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Young & Jolly, LLC Merger Project Consultants




Merger Project ETL Parameters


Now that the contracts are signed, we are providing more detailed guidance for the team that will help us with our Merger Project.  This memo addresses the following topics:

·        Background Information

·        Specific Files Provided

·        Deliverables

Background Information

Recently, Largemart, Incorporated and Bullseye, Incorporated, two large, regional retailers, went through a merger. The newly formed company operates under the name Smart-Buy, Incorporated. Smart-Buy, Inc. is a large retailer with $11.5B USD in annual sales and 80,000+ employees. Smart-Buy is in the process of merging its operations,

Currently, Smart-Buy has retail stores on the West Coast, as well as in Plain and Southern states, but intends to expand into other regions. The company is in the process of determining where its new headquarters will be, so Smart-Buy executives are splitting their time between Largemart's and Bullseye's headquarters in California and Oklahoma, respectively. The combined company has retails stores, transportation and distribution centers, as well as a few manufacturing plants.

There were many factors weighed by the company executives and board of directors prior to merging the two companies. One company had distribution centers and manufacturing plants that could prove to be advantageous to the combined company since there would be no need to ramp up new facilities or create facilities from green fields. And, the fact that Largemart already have retail stores in California, meant that the newly formed company would have a Human Resource and Legal Department already well versed in the strict workplace laws and regulations used in California. Additionally, with a significantly larger workforce and store locations, the executives saw that the new combined revenue and synergies between the two companies would be a powerful force to take into the marketplace.

Smart-Buy's workforce has full-time, part-time, and seasonal workers. During the holiday sales period, their levels generally peak since this is the time of year that Smart-Buy generates their highest sales.

Smart-Buy is in the process of changing its store banners (e.g. Largemart store and Bullseye store signage and related company logos) and implementing SAP as their enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. It has taken a considerable longer time to implement the new system as Smart-Buy works through taking on new best practices as it relates to their business processes and upgrading their technical infrastructure to support the larger company. In the meantime, financials, including payroll, are still being done in separate legacy systems. While this is cumbersome, Smart-Buy's Chief Information Officer (CIO), thinks that it was more strategic to get the new ERP system implemented as quickly as possible, than to have his limited information technology (IT) teams concurrently working on an interim solution that will be thrown away once the new ERP system was fully functional. As a result, each quarter and annually, there is a manual process of combining financials and reporting. This manual process has caused earning restatements and delays in providing financial information to executives.

We chose Young & Jolly (Y&J), LLC, a Big 6 Accounting Firm to help expedite payroll reporting. It is critical that Y&J completes this task as expeditiously as possible, especially taking into account all of the recent employment regulation changes. As Y&J Consultants, your team has been asked to tackle this assignment. The Managing Partner of the Oklahoma City practice specifically asked for your team to work on this effort because of the outstanding results she saw on your last assignment and because she knows that you do not take shortcuts or wait until the last minute to get your work done. The Managing Partner also gave your team specific instructions to get started on this assignment now because of the large amount of data.

"This is more data than we typically work with," she said. "This is Big Data!"


Specific Files Provided

Smart-Buy has provided you with employee files.  The employee files consist of demographic information. Each company provided files from separate legacy systems. In addition, Smart-Buy has provided you with quarterly payroll files from fiscal year 2016 for each of the two companies. Specifically, you should have the following files for each company:

·        Addresses

This file contains address information sorted by employee id. Both large-mart and Bulls-Eye will provide these files to Young&Jolly Inc. Any queries that need to understand the location of the employee by city, state or zipcode, should use this table as all employees have an address record. These files will need to be merged together. The address_id will be the primary key for the merged file.

·        Calendar

This file contains information about the calendar utilized to calculate payroll. Pay checks are cut for hourly employees on the 1st and the 15th of each month. This means that the number of hours available to work in any given pay period must be calculated based on the number of week days in the pay period. The calendar file will provide the number of hours available for an employee to work in a pay period. Both companies will provide this file. If the files are exact matches, only one of these files are required for use in your new database. Usually only one of these files is necessary.  This file will be useful for limiting the results by period, month or quarter.

·        Departments

The departments at both companies will have the same names; however, not both of the companies have all departments. For reporting and data integrity purposes, please merge the department files provided. The Department_IDs from each company uses a different naming convention, and therefore the department_ID is a unique identifier of each row of data.

·        Employee Information

Employee Files are provided by each company and we would like one Employee file as part of the merger. Not all employees are assigned to a store as those in support jobs, like human resources and accounting do not work for just one store. This means that there are nulls in the data for Store_ID for many employees. Pay attention to how access brings this field over as it is a foreign key and must be a number.  For querying anything that has to do with an employee city or state, the address table should be used. The store information is useful for understanding how many employees are assigned to a store, etc.  Another field to watch is the SSN, please ensure the SSN is brought over in a format that works for both companies.  The employee_id uniquely identifies each row in this table.

·        Payroll Register            

Payroll information has been downloaded quarterly for each company. This means that Large-Mart has 5 Payroll files and Bulls-Eye has 5 Payroll files that need to be combined into one large payroll file (this may exceed 1,000,000) records. Each employee has multiple payroll records in this file. It is sorted by employee_id, which repeats and cannot be used as a primary key. 

·        Stores

This file includes information about the stores, including the address of the store and the number of customers in the store's immediate area (estimated population). The store address does not reflect where employees are located, the address table should be used for this. Store_ID will uniquely identify each row in the table.

·        Revenue-Stores

This file includes information about the Revenue brought in by each store. The Revenue is reported using the same calendar that is used to calculate payroll. Each store's revenue is reported by period, meaning that period cannot be used as a primary key and store_id cannot be used as a primary key.


Smart-Buy provided this picture of how the tables are related:



This memo specifies the requirements to extract, translate and load the data into a database. We refer to that as the ETL Deliverable. 


ETL Deliverable:  For the purposes of insuring data integrity, we want to understand how you create the database against which you will eventually run your analysis. All the analysis should be run from the same database. So, we ask that you create a database and write a process memo to explain what you have done so that we can ensure the integrity of our data through the Extraction, Translation, and Load Process. This is common requirement for data analysis by consultants or auditors. We have extracted the data, so no write up of the extraction process is necessary. Your memo (word document) should have the following sections:

·        Process 

In this section we want you to write the steps of creating your database in enough detail that should we need to recreate your work in an audit we are capable of such. A picture of your final tables is required.

·        Translation

In this section you will outline any formatting or changes to the data that occurred.

·        Load

In this section you will outline the final disposition of the database. This includes screen shots of sample data for each table, and total record counts against your tables. Start by describing the final structure of your database. Tell your audience what tables you now have in the database. A screen shot of the access screen(s) to support this is required.



Technical Specifications:

Given the size of the files, we are keeping them in a dropbox. You will be provided a link to the appropriate files through canvas. There is also an ETL "Quiz" where you will verify that you have loaded your tables correctly by verifying your record counts and answering a few simple database questions. You have 2 attempts at this "Quiz". Both the word document and the "Quiz" are due at the same time as specified in Canvas. The "Quiz" is worth 10 points and the ETL write-up is worth 10 points for a total of 20 points for the ETL activities.

I need help understanding what is expected in this project.

In addition to this ETLMERGERMEMO we were given excel files of tables of data with the data from largemart and bullseye. I am confused what the professor expects from us.

This week the ETL deliverable is due. WHAT DO I DO?

Top Answer

You need to write a memo outlining the bullet points in the... View the full answer

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