Bringing data together for Australia’s meat and livestock industry

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Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) is a multifaceted organisation that supports the Australian red meat and livestock industry through research and marketing services. Its Sheep Genetics division is focused on encouraging genetic improvement through selective breeding in order to produce sheep that meet market requirements. 

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At a Glance

MLA’s Sheep Genetics systems track and analyse the characteristics and genetics of millions of individual Australian sheep each year. From intramuscular fat to wool weight, the resulting data provides the industry with insights as to how to breed and raise animals to achieve the best produce.This data had been collected and stored in on-premise systems, for some thirty years. It was time to remodel the system in order to facilitate the industry’s growing requirements into the future.

The Challenge

The incumbent system comprised four, disparate and aging databases that managed very large amounts of similar data, in different ways. Added to this, the workflow required manual input from knowledgeable and experienced individuals in order to function. Not only did this require a lot of administration from MLA staff, but it also resulted in repeated and often complex queries about input data, thus slowing access to information. As a foundation for their future vision, MLA required a new cloud-based solution that would integrate existing data into a single and secure system, flexible enough to meet its growing needs.

The Solution

Over a six month period, Servian partnered with MLA to determine the requirements and design and implement a solution. The existing data was migrated into a cloud-based data warehouse, by way of an AWS Data Lake. A structured transformation framework was implemented, along with a validation process, to automate as much of the workflow as possible. Systems were aligned with MLA’s policies for security and data backup, and the process also included a large mapping exercise to unify the quality and format of data collection codes. As well as addressing MLA’s day-to-day enquiries and project challenges as they arose, Servian ensured a smooth handover, with training, workshops and documentation.

The Benefits

While the second phase of the project must be completed in order to accurately measure its overall success, the MLA team cite a number of benefits already.

Scalable, Secure, Serverless

Single source of truth

The first phase achieved its desired outcomes and the system is now in operation, allowing access to data from one source rather than multiple and providing an increased level of confidence in the data’s integrity.

Metadata Driven ETL

Query in seconds

Query times have reduced from minutes to seconds, which means the information is more readily available. Queries have become simpler, demonstrating that the system is easier to use.

Built for the Cloud

A collaborative culture

Servian provided connection and long-term strategic vision that, for the first time, enabled the MLA database managers to work together as a team to achieve a streamlined solution.  Their collective input resulted in more accurate information.

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Why Servian

We drive a competitive advantage for our customers by enabling them to become truly data driven. We help organisations design and implement robust enterprise data management strategies and data platforms that ensure the security, accuracy, and reliability of their data. Our services in data and analytics span across advisory, consulting and managed services.

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