A large State Information Technology Office customer of Big Compass received increased demand for data access and analytics.
Many of the IT Office’s customers wanted the ability to utilize data for their various initiatives, including business intelligence and data visualization projects. This increased demand on the IT Office to supply data visualization data solutions. At the time, the IT Office did not have a repeatable framework in place to fulfill these requests, and they wanted to prevent a “reinvent the wheel” approach to each new request.
The IT Office’s API First integration approach also influenced the direction of the IT Office solution. They needed a standardized framework for establishing data sources for Tableau that would populate data, baseline sets, and updates to the various data sources, without the substantial investment (and programming) required for traditional business intelligence tools.
Big Compass worked with the customer to devise a strategy and develop a solution that utilized the MuleSoft Anypoint Platform, Tableau, and existing customer tools. The solution uses a two-phase approach for creating and updating Tableau data sources: an initial data load and ongoing updates.
The two-phase approach is a hybrid architecture, utilizing both the IT Office ETL (Extract, Transform, and Load) infrastructure (depending on the volume of data) and the recent IT Office initiative of API First integration architecture. This approach helps the IT Office utilize existing integration assets.
Once the data source is created using the ETL processes, upsert processes use new, existing, or enhanced APIs developed using MuleSoft Anypoint Platform to keep the data sources current. These data sources are then utilized for data visualization using Tableau.
The hybrid, two-phased approach enabled the customer to rapidly populate Tableau data sources and demonstrate the success of a hybrid approach (traditional methods and APIs). Ongoing and future demands for data access are now satisfied with this established framework.
The hybrid architecture permits the IT Office to respond to increasing customer requests for Tableau data sources rapidly. The ease and effectiveness of the IT Office approach also validated the effectiveness of the API-first infrastructure approach.
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