Magazine article American Banker

Data Warehousing: Dissecting Clients

Magazine article American Banker

Data Warehousing: Dissecting Clients

Article excerpt

The industry mantra of transforming marketing from product- and campaign-centric efforts to customer-centric, relationship-building offerings is so oft-repeated that it's easy to forget that most banks are far from having the technology to support this ideal. First Union, however, will be considerably closer than many of its peers with the forecast mid- year completion of its data warehouse and data mart solutions that team IBM, Informix, SAS, ab initio and Tessera Enterprise Systems.

For the past several years, First Union has sought to migrate to a relationship marketing paradigm, a Herculean challenge given limitations of its external database marketing setup with Harte-Hanks, a direct marketing company, says Naras Eechambadi, svp in corporate marketing at First Union.

The foundation of First Union's new proprietary knowledge-based marketing solution is an IBM SP/2 architecture supporting an Informix- Online Extended Parallel Server database. The system incorporates 24 disparate legacy systems and currently holds two terabytes of data. A major component of the data warehouse is Tessera's Rapid Modeling Environment (RME), which gives modelers a point-and-click interface, eliminating the need to spend hours generating custom code. The biggest advantage RME brings to the bank is increased productivity. "Modelers are expensive people, and if you don't have the right kind of environment for them, they can spend an enormous amount of time just manipulating data rather than analyzing data," Eechambadi says. …

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