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Idaho-based airline uses analytics to access and share insights



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Empire Airlines has implemented an analytics solution to deliver real-time data and insights to employees. The passenger and cargo airline, based in Idaho, operates more than 12 scheduled cargo flights per day in 18 states and Canada.

As business grew and operations became more complex, senior managers at the airline wanted to acquire a software platform to bolster business intelligence, analytics and reporting capabilities. They envisioned a bundled platform that could support other business functions as well, including e-mail, a domain controller and a terminal server to support workers at remote locations.

After researching their options, company officials chose the Scale Analytics Appliance, which combines Information Builders’ WebFOCUS Business User Edition with Scale Computing technology. The business intelligence and analytics appliance addresses a broad range of needs from data preparation and integration to self-service reporting and data discovery.

Melanie Ellingson, director of IT at Empire Airlines, says, “The Scale Analytics Appliance, and its embedded instance of WebFOCUS, has everything we need for reporting, BI and analytics—along with essential functionality to run our business. We are very pleased with what we have been able to accomplish with this appliance in a short period of time. We now have one set of BI tools to analyze all types of data. The appliance was easy to set up and it contains powerful alerting capabilities that we plan to use extensively for monitoring our key performance indicators.”

Previously, Empire Airlines used Microsoft Excel spreadsheets to monitor its maintenance repair overhaul (MRO) contracts. Now authorized personnel can click into a WebFOCUS analytics application, or InfoApp, to sort, summarize and visualize MRO data by client, plane, work order, time frame, part and other variables. InfoApps deliver interactive analytics content, such as data visualizations, charts, graphs and reports through an “app store-like” experience, according to Information Builders.

An unintended benefit of the Scale Analytics Appliance has been the ability to use the data being generated to drive organizational change at Empire Airlines. Based on detailed delay and cancellation data, the company has formed a Performance Improvement Committee that meets weekly to analyze trends and anomalies and make process recommendations based on the findings, Information Builders reports.


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