Founded in 1977, Focus On The Family is a global nonprofit Christian ministry dedicated to helping families thrive.
Focus On The Family receives donation-related data from multiple sources in different formats including delimited, Excel, and fixed-length files, as well as printed text and PDF reports. The data often contains duplicates, missing, and incorrect information such as inconsistently formatted names and addresses, missing addresses, etc. This data must be cleansed and reconciled with existing donor data before loading into the operational system. The IT team wanted to shorten their testing time and minimize the risk of integrating new, potentially incorrect data. Previously, they had been working with a multi-week to multi-month turnaround when building ad hoc integration solutions and needed an ETL tool that would deliver consistency, flexibility, speed, and accuracy.
The integration process needed to meet the organization’s requirements was fairly complex and involved a series of steps and transformations that included receiving and decrypting data files, validating, cleansing, transforming, and onboarding data. Additionally, all data had to be reconciled to ensure that no records were inadvertently omitted. In the past, the Company’s IT team had used SQL Server Integration Service (SSIS) jobs and others to attempt to meet their needs. SSIS, decidedly a programmer’s tool, proved difficult to learn and use and did not provide the required flexibility and agility to meet the goals of rapid turnaround time and data quality.
Enter Astera Centerprise
Focus on the Family selected Centerprise for its ability to meet their specific needs as well as its superior usability, completeness of features, and performance.
Astera Centerprise is a high-performance, scalable data management platform that allows businesses to meet today’s advanced business needs. Powered by an enterprise-grade parallel-processing engine, Centerprise offers data extraction, transformation, integration, and data warehousing all through a single platform.
To ensure that the selected product met its requirements, Focus on the Family’s data management team designed a “Technology Bake-Off” that required all potential vendors to prove the applicability of their product in a live demo. At the end of these evaluations, Centerprise was selected because it was the only product that met all the organization’s key requirements by demonstrating how the customer would be able to implement complex dataflows using a drag-and-drop interface.
“Centerprise is an ‘all in one,’ highly intuitive tool with a unified interface. It has given us speed, accuracy, and flexibility—features that those other solutions didn’t give us.”
– Kris Birdyshaw, Sr. Systems Analyst, IT
Focus on the Family tested Centerprise’s ability with complex data integration projects. Within 30 days of starting the project, key integration jobs were developed, tested, and deployed successfully. The organization reports increased customer satisfaction, which they attributed to quick turnaround and improved data quality. Over time, Focus On The Family has been steadily expanding its use of Centerprise’s integration capabilities to other business areas. They were pleased to discover that they could perform many complex tasks as well as print data flows, enabling greater communication throughout their team and donors.
Focus On The Family is a global nonprofit Christian ministry dedicated to helping families thrive.
Focus on the Family used Centerprise to quickly and easily extract, cleanse, and onboard donor data.
Centerprise has resulted in a significantly faster turnaround time for Focus on the Family and an increased customer satisfaction.
“IT is no longer the backlog area preventing things from getting out the door. Our business customers’ trust has gone up because they can quickly receive what they need since our hands aren’t tied due to budget and technology constraints.”
– June Ebell, Technical Data Steward
Over and above the many positive changes they have seen in their business, the IT team simply enjoys using Centerprise. “We absolutely love the product, it’s just so fun to work with,” said Ebell.