SAS®, HP and Intel reel in the competition
The Danish Directorate of Fisheries tames a sea of data to gain upper hand in EU fishing industry
Supplying accurate and easy-to-use data on fish catches, the Danish Directorate of Fisheries (DDF) keeps Danish negotiators ahead of the game when hammering out EU regulations and quotas. The data is vast, covering fish numbers and species landed in 340 locations across Denmark. The information must be available quickly, the data accurate and the reports easy to use by control personnel, planning staff, EU negotiators and fishermen.
In the constantly shifting environment of fishing quotas, SAS and HP work together to provide super-swift number crunching in a flexible, user-friendly form. Gert Thostrup, Deputy IT Chief at the DDF, explains, "We collect data from several different sources: catch figures from vessels and fishermen; and sales notes from auctions, sales companies and other people trading fish. As the only department that compiles statistics in this area for the Danish Statistics Bureau, we need solutions that can really help us. We looked around the market and chose SAS because it is the best when working with large amounts of data."
The DDF has created a powerful system to fit its needs – a combination of SAS and a legacy transaction system, running on Intel-powered HP Integrity Servers. "We have designed a set up that suits us. We use a legacy transaction system to register in-coming data and SAS for deep data analyses on both the vertical and horizontal level."
The DDF is constantly searching for improvements. And, with SAS and HP, they are able to achieve them. Thostrup says, "If our users say response times are slow then our goal is to come up with a solution. We have to make sure we have a sufficient solution in place."
The best combination in the EU
"We are known to have some of the best data and data quality in the EU," says Thostrup. "Data quality and reporting efficiency are extremely important to us. And it is essential that we ensure that the reports we make are correct. This gives us influence in the EU when negotiating and guiding future decisions."
As well as reassuring the EU that Denmark's fishermen are within their quotas, the DDF analyses data for implicit meaning, trying to spot trends in fish species. "We have to be able to use our data to see where we'll be in two or three years' time. We can predict and solve problems before most other countries even begin looking at them. One of the ways to do this is to make systems and reports that outline patterns that no one else has seen."
Quick responses to shifting tides
Paragraph 20 in Danish law is an added pressure. If a Minister of Parliament is asked a question in Parliament, they have to come up with an answer within six working days. And if the question is related to fish, the DDF is one of main partners providing the Minister with the necessary information and answers.
Performing within budget
Thostrup says, "Our reports are used by control personnel to select the companies and vessels that they are going to inspect. We have other reports that collect certain data to help inspectors see if there are any abnormalities. Inspectors can access reports from their laptops connected via a telephone line or mobile, so they can work away from the fixed office. As with every government office, we face cost reductions and so we want to give our control, planning, and reporting personnel tools that enable them to do things themselves, better and easier."
SAS BI Server brings greater agility
Designed for functionality and adaptability, SAS BI Server provides Web-based report building and viewing in a drag and drop environment. Users don't have to be able to programme to alter parameters or add functions. With the SAS Add-in for Microsoft Office it also makes integration with Microsoft – Word, Excel and PowerPoint – more accessible and simpler to use, throughout the organization. Users make their own data requests over the Internet. The DDF inspectors can access the information and compile data analysis before they get onto a boat.
HP and Intel® Itanium® 2 processor enhances performance and reduces costs Last year, the DDF changed to HP Integrity Servers utilizing the Intel Itanium 2 processors, enabling it to take full advantage of 64-bit architecture. The decision to invest in this was driven by a desire to maintain the DDF's position as a Fisheries Directorate at the cutting-edge of technology. Results have been beyond expectations.
"The HP Integrity Server raised performance by at least a factor of 10," says Thostrup. "We had a program that started at 11 p.m. and ran until 2 or 3 a.m. After changing to HP Integrity Servers, our users came to us and said, 'We have some problems, it has the wrong date, it's yesterday's date'. When we looked at it, we discovered that it was performing the job before midnight. It cut the time from four hours to less than one. This was all without making any job setup changes."
And the change has seen a reduction in costs. "We had to pay a lot for support and upkeep on the old machines. We made an investment calculation and realized that with tax breaks we'd get return on our investment in two and a half years. In addition, the Itanium 2 processor is in a lower price bracket than our last one."
SAS, HP and Intel – a powerful combination The combination of SAS and the HP Integrity Server with Intel Itanium 2 processors gives an unbeatable solution for companies and organizations dealing with vast amounts of data. For the future, the Itanium 2 processor makes SAS solutions even more scalable and flexible.
High-level cooperation for the long-term
Thostrup concludes, "We are working with SAS at a high level and will stick with it in the future. We are looking at a new risk control strategy – what are the risks of someone breaking the regulations and how can we predict that statistically? It's all about controlling fisheries and ensuring that people don't break the rules. This is a perfect task for SAS."
The results illustrated in this article are specific to the particular situations, business models, data input, and computing environments described herein. Each SAS customer’s experience is unique based on business and technical variables and all statements must be considered non-typical. Actual savings, results, and performance characteristics will vary depending on individual customer configurations and conditions. SAS does not guarantee or represent that every customer will achieve similar results. The only warranties for SAS products and services are those that are set forth in the express warranty statements in the written agreement for such products and services. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. Customers have shared their successes with SAS as part of an agreed-upon contractual exchange or project success summarization following a successful implementation of SAS software. Brand and product names are trademarks of their respective companies.
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Danish Directorate of Fisheries
Provide Danish representatives with superior data to give them the edge in EU fish quota negotiations.
The Danish Directorate of Fisheries runs SAS on HP Integrity Servers with Intel® Itanium® 2 processors.
Increased performance 10-fold and makes reports easier to access throughout the organization.
“ We looked around the market and chose SAS because it is the best when working with large amounts of data... the HP Integrity Servers with Intel® Itanium® 2 processors raised performance by at least a factor of 10. ”
Deputy IT Chief