The Economical Insurance Group Human Resources and Finance Departments made the decision to implement Oracle Human Resources (HR) and Oracle Finance applications and chose to deploy both at the same time. As a Cognos customer, the company was determined to maintain their standard tools for Business Intelligence reporting. However, as the team began the task of mapping the Cognos catalogs to the Oracle applications, they realized it would take a number of weeks or even months to develop the reports required by end users from 40 to 50 various branch locations and departments throughout the company.
"We faced the classic challenges of lack of resources—time being the main one—and also the costs associated with the internal resources that would be required to develop the catalogs," said Bruce Johnstone, Manager, Actuarial Services, Management Information Systems at The Economical Insurance Group.
A recommendation from an IT staff member prompted the team to take a look at Noetix, which offered a solution to automatically create the data joins that IT otherwise was building manually. Upon further investigation, the team decided to move forward with a Noetix implementation in conjunction with the Oracle HR systems deployment.
Almost immediately after deploying Noetix, the IT department realized the advantages of Noetix’s collaborative technology and how it worked with Cognos, streamlining the views and categorizing the information in a format that made sense to an ordinary business user. "It would have been quite a challenge to work through the SQL statements behind the views in order to populate the Cognos tool," said Tim Parrow, MIS Analyst, who worked in IT at that time. Parrow estimates that Noetix saved the IT team at least six to nine months of development time on the project.
Today, The Economical Insurance Group’s four-person HR reporting team is using Noetix to respond to daily ad hoc reporting requests for information within the Oracle HR applications. The team estimates that reporting requests come from approximately 50 different end users. Typical report requests include employee personal and confidential information, salary reports, location reports, organizational reports, and other information that branches in various locations aren’t able to access within Oracle. In addition, the HR team produces monthly reports themselves such as employee anniversary dates and a new employees list.
The Economical Insurance Group has experienced successful upgrades to enterprise applications with little to no disruptions to Noetix views. "We had very good success with upgrades," said Johnstone. "The Noetix views continued to work well and all the custom reports easily made it through the transition. And it is very good to have Noetix keeping close pace with Oracle upgrades. We normally only need to regenerate our views in tandem with the upgrade."
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The Economical Insurance Group has benefited from Noetix in many ways, particularly from the time and resources saved because IT staff is not required to be as involved in building catalogs and reports as in the past. In addition, the team says that business information flows to users much more quickly, enabling the company to be more nimble and successful. "It’s hard for us to imagine what daily life would be like without the Noetix tool," said Johnstone.