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Veterans' Affairs shines light on data

The federal Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) has flagged plans to upgrade its business intelligence (BI) capabilities, going to market this week for a 700-seat solution to be implemented mid-2007. The department is responsible for implementing policy and programs to fulfil the nation's obligations to war veterans and their dependants.
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Written by Renai LeMay on

The federal Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) has flagged plans to upgrade its business intelligence (BI) capabilities, going to market this week for a 700-seat solution to be implemented mid-2007.

The department is responsible for implementing policy and programs to fulfil the nation's obligations to war veterans and their dependants. DVA has around 2,200 staff.

In tender documents released this week, DVA noted it had an existing, Cognos Series 7.3-based BI platform, but wanted to modernise its toolset to meet evolving information needs. That system was used occasionally by around 600 people, with an additional 100 using it more regularly and intensively.

DVA holds approximately 80 percent of the data relating to its major lines of business (for example, veterans' compensation and income support) in a data warehouse that has been progressively implemented since 1999. However, plans are in place to cover all of the organisation's strategic data within two years.

Overall, the new BI solution will address an enterprise warehouse of between 150 and 300 GB of data.

The department said it had plans to implement a new hardware configuration to support the data warehouse, based on IBM's AIX operating system and the vendor's p-series servers.

IBM's DB2 database (version 8.2) in data warehouse mode is also used, in addition to the SAS Institute's Enterprise Data Integration tool (version 9.1.3) and Computer Associate's Erwin data modelling software. Microsoft Active Directory is used for authentication.

DVA will select a vendor for the project in March 2007.

DVA's move comes as Australia Post has recently signed a massive 14,000 seat business intelligence contract with vendor Business Objects.

Other Australian organisations known to have current business intelligence projects going include Victoria's Department of Human Services, TAFE Tasmania, Queensland Police and Sydney Water.

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