Existing analytical systems and applications that were used by the Lottery of Slovenia were outdated and needed renewal. The change of the transactional system also contributed to a partial renovation of IT infrastructure and modernization of architecture, therefore Lottery of Slovenia decided to thoroughly revise the analytical environment, as employees wanted to work with new technologies and applications.
The Lottery of Slovenia (Loterija Slovenije) permanently organizes classical games of chance, governed by the Act on Gambling. By enabling socially responsible gambling, the company follows a certain balance. A balance between expectations and wishes of the players and the prevention of addiction and the protection of vulnerable groups. The Lottery of Slovenia has a concession for gambling, for which it regularly pays concession fees. Since this is a regulated activity the company, reports its business to partners and regulators on a local and European level. The company creates transparent solutions and a well-organized environment with the uncompromising security of information, processes and personal data.
Challenge – processing more than a billion records
Existing analytical systems and applications that were used by the Lottery of Slovenia were outdated and needed renewal. They decided to thoroughly revise the analytical environment, as employees wanted to work with new technologies and applications. Changing the transactional system also contributed to a partial renovation of IT infrastructure and modernization of architecture in their headquarters. The database of the Lottery of Slovenia already consists of more than a billion records.
Solution – Exasol proves itself in the most demanding environments
The change of the transaction system caused many changes in the analytical environment, and the renovation was entrusted to a specialized analytical solutions provider CRMT. In addition to the modernization of the data warehouse and the inclusion of changed data sources, the Lottery of Slovenia also changed manual procedures for gathering and processing data. They have modernized its data warehouse in accordance with the latest guidelines in the field of storage modeling, data retrieval, processing and storage (ETL). Processes for the preparation of reports and analysis were changed as well. The classical relational base was replaced by the Exasol analytical base which excels on the speed front.
CRMT designed and implemented new processes on the open-source integration platform Talend, the benefits of which are extremely fast and visually supported development, automatic processes documentation, and access to over 900 standard connectors for different sources and data sinks. At the same time, the Lottery of Slovenia modernized and consolidated the existing reporting system on the MicroStrategy BI platform coupled with the most advanced options for dashboards, reports creation and distribution, ad-hoc analysis, and introduced self-service analysis and distribution of reports. The new analytical environment of the company was built in two phases, with each phase lasting 3 months.
Results – more than 100 times faster reports creation
CRMT provided the analytical environment with exceptional robustness of data-related procedures (ETL), which completely eliminated the need for manual corrections of data. The analytical system automatically generates the target database code at the exact place where it is executed. Time savings in data preparation are exceptional, as is the processing itself. The specialized analytical database Exasol processes more than one billion records more than 100 times faster than the old analytical environment did. The system automatically ensures optimal operation and consequently makes work for the administrator less demanding. Consolidation and optimization of reporting have made it possible to reduce the number of reports. The company is now preparing reports faster and these are also more transparent as one interactive dashboard can replace 20 separate reports.
Innovative since 2004 – the analytical system carries out reports and analysis
Because commercial applications were not as widely available as today the Lottery of Slovenia developed its own system in 2004. CRMT experts recommended that the company transfers most of their reports, to the analytical environment. This significantly reduced the cost of the transaction system architecture since the creation of reports (programming) also amounts to most of the development costs. At the same time, both areas have to be coordinated in the development and simultaneously transferred into the production environment. The company prefers this way of creating reports, since new reports are developed significantly faster than in transactional systems. The company had maintained the same concept in the current upgraded applications as well as the analytical system. Today, all reports and analysis, with the exception of operational reporting, are derived from the new analytical system.
Conclusion – ready for the future
The new analytical environment is certainly prepared for future challenges in the field of data preparation and processing. Adding a new data source or even migration to a new platform, if such needs occur.
“The change of the analytical environment brought Lottery of Slovenia a significant improvement in the speed of the flexibility of ETL procedures, the raw speed of Exasol and new functionalities of the MicroStrategy platform. Now it has an analytical environment that is definitely ready for the future”, added Slavko Kastelic, director of sales and marketing at CRMT.