Sunset Transportation improves real-time decision-making
Sunset’s clients needed a self-service environment that enabled them to understand their full transportation history and make real-time decisions to keep shipping costs down.
St. Louis, Missouri
Transportation and Logistics
ibi data and analytics platform; Snowflake adapter
Sunset Transportation offers logistics management and brokerage services in conjunction with freight audit and payment services.
Sunset Transportation’s analytics needs were expanding, but its existing business intelligence (BI) platform lacked the enterprise capabilities needed to take client analytics to the next level. “Our previous solution didn’t have the capabilities we needed for scalable, customer-facing, and on-demand analytics,” says Todd Burdell, director of Business Operations at Sunset Transportation. “We leverage a lot of internal and external data, and we needed a robust analytics platform that could be embedded into a larger application.”
Specifically, the company needed to empower customers by providing a self-service environment with a complete view of order data, in-transit tracking information, and shipping metrics.
Sunset leverages a new analytics portal built on the analytics platform from ibi, a TIBCO company, in Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud. The environment combines order data, in-transit tracking information, and shipping metrics into a self-service environment that empowers clients to not only understand their full transportation history, but also make real-time decisions to keep shipping costs down.
ibi Cloud, ibi’s own AWS offering supports many of the services available on AWS, including EC2, S3, Athena, Redshift, and auto-scaling. The result is a comprehensive, on-demand platform for analytics and data management that does not need to be installed, integrated, or maintained – and there is no need to engage multiple vendors.
ibi Professional Services also helped Sunset deploy a Snowflake data warehouse, and then created extract, transform, and load (ETL) processes to load transportation data, financial data, and freight audit and payment data. The consultants set up the database tables and created ETL processes with ibi’s DataMigrator tool, part of the ibi data platform.
As transactions are committed to Sunset’s Microsoft SQL Server database, the data also flows directly into the data warehouse, enabling portal users to view them almost immediately. A native Snowflake adapter ensures outstanding performance and efficiency for ibi analytics platform queries.
LOGIK, Sunset’s customer-facing portal, recently launched with two dashboards: Shipment Metrics and Live In-Transit. The Shipment Metrics dashboard displays financial metrics, such as spending and volume by shipment mode. The Live In-Transit dashboard plots shipment data on an interactive map, enabling customers to monitor shipments from origin to destination.
These dashboards allow Sunset’s clients to drill down to line-item details for every shipment, in every mode. It’s easy to monitor location details, costs, and commodity information on detailed tracking maps.
“ibi did a great job of creating the ETL procedures and unifying the data,” Burdell says. “In addition, Snowflake is perfect for Sunset; we don’t have to throw IT resources at it or hire a database administrator to make sure the database is balanced, updated, and scaled to support a growing load.
“We are accessing data directly from our Snowflake data warehouse as well as from a traditional relational database management system (RDBMS), and consuming external data through RESTful APIs. WebFOCUS also features strong integration with Esri for digital mapping. In transportation, that’s huge.”
Now, rather than spending time planning, deploying, and maintaining database infrastructure, Burdell and his team can focus on projects that move the business forward, such as creating and enhancing the analytics portal that will increasingly differentiate the company in the future.
WebFOCUS [part of ibi’s analytics platform] has advanced functionality to create our own content, establish our own designs, and visualize data with advanced metrics and charts.”
Director, Business Operations
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