The General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) coordinates and administers the finances, property, and statistical resources of The United Methodist Church and safeguards the Church’s legal interests and rights. GCFA is responsible for consolidating and reporting financial and administrative data from 59 separate conferences, districts, and churches nationwide. Data structures and semantics are different across these conferences and must be normalized before importing to the consolidated operational data store.
Because the selected data integration product would be leveraged by a large number of users spread across the globe, ease of use was considered to be of paramount importance. Also important was the ability to provide functionality for complex data transformations, data cleansing, job orchestration, scheduling, and other features that would enable GCFA to automate the integration process. Additionally, the selected product must support numerous databases and formats in use at all the conferences.
GCFA evaluated several products and decided to pursue a detailed proof of concept with Astera’s Centerprise Data Integrator. The proof of concept entailed building end-to-end integration with selected conferences. These conferences were chosen for the complexity of their operations and participation by their IT staff.
With Astera’s assistance, a proof of concept was developed and presented to the United Methodist Information Technology Association’s annual meeting. The solution received a resounding approval from the conference attendees. After a detailed evaluation, GCFA selected Centerprise for its superior usability, flexibility, and functionality. GCFA is currently in the process of deploying their Centerprise data integration solution across the 59 conferences in a phased approach.