How EC Integrators helped the Australian Red Cross Blood Service to manage Australia’s life-giving blood supplies through a new Business Intelligence system
The Australian Red Cross Blood Service (ARCBS) provides quality blood products, tissues and related services for the benefit of the community. In 2005-2006, the ARCBS became fully-funded by State and Federal governments. In order to continue to receive operational funding, ARCBS is required to provide detailed reporting to the National Blood Authority (NBA).
The Business Challenge
The need to comply with the NBA’s reporting requirements, with a whole new reporting regime required to be in place presented difficulties that were unlikely to be overcome by existing ARCBS systems. It was then operating an inadequate Data Warehouse with most reporting based on Microsoft Excel, which resulted in reporting inconsistencies across different states. It was difficult for untrained users to generate their own reports or perform data analysis, and dependency on the IS team to build reports had resulted in a significant backlog of report requests.
ARCBS recognised it needed a new Business Intelligence system and Data Warehouse which would offer the flexibility and scalability to enable the organisation to report to the NBA in an accurate and timely manner. Not having the in-house skills to build a new Data Warehouse, ARCBS also recognised it needed to bring in expert help.
ARCBS went to tender for provision of a new Corporate Information Management and reporting system, selecting EC Integrators (ECI) as offering the best overall proposition from the responses received.
The first stage of the project was to develop a strategy and roadmap for the Corporation Information Management system, which would also define its role in supporting ARCBS’s corporate governance and reporting requirements. ECI accomplished this first stage within six weeks – on time and on budget – and were then engaged to deliver on the proposed strategy.
ECI conducted the analysis and design process in several phases:
– a Business Discovery Phase, which involved detailed interviews with key users and ARCBS stakeholders to understand their current challenges and expected future reporting and data analysis needs;
– defining the proposed Data Architecture and specifications for the new Data Warehouse; and
– creating Source-to-Target Mappings to define the ARCBS’s data sources, the business rules to be deployed, how the data was to be mapped to the new system and specification of the load logic.
The Business Results
The entire project spanned 13 months and involved 13,000 hours of effort. Importantly, seven key reports for delivering business information to the NBA were developed and successfully delivered.
The new ARCBS Business Intelligence system has done more than just enable compliance with the NBA’s reporting regime. ARCBS’s Business Intelligence & Enterprise Data Manager, Paul Stewart says “we are making better business decisions with the support of evidence-based business information.”
Paul also has the following praise for ECI. “Their personal focus on the project ensured any issues encountered were dealt with quickly and effectively. ECI reduced the risk of the entire project by delivering on time and on budget.”
ECI has since been engaged to assist with the next phases of the ARCBS Business Intelligence projects, involving an on-going program of data integration. ECI has also been involved in several other ARCBS projects as a result of the success of the first phase of ARCBS’s Business Intelligence system.