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Vanderbilt University


Intuitive Data Integration Platform Enables Vanderbilt University to Leverage Endowment Data


"Centerprise met all our criteria for high developer productivity, excellent performance, workflow design, and process automation. My team sat through multiple SSIS seminars and spent many hours with other competing tools and the learning curve was rather steep. Centerprise, on the other hand, was amazingly intuitive and seemed familiar. With assistance from the excellent Astera support team, we were able to develop fairly complex dataflows within hours."

Bola Olusanya, Managing Director of Investment Risk Management



Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, is a private research university with approximately 12,000 students from all 50 U.S. states and over 90 foreign countries. The University required a system for accurate and timely reporting of endowment investments. A key part of the solution was gathering and mapping data from a variety of sources, including outside money managers.

The Office of Investments evaluated all the leading data integration platforms currently available, and selected Centerprise for its superior usability, functionality, and affordability.



The Vanderbilt University Office of Investments (OOI) manages the university’s $3.2 billion endowment. It typically invests these funds through multiple external money managers who have little or no communication among each other. In today's uncertain economy, the OOI wanted to be able to determine consolidated risk exposures of the endowment to better understand the impact of different macroeconomic and market shocks, which was a very difficult task that often required manual entry because the investment data was scattered across multiple systems.


Business Needs

The risk management team needed an application that could integrate and map data from multiple internal and external sources in a timely and repeatable manner and give accurate reports of the endowment’s factor risk exposures. The solution needed to be web-based, with an easy-to-use front end for business users, as well as a sophisticated engine to deliver the analytics necessary for the University’s stakeholders.

After a build-or-buy analysis, the decision was made to acquire a data integration platform and a team was formed to evaluate various integration tools.


Astera Solution and Results

Key criteria for the integration platforms were ease of use for business users, extensibility, and affordability. Vanderbilt conducted a detailed evaluation of several data integration platforms, including SSIS, which was already deployed at Vanderbilt. The team discovered SSIS was difficult to learn and use and therefore entailed a significantly high total cost of ownership. Other platforms either did not meet the evaluation criteria or were too expensive.

Vanderbilt ultimately selected Centerprise Data Integrator. By leveraging Centerprise’s dataflow, workflow, and scheduling capabilities, Vanderbilt was able to quickly develop integration jobs to automatically retrieve and map data from external money managers and internal systems into the endowment tracking software. The project has been so successful that Vanderbilt is now deploying Centerprise in other areas to enhance existing processes.


Why Astera

Centerprise was selected thanks to its superior usability, functionality, and affordability. The software met all of the risk management team's criteria for sophisticated features, including high developer productivity, excellent performance, workflow design, and process automation. Most importantly, the intuitive Centerprise interface was easy to use and enabled the team's business users to develop complex dataflows in hours instead of weeks.


Astera brings powerful data management and application integration solutions within reach of any organization. Astera's open source solutions for developing and deploying data management services like ETL, data profiling, data governance, and MDM are affordable, easy to use, and proven in demanding production environments around the world. For organizations looking to jump-start a big data initiative, Astera provides applications that accelerate data loading and other aspects of Hadoop setup by enabling developers and analysts to leverage powerful Hadoop technologies like Hadoop Hive, Pig, and Sqoop without having to write Hadoop code. Astera's ESB and data services infrastructure solutions extend proven Microsoft technologies like WCF and MSMQ to deliver affordable, flexible service enablement of distributed applications. To help enterprises improve operational performance, Astera also offers packaged solutions that support business process modeling and simulation as well as rapid development, testing, and deployment of process-oriented applications..NET, SQL Server and all Microsoft-related trademarks are the property of the Microsoft, and are used with permission.