analytics software.
“Custom reports used to require one to two hours each and they now require mere minutes. We receive many requests per year. Logi Analytics has easily saved our developers a month of work,” stated Mr. Fitzgerald.
Rapid Response to Changes
“Because Logi Analytics is configurable, without the need for software coding, altering the program by adding a process stage, removing a retired employee, or modifying the information recorded on a work order form takes under an hour to develop and deploy. The program has also easily transcended a general order inspection program to other business cases within the utility, such as vegetation management, meter replacement, leak identification and repair, and outage damage assessments,” stated
Finally, there may be occasions when a utility must provide proof of efforts to maintain a safe electrical system. Truckee-Donner ensured this was possible by combining one-click data review and analysis of all inspections ever collected within this program, using BPM and GIS for the historical record archiving of individual locations with Logi Analytics as a front-end reporting tool. The utility can quickly and easily generate a variety of canned and ad-hoc reports.