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As a data analyst for the Nationale-Nederlanden Investment Partners (NNIP), the sole asset manager for the Nationale-Nederlanden (NN) group, one of the largest insurance companies in the Netherlands, I need to ensure that our operational teams have the data they need to meet strict deadlines while remaining in compliance with the usual regulations that govern this industry.

This has not always been easy.

Our Legacy Data Warehouse

For many years, we have been successfully delivering data via a traditional data warehouse, but recently, we found that using this infrastructure, we have not been able to keep up with the demands of our operational teams, who needed to be able to access larger and larger volumes of data, more and more quickly. This is partly because of all the replication that was needed, just to move the data into the warehouse. This simply took time, which was becoming scarce.

Also, between our data warehouse and our reporting environment, we found ourselves having to perform extensive transformations to the data, sometimes manually, which further restricted our agility. Our data warehouse had a very rigid connection to the data sources, so that any change in the data sources required some coding and testing on the back end.

Taking Data Virtualization for a Spin

To solve these problems, we began to explore different data virtualization tools. We began by trying out the Denodo Platform for a six-month proof-of-concept using all of our business use cases. When that was completed, we didn’t try any of the other tools on our list, because the Denodo Platform was already solving all our problems. So we implemented the Denodo Platform as an enterprise-wide data abstraction layer. Unlike our data warehouse, it de-couples the business data from the individual sources. If a user needs data that is stored across multiple sources, the user doesn’t need to know about that.

We wanted to simplify our data landscape, and the Denodo Platform played a pivotal role in enabling us to do that. With the Denodo Platform, we have dramatically reduced replication, and our data infrastructure is much more agile, so now we can better meet the needs of our operational teams.

Seamless Collaboration

Also, the Denodo Platform is so easy to use, it streamlines a lot of our work. We’re now using it for prototyping, which was never easy before. Because the Denodo Platform accelerates data access, our IT team can work together with business users. We can quickly show them what we’re building, and we can work iteratively; this way we can make sure that what we end up building exactly matches what the business needs.

Below is a video in which I was able to tell the NNIP story:

To learn more about how companies are leveraging data virtualization across numerous industries, see the collection of Denodo case studies.

Piyush Pandey
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