2016 in Review: The Year’s Best Blog Posts

AvatarJanuary 16, 2017

2016 was an exciting year of growth at InfoCepts. Data continues to grow at an exponential rate, and smart companies are finding more and more ways to put that data to use in improving every aspect of their business, from sales and marketing to finance and operations. We are proud of the work we do to help companies gain insight from their data.


In addition to the important work we do on behalf of our clients, we like to educate fellow industry followers along the way and share our team’s wisdom by publishing blog posts on a regular basis. With that in mind, we thought we’d round up some of our most popular tips and business insights that appeared on our blog over this past year.


How to Ensure a Successful Data Migration: 6 Critical Validation Tests
Defining an effective and efficient data migration strategy is critical to a project’s overall success. Make sure you’re ready to move forward with our six recommended tests.

Read more.


Using Data-Driven Geospatial Analysis to Optimize the Location of New ATMs in the Banking Industry
Find out how financial institutions can use business intelligence data to locate new ATMs and maximize their investment.

Read more.


Using Search to Simplify Business Intelligence
Complex underlying data can negatively impact the BI user experience, but simplifying search results can help reduce confusion.

Read more.


Simplify Media Planning and Boost Ad Revenue with a MicroStrategy Media Planning Report
Discover how to reduce the challenges associated with managing ad creative by using database-generated reports to improve visibility into the ad placement process.

Read more.


Use Real-Time Data to Make Personalized and Timely Offers
Learn how credit card data gathered in real time can be used to help businesses target customers in a new and engaging way.

Read more.


Gathering Real-Time Energy Intelligence from the Industrial Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly evolving and being adopted across industries. Find out how it has transformed energy delivery.

Read more.


Analytical Deep-Dive Provides Insights On Bonus Content For Multinational Media Company
Tracking bonus content from various streaming providers and getting actionable data has been a challenge in the past — but data visualization tools have changed the game.

Read more.


Thanks for following us over the past year, and we look forward to sharing even more insights with you in 2017. For more ideas from InfoCepts, check out our case studies.


The Best Business Intelligence Blog Posts of 2015

AvatarFebruary 2, 2016

Globally, the business intelligence and analytics software market is predicted to grow from $17.9 billion in 2014 to nearly $27 billion by 2019. The key players will continue to include MicroStrategy, Oracle, Informatica and Teradata, and there are a host of newer technologies developed in the last several years which have impacted the future of BI and analytics.


From technologies for complex event processing such as Hadoop, Apache Spark and Shark, NoSQL and the very much debated and discussed Internet of Things (IoT), the landscape of BI and analytics is changing rapidly.


To help you stay abreast of new ways to best use these tools and technologies in 2016, we’ll continue to provide resources and share insights to help you get your money’s worth in automation, reporting, and analysis. Our portfolio of the best blog posts from 2015 contains a great deal of worthwhile information for you to explore before kicking off the New Year.


External-Facing BI Apps: Toward a More User-Friendly Navigation
BI apps for outside audiences call for a user-friendly navigation. How can you overcome the navigational challenges of generic external-facing BI apps? Read more.


Why Automating Pass-Through Mapping Cuts Costs and Time
Pass-through mapping automation can save you time and money. Find out how it works — and how it helps. Read more.


External-Facing BI Apps: Why Prompts Make or Break User Experience
This post from our series on external-facing BI apps explores challenges and solutions to developing effective prompts. Read more.


Using MicroStrategy Transaction Services and Automation to Achieve a Simple Multitenant User Management Interface
Learn how we used MicroStrategy Transaction Services and automation to overcome user management challenges. Read more.


External-Facing BI Apps: Overcome Common Layout Challenges
Creating an effective layout for your external-facing BI app requires a solid understanding of visual elements. Here, we share tips. Read more.


Use Automation to Better Manage BI Software Licenses and Versions
If you run multiple BI tools across many servers, you know the challenges of tracking software licenses & version information. Learn how automation helps. Read more.


External-Facing BI Apps: Customize Your App for a Global Audience
Adding custom i18n features to external-facing BI apps is a long, complex process. Here, two time-saving tips to prepare your application for a global audience. Read more.


External-Facing BI Apps: Improve Usability with Interactive Features
In part five of our blog series on external-facing BI apps, we explore challenges and solutions to creating a more interactive user experience. Read more.


Thanks for spending another exciting year with us. Please visit the Resources section of our website to learn more about the many tools and guides we have available. We look forward to sharing more insights in 2016.

Automation: Key to a Faster Clean Up of Orphan and Unused Objects in Informatica

AvatarNovember 23, 2015

Orphan and unused objects are a major headache for most developers. Despite best efforts to keep the data environment clean, no company is immune to orphan and unused objects.

What puts companies at risk? During the development phase, it’s not uncommon for a developer to forget to delete child objects that aren’t used in parent files, or to delete a mapping and be left with orphan sources and targets unassociated with any other mapping. Other times, a developer might intentionally choose not to delete objects, thinking they may be needed in the future. But over time, as the objects remain unused, no one remembers why they exist.

Getting rid of your repository’s orphan objects is a tedious, time-consuming process — yet integral to the success of your operation. Unfortunately, many developers overlook or ignore the issue for as long as possible, despite the best practice of a quarterly clean-up of orphan objects in an active development environment. When this happens, the metadata eventually becomes too large and cluttered, slowing down the repository’s performance and adding to your overall development time. The accumulation of unused and orphan objects also makes it difficult to understand how the database objects work together, leading some developers to spend time fixing and maintaining objects that are not even used.

The Standard Approach to Orphan Clean Up
Even when it’s clear that unused and orphan objects are interfering with your repository’s performance, orphan clean up isn’t a task many of us want to undertake. While Informatica offers some tools to help, clean-up is still a manual, lengthy process with multiple steps. These include:

  • Identifying orphans and unused objects – Developers must go to the repository and identify all orphan and unused objects. Depending on how many exist and the size of the metadata, this process can be quite cumbersome.
  • Creating a backup of all orphans and unused objects – Once the orphans and unused objects are identified, a backup of each object must be created.
  • Deleting orphans and unused objects – Deleting the orphans is a step-by-step, manual process. A script can be created for the deletion process to automate this step somewhat, but writing a script requires additional time.
  • Verifying that unused objects don’t have dependencies – Once the clean-up process is complete, the database should be checked to ensure that all objects deleted were not associated and that the database is functioning correctly.

A Better Way: Automation
To help make the cleanup of orphans and unused objects in Informatica less painful and time-consuming, our team at InfoCepts developed a way to automate the entire clean-up process in any Windows-based Informatica environment. To start the process, you first need to set up the parameters for the clean-up. Typically, this includes:

  • Name of the domain
  • Metadata repository details
  • Credentials to connect
  • Control file
  • Specifying the location to store backup files

Once these parameters are set, our solution is applied to the environment, enabling the remaining steps to be automated, including:

  • Identifying orphans
  • Generating a list of orphan objects
  • Creating a backup XML file
  • Deleting orphans
  • Cross verification of unused objects to ensure the objects don’t have dependencies

With our automated solution in place, developers can complete the clean-up process at an 80 percent faster rate than they can with the standard manual process. In addition, the simplicity of the solution increases the chance of adopting and sticking with the best practice of a quarterly clean up.

Eliminating unused and orphan objects from the repository can have a significant impact on your repository’s overall performance. It can also reduce maintenance hassles, make your database easier to navigate, reduce the need to fix unused objects, and allow your development team to work more efficiently.

Want to learn more about how InfoCepts can automate the clean-up of orphan and unused objects in your metadata? Find specs and details in the Informatica Marketplace.