The information you need to deal with is only going to get bigger and more complex. One of the biggest challenges you face – and it’s intrinsic to every aspect of your organisation – is how to get the data right.
For more than 20 years we’ve been at the vanguard of data management, developing data solutions to today’s problems while pre-empting tomorrow’s challenges.
As one client said, ‘You’ve shown us the future and given us solutions to problems we hadn’t even thought about. We didn’t know the technology existed to do things in a different way.’
In the midst of the tech boom, we began providing consultancy services to help organisations make strategic use of new technologies. It became clear that effective data management was a common denominator across our clients, and this drove our focus in the coming years.
In our quest to deliver more value for less cost – and to achieve maximum quality and robustness for our solutions – we recognised that the only real option was to develop systems that automatically built code faster and more reliably than developers could themselves.
Due to their sheer size and complexity, data management solutions had one of the most compelling needs for improved developer efficiency gains. We therefore made the strategic decision to focus on the development of data warehouse-specific utilities to increase developer productivity and deliver greater value to clients.
Work commenced to evolve our suite of Rapid Application Development Tools into a commercial product – Data Academy. This was in recognition of and in response to the many organisations that wanted to build their data warehouse themselves rather than outsource development.
We decided to provide all these developer utilities as a ‘shrink-wrapped’ product, enabling and empowering organisations to develop data warehouse solutions in-house faster and better than they could with just SQL Server.
This would become a strategic and pivotal point in Insource’s history.
After 4 years of concept design, blue-sky thinking, R&D, trial and error, we launched a project to create an architectural design, methodology and project approach to enable the development of productised data warehouse products using Data Academy as the development platform.
We chose the NHS as the market to test these concepts, as we saw this sector had some of the world’s most difficult scenarios and complex data. If it worked in healthcare, it would work in all industries.
After exhaustive R&D, we achieved a design to meet the requirements for a data warehouse product. It enabled architectural standardisation of data warehouse and data management solutions.
This marked the creation of a single code-based product that can be deployed in any acute hospital to work with any data source and present data via any choice of reporting tool.
It could be fully configured to meet all local requirements and nuances of operation while maintaining a single, standard code base.
We reverse engineered the architectural designs of our acute health data warehouse product to create a standard for data warehouse design. This became the Data Space Frame architectural design.
Data Space Frame evolved into a complete set of documented design principles, methodologies and standards. These design standards enabled any organisation in any sector to create data management products that can be ‘built once, deployed many’. Products created using Data Space Frame are locally configurable and infinitely expandable while maintaining the single code base core.
After 4 years in feasibility and planning – and thanks to the maturity of the Data Academy development suite, our increase in knowledge and extensive R&D – we commenced work on a software application to manage the process of building and releasing productised data warehouses.
This was the first module in the Product Manager Suite for Data Academy.
Data Space Frame evolved from a documented methodology to a full, integrated, software-based design aid, which we incorporated into Product Manager.
Our BI-focused data warehouse for acute trusts became a data preparation engine and was renamed Acute Health Data Enterprise. Acute Health Data Enterprise continues to deliver a single version or single source of the truth via a Unified Data Layer.
The introduction of a Unified Data Layer expanded the use of data from just analytics and reporting to many other functions and applications that require a source of good quality, accurate data in large volumes.
We had long recognised the opportunity and need to use data from a data warehouse for purposes other than reporting and analytics.
In order to simplify access to data for non-BI purposes, we made major changes to Data Academy to enable it to generate a Unified Data Layer – a single source to access all your trusted, certified and auditable data; a single version of the truth; a data source for multiple purposes.
This provided functionality that went beyond conventional data warehouse automation products. Data Academy now incorporated another emerging technology: pioneering ‘data preparation’ or ‘data prep’.
With the availability of a Unified Data Layer, we opened up the opportunity to provide line-of-business applications that require large amounts of quality, certified data to function.
We launched an initiative to enable healthcare providers to meet a key operational challenge that’s dependent on being data confident – management of RTT and patient pathways. This solution platform became Patient Pathway Plus.
Our flagship solution platform, Acute Health Data Enterprise, which we built entirely using Data Academy, became the showcase for Data Academy’s unprecedented capability to enable others to build equivalent data management solutions in any industry sector or vertical market.
The need for evidence, governance and information relating to data is constantly increasing to meet legislative and corporate requirements – and this applies equally to the public and private sectors.
In order to address this simply, we added full auditing and data lineage capability to our development platforms and our solution platforms. Automated data quality reports based on client-configurable custom rules, together with self-documentation, opened up a new world – ‘data about your data’ and ‘trusted data from your data’.
After 4 years of extensive R&D, testing and evolution as an in-house suite of applications, Product Manager has been extended and expanded over and above its original concept.
It will become a complete software engineering facility suite to complement Data Academy – it will manage and control the design, development, componentisation, version control, enhancement, release and distribution of data management software.
Version 1 will be released to the Data Academy community as the next ground-breaking development, and will further revolutionise the standard for data management projects.
We’ve led the technology wave in the development of data warehouse automation, automated data preparation and the productisation of data management solutions. We’ve achieved a number of ‘world firsts’, and our clients have consistently achieved breakthroughs and ‘firsts’ in their data management achievements.
Clients will continue to benefit exponentially from our strategic data management platforms. We’ll continue to invest in breaking new ground to bring you the benefits of new technology developments.