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It Takes One to Know One

“Gal, we’ve got an all-hands-on-deck situation here.” This is what my former manager told me just as we were about to embark on what would be the most frustrating few months of my career. I had been a BI developer at a large Israeli telecom company back in 2010. Someone discovered a bug in one of our system’s applications that was generating hundreds of false Subscriber Generated Keys (GK) — customer identification numbers, which basically meant our system was inventing fictitious customer accounts. If we didn’t address this, GK fields would hit maximum character capacity pretty quickly, and we would see loads of inaccurate reporting, invoicing issues and failed processes. It would be a total mess.

Sure enough, ten of us from BI were put on mapping out where the faulty GK field was located in order to fix this thing and gauge the potential damage. We sat on the entire BI system for months – manually tracing, mapping, comparing the metadata journey, looking into all the databases, all the reports, all the different systems, all the ETL processes, trying to understand impact analysis and root cause analysis. It was insanely tedious – especially in ETL with the tens of thousands of maps to sift through and trying to distinguish between all the different widgets.

We were a team of 4 doing the initial mapping full-time for four months, with another 6 supporting us. Once we completed the initial mapping phase, we had to do spend another few months double and triple checking to make sure we hadn’t missed anything.

With metadata scattered throughout so many different databases, the work was cumbersome and it was really complicated to search for anything. Why wasn’t there a quicker and more simple way for BI groups to locate and understand metadata? Our lives would be so much easier if there were a centralized repository for all metadata across the entire BI landscape and a search engine that made it easy to find what you need, when you need it. My colleague Itai and I developed Octopai to do just this.

Metadata discovery made easy

Octopai is an automated, cross-platform metadata search engine that enables BI groups to quickly and precisely discover and govern shared metadata. You can literally just google the metadata you need and within 5 seconds you’re given an accurate, clear map of the data journey. It’s magical, really.

Octopai dramatically increases productivity and shortens time to market, while reducing risks incurred by inaccurate data. BI groups can finally forget about wasting time and resources on manual mapping. All metadata is now centralized in one place.

I shudder when I think back to those few months “on deck” and am glad to know that Octopai is empowering BI groups everywhere and enabling the business to move faster.

Try Us to see for yourself.

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