Keyrus Implements Industrial Data Integration Solution for Logistics Giant

5 Minute

Refresh periods to push new data entries to Azure environment

#1

Single version of the truth delivered & accessible by Grindrod

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Leading technology platforms used to design the solution

Background

SA’s largest mineral freight logistics company now has comprehensive visibility into its disparate third-party industrial systems. Leading business data intelligence consultancy Keyrus has integrated data from various Grindrod Terminals’ stand-alone industrial systems into the organisation’s operational data to provide a single version of the truth, accessible via dashboards and their Visibility System. The near real-time solution was designed using a range of leading technology platforms including Microsoft SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS), Azure Data Factory and Azure Cloud Storage. Tableau software is used to visualise and present the data.

Challenge

Grindrod’s Terminal business faced tough consolidation challenges as a result of a number of fit-for-purpose, but independent industrial proprietary applications. These provide bespoke services for the vastly different areas of its business recording data from train and truck weighbridges, as well as from rail tippler equipment. The challenge, however, was to bring this data together to provide a holistic and integrated view of the data to enable business decision making. The solution leverages cloud-based technology to address the disparate geographic locations and also to provide visibility to the data from any location.

Approach

The ability of modern technology to solve business challenges lies at the heart of the way Keyrus operates. SSIS, a component Microsoft’s SQL Server database software, was adopted to build a high-performance data integration solution for Grindrod. This pushes the data at a set frequency, only moving new data records. The integration package that was installed on a central server at Richards Bay, for example, finds any new rows of data every five minutes and pushes that to the Azure environment. All data is now also protected from on-site equipment failures. Azure Data Factory is used for all Grindrod’s integration touchpoints. It is here that data undergoes further transformation and is matched back to the master data stored in the organisation’s overarching application, Falcon, also designed by Keyrus.

Key results

01
Ensured all data was transformed into one, consistent format that could be pushed to the central, cloud-based data warehouse that was set up for Grindrod
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All data is now also protected from on-site equipment failures, with visibility into what data is moving and when. If anything fails, alerts for action are triggered
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The solution is flexible and cost effective, capable of expanding to include any future third-party systems while ensuring that cloud resources aren’t shared by too many pipelines

Benefits

The solution boasts a flexible architecture, capable of expanding to include any future third-party systems. It is also cost-effective as data integration flows are planned to ensure cloud resources are not shared by too many pipelines trying to execute at any one time. Grindrod now also benefits from centralised visibility into what data is moving and when. If anything fails, alerts for action are triggered.

What our clients say

> "The experts at Keyrus made clever use of a combination of sophisticated technology and back-to-basics tools to consolidate our disparate data into a central, cloud-based data warehouse"

Bronwyn Burdis, Data and Analytics Manager, Grindrod Terminals

Technology partners

Tableau Software

As a leading analytics platform, Tableau offers visual analytics with powerful AI, data management, and collaboration. From individuals to organizations of all sizes, customers around the world use Tableau’s advanced analytics to fuel impactful, data-driven decisions. Tableau Software was acquired by Salesforce in 2019.

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