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Next stage of data integration

Data integration software could save New Jersey $8 million when it is deployed by 15 state agencies to provide more consistent budgeting and financial information.

New Jersey has implemented Ascential Software’s DataStage XE solution to integrate data from four different mainframe computers and replace more than 100 hand-coded data extraction programs. The state has saved $500,000 in IT development costs during deployment in just one agency, the Office of Budget and Management, according to a press release from Ascential. Eventually the solution will be enhanced and deployed to another 14 agencies.

"For years, departments asked for access to integrated information," says Daniel Paolini, director of Data Management Services for the New Jersey Office of Information Technology. "Because we have such a wide array of systems and hundreds of disparate data sources, we simply couldn't afford to do it. (The software) solves this problem by automating the entire extraction process--a task that our consultants estimated would have taken twice as many developers three times as long if we did it ourselves using traditional tools."

The solution, which was deployed in November 2001, is said to be essential to the state's two-year-old data warehousing initiative—the goal of which is to integrate enterprise data in a single environment to eliminate traditional data silos. The system also reduces the state's data extraction routine from a three-hour weekend batch process to a 30-minute daily task that can handle a much larger volume of information. The system's reusability and business intelligence features allow the state to create budgeting, personnel and other reports immediately, rather than having to wait several weeks in the past.

"We're much more efficient," says Paolini. "Before, each agency's IT department began every project without being able to check if another department already collected the required information. Using DataStage XE, we are able to leverage the full value of our information assets from every department for every application, so we can deliver better service to our agencies and the constituents who depend on their services.

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