RESEARCH & RESOURCES

Winners: Best Practices Awards 2005

TDWI’s Best Practices Awards recognize organizations for developing and implementing world-class business intelligence (BI) and data warehousing (DW) solutions. Below are summaries of the winning solutions for 2005.


CATEGORY: Business Performance Management—Best Scorecard Implementation
WINNER: HP

As a large, multinational organization, HP had developed diverse and independent reporting systems. The adoption of the balanced scorecard sought to resolve this issue, and led to the development of the PMMS (Performance Measurement and Management System).

Before 2001, the $12 billion Technology Solutions Group (TSG) had no means to measure performance consistently across regions and groups, or to hold individuals accountable for performance. And it had dozens of reporting systems with overlapping or contradictory metrics. The PMMS project has generated a three-year, $26.1 million ROI and vastly improved individual/group performance and accountability.

Single Version of Truth: The PMMS provides a single place where executives, managers, and supervisors can check their group’s performance against strategic objectives and examine exception reports. PMMS now displays 300 metrics that provide a single view of the business for 10,000 HP TSG workers worldwide.

Cascading, Transparent Scorecards: PMMS is more than an executive scorecard, although that is how it was first deployed. Each scorecard in the hierarchy has a relationship to the one above it, so performance metrics roll up. The performance information is widely publicized, so users and groups can compare their performance.

As a result, PMMS now meets the information needs of 80 percent of the division and has improved productivity and accountability. Supervisors no longer waste time creating custom reports, and they can’t spin the numbers to make their performance look better.

Tangible Benefits: In 2004, increased worker productivity accounted for $10.6 million in cost savings; reduced training costs accounted for $1.3 million; and lowered reporting costs were another $8.6 million.

While these gains have made HP TSG more efficient internally, using scorecards has also helped the company make strides toward achieving strategic objectives. For example, since the introduction of PMMS, HP TSG has raised customer satisfaction scores three to five percentage points in its four major divisions.


CATEGORY: Business Performance Management—Best Enterprise BI Implementation
WINNER: IBM

International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) manufactures and sells computer hardware, software, and services. With 330,000 employees worldwide and revenues of $96 billion in 2004, IBM is the largest information technology company in the world.

In 1997, IBM’s Sales and Distribution organization launched EDGE (Enabling Decisions for Global Execution). The project’s initial objective was to establish a single executive reporting system for IBM’s sales leaders, focusing on the opportunity pipeline and sales execution.

Five years ago it could be late in the sales operational cycle before executives identified a shortfall in the opportunity pipeline—often too late to recover. Today, EDGE helps them see shortfalls early.

There is an indirect benefit as well. By organizing the sales review process in a standard and structured fashion supported by a series of standard, interlocked reports, IBM reduces the time that sellers spend in meetings. Conservative estimates indicate that the time saved from the EDGE report delivery service alone is worth more than $10 million per year.

Although EDGE was originally built to support IBM’s sales management needs, it has expanded to support a variety of enterprise process management systems, and now provides a series of functional, flexible dashboards customized for senior executives. EDGE reports cover the spectrum from planning to customer satisfaction and BPM—approximately 50,000 weekly reports.

The EDGE “Report Factory” is an integrated design, development, and production environment that enables single reports to be made available across multiple delivery mechanisms. Key business metrics are encoded in the source data marts to enable speedy delivery and facilitate consistency across reporting environments.

The Enterprise Information Warehouse (EIW) provides IBM’s sales management community with a worldwide trusted source of lead, order, and financial information. Developed as part of the EDGE program, it has consolidated three separate warehouses to provide a truly global asset, and has become the primary source of sales management information for EDGE BI tools.


CATEGORY: Government and Nonprofit
WINNER: U.S. Army NGIC

The National Ground Intelligence Center is the largest intelligence producer in the U.S. Army. Its mission is to produce and disseminate all-source integrated intelligence on foreign ground forces and combat technologies to provide U.S. forces a decisive edge on any battlefield.

Project Pathfinder is an evolutionary, Army-sponsored R&D project pursuing the development of advanced data mining and visualization tools for intelligence analysts. Pathfinder allows analysts to rapidly translate their requirements through software tools at their workstations. This set of tools enables analysts to digest and interpret enormous quantities of unstructured textual information and data marts drawn from large relational database systems. These tools make it possible to monitor fast-breaking events and rapidly convert massive amounts of raw, uncorrelated information into intelligence.

Business Impact: Pathfinder has brought a sea change to intelligence analysis since its introduction in the mid-1990s. Pathfinder ingests nearly a million intelligence reports a day. The impact can be summarized as follows:

  • Single-point access to 500,000,000+ document repository covering 20 years of global intelligence reporting.
  • Real-time monitoring of intelligence and the ability to view information in different contexts.
  • Enabling analysts to produce intelligence studies in hours rather than weeks.
  • High-precision search technology enabling analysts to find critical intelligence reports.
  • A collaborative environment in which analysts can share analytic methods and tradecraft and learn from experienced users.

Pathfinder was the first comprehensive data mining tool devoted to attacking the unstructured text problem.

Relevance: Pathfinder has become a core enabling technology in the War on Terrorism. Its capabilities support the integration of data from hundreds of sources, including highly structured data automatically generated by sophisticated platforms, as well as massive amounts of unstructured data. Pathfinder has been used to support every major military and humanitarian operation since 1993. It has been used to identify suspected war criminals, to track the proliferation of weapons, and to plan and execute countless operations.


CATEGORY: Customer Relationship Management
WINNER: sunrise TDC SwitzerlandAG
SPONSOR: Teradata, a division of NCR

sunrise TDC Switzerland AG is the second largest company in the Swiss telecom market. sunrise sells fixed-network voice and Internet services as well as mobile services. Competing for business in a market of 3.2 million households and 400,000 businesses, it currently has more than 2.2 million customers.

When the sunrise management team evaluated its existing CRM solution in 2002, the company faced several challenges:

  • The Swiss telecom market was relatively mature; growth would come mainly by winning customers from competitors, increasing wallet share by cross-selling, and increasing usage of each service.
  • High customer satisfaction was not translating into loyalty.
  • CRM campaigns were segmented and executed manually.
  • The company was product-focused; Wireline/Internet (WIN) operated separately from Mobile.

sunrise implemented an entirely new CRM solution using the Teradata CRM analytic application on top of an existing Teradata warehouse.

Impact: The new system integrates and improves customer data and greatly enhances campaign management. Now, every direct contact with customers is managed by the CRM system. Segment and affinity analyses provide the ability to run campaigns with ever smaller, highly targeted audiences. Benefits include:

  • Timely, highly targeted campaigns
  • Effective marketing campaigns
  • Revenue generation through inbound cross-sell/up-sell
  • Growth of service contract customers and revenue
  • More accurate segmentation
  • Shift from product to customer focus
  • Organizational alignment and synergy

Innovation: The DW design allows sunrise to store detailed customer data. It provides a 360-degree view of customers. In addition, a direct, two-way interface between the CRM and call center applications allows personalized scripts to appear directly to call center agents when customers call.


CATEGORY: Enterprise Data Warehousing
WINNER: Export Development Canada
SPONSOR: SAS

Export Development Canada (EDC) is a financial institution providing trade finance services to Canadian exporters and investors in some 200 markets. Last year, Canadian business concluded Can$51.9 billion in export and domestic sales and investments in markets using EDC trade financing services.

EDC’s success in developing its portfolio and customer base has resulted in increasing information demands. EDC looked to create a trusted source of enterprisewide information—a single version of the truth.

In the process of implementing the technical infrastructure of the DW, EDC developed two approaches to enhance development and operation:

  • A parameter-driven tool to define significant parts of the ETL process, resulting in speedier development and greater consistency.
  • A method for dynamic report generation into the EDC intranet environment, significantly reducing maintenance costs.

The architecture also requires the source application systems to push data to the warehouse. The DW is fed from virtually all mission-critical applications.

The DW’s first project was to implement a monthly risk-management report to analyze commercial credit exposure. This information goes to the heart of EDC’s purpose—understanding the composition of EDC’s financial risk.

Other benefits include improved data validations, enhanced data integration, and improved documentation through the metadata capabilities using SAS software. Errors are now identified earlier and are fully quantified, enabling correction and elimination at the source application. Continued tracking has revealed an 80 percent reduction in errors. EDC has already realized a full return on its investment from the time savings and data quality improvements in the initial monthly risk management report alone.

The success of EDC’s implementation can be attributed to several considerations:

  • Communicating strategy is vital. Technology represents a small portion of the task. The real challenge lies in managing data and resolving quality issues.
  • Data warehousing is a process—not a product. Implementing a DW strategy requires thinking from a corporate perspective.
  • The key data or requirement should be found and used to prime the pump.

CATEGORY: Enterprise Data Warehousing
WINNER: ING Americas

ING is a global financial services company with 150 years of experience in providing banking, insurance, and asset management services. Based on market capitalization, ING is one of the world’s 20 largest financial institutions.

ING’s rapid expansion through acquisitions left it facing skyrocketing amounts of data in unconnected silos. In addition, ING wanted to boost corporate performance by ensuring that everyone had the most up-to-date information. ING also needed to satisfy regulations such as HIPAA and the USA PATRIOT Act.

EII: The Solution—These objectives required the company to move from batch processing to an enterprise information integration (EII) solution incorporating real-time capabilities and bidirectional feeds. Significantly, ING integrated all systems and moved to real-time processing without disrupting business operations.

EII: Business Impact—Seeking to quickly gauge ROI, ING measured its solution in savings, exceeding expectations by $200,000 in the first year. In addition, the following benefits have been achieved:

  • Faster, more effective business decisions
  • Increased user productivity
  • Annual savings of up to $500,000 from more efficient mailings
  • Reduction in the data error rate from an estimated 14 percent to less than 5 percent
  • Average savings of approximately $450,000 per project through the reuse of data

Innovation and Best Practices: The EII solution is based on ING Americas Adaptive Architecture (ia³)—a reference model for business- driven IT solutions yet to be completed. Adopting a reference architecture enables business units to share a common technology language and reduces the ambiguity in technical specifications. Most important, it offers a guide for IT organizations to begin implementing solutions in a way that can be widely understood.

ING’s EII solution demonstrates several best practices:

  • Adoption of a common data model and sub-models
  • Implementation of information quality management
  • Defines and documents new workflows and procedures
  • Metrics to quantify data quality
  • Industry standard data cleansing tools
  • Robust error handling and recycling mechanism
  • Regional technology transfer program providing regional technology teams with on-the-job training and mentoring for implementing EII environments
  • Regional EII Competency Center

Leadership Award Winner

CATEGORY: BI Stewardship and Data Quality
WINNER: CheckFree Corporation
SPONSOR: Baseline Consulting

CheckFree (Nasdaq:CKFR) provides financial electronic commerce services and products. From powering electronic billing and payment, to automating financial transactions, to streamlining regulatory reporting tasks, CheckFree’s broad range of solutions allows financial services companies and merchants to offer their customers a range of financial electronic commerce applications.

CheckFree’s enterprise data warehouse (EDW) contains cross-functional information about customers, subscribers, transactions, payment history, CheckFree customer and subscriber correspondence, and other critical business information. CheckFree has evolved toward managing its information as a corporate asset, engendered largely through its DW program. Data stewardship has transcended BI and the EDW, and is becoming a part of everything CheckFree does.

Business Rules: The Point of Consensus—One of CheckFree’s first steps to formal data stewardship was to establish clear and consistent business rules for its highest priority business elements. It instituted a business rule process flow that formalizes the definition and consensus around business rules by establishing specific properties for business rules and assigning ownership to subject matter experts.

CDD: The Metadata Best Practice—If business rules are the touch point for business changes and consensus, CDD (Check- Free Data Directory) is the delivery vehicle. The goals for CheckFree’s metadata environment are:

  • Understand the meaning of business terms
  • Know where to access key data
  • Understand which business processes involve which data
  • Map core business processes to corporate data elements
  • Locate key documentation
  • Identify data stewards and “trustees”
  • Map core business processes to enterprise systems and applications
  • Perform on-demand searches for key issues, projects, and terms
  • Support the Six Sigma goal of error reduction
  • Establish and evolve the corporate vocabulary

The key benefit of this metadata effort is in productivity enhancements. CheckFree’s business community has even begun referencing CDD metadata when it submits business requirements. CheckFree has estimated that in an average year the CDD saves $300,000 in staff resource time.


CATEGORY: BI on a Limited Budget
WINNER: Cooper University Hospital

Cooper University Hospital is an academic medical center serving southern New Jersey, Philadelphia, and the Delaware Valley. Cooper employs 4,000 people, provides charity care, and is experiencing significant growth.

In 2001, BI at Cooper comprised hundreds of “canned” reports and limited super-user access to multiple ad hoc reporting tools. There was no enterprise BI strategy, and resources were limited. The Proteus BI solution was developed with these components:

  • MS SQL Server data marts loaded daily from two systems: IDX and McKesson HealthQuest
  • Precision.BI (ad hoc reporting tool), corporate intranet, and SQL Server DTS

Proteus Business Value: The BI solution provides strategic, operational, and financial value.

  • A billing manager discovered an insurance company was not reimbursing Cooper and recovered $33,000.
  • The Business Development office uses Proteus when creating strategic plans.
  • Several departments use Proteus to ensure regulation compliance.
  • Proteus alerts executives and clinicians before potential issues can escalate.
  • The managed care department uses Proteus to make intelligent decisions when negotiating contracts with insurers.

Throughout the Proteus deployment, the project team focused on selling BI’s relevance and on delivering maximum value in phases with limited resources. Four major strategies helped accomplish these goals:

Creative Partnerships: A major goal of the Proteus solution was to put information into users’ hands. Cooper partnered with Precision.BI, based in Reading, Pennsylvania, which was piloting an ad hoc reporting tool.

Marketing and Branding: An ongoing goal at Cooper is to sell the idea of BI as a pervasive, strategic program. Therefore, they chose to brand and market the information itself instead of the tools used to retrieve and disseminate that information.

Delivery Top-Down and Bottom-Up: Although initial marketing efforts were successful, the project team recognized that long-term success for Proteus required widespread adoption. Their strategy was to accumulate wins, each resulting in additional value, publicity, and ultimately funding and resources.

Creative Delivery: Although Precision.BI is Cooper’s main Proteus ad hoc reporting tool, the BI group has experimented with various methods of disseminating information.

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