Information Builders, an independent leader in business intelligence (BI) solutions, today announced that Alpha Bank, one of the largest financial services companies in Greece, has deployed an operational reporting and enterprise integration environment to deliver information to bank regulators and help users react quickly to changes in global financial markets.
In the wake of an international banking crisis that has virtually crippled the Greek economy,Alpha Bank is using Information Buildersâ technology to fulfil requests from the Central Bank of Greece, maintain profitability, and preserve solidcustomer relationships. Information Buildersâ BI and integration products are built on a common architecture that helps the bank streamline everything from data acquisition (collection, quality, and movement) to information delivery (reporting, analysis, and distribution).
âWe now have daily accurate and very detailed information on a customerâs account level,â said Dimitrios Dassios, MIS division manager at Alpha Bank. âDuring the heart of the crisis, reports that we used to create on a monthly basis suddenly needed to be delivered to the Central Bank daily. These reports would have been a nightmare to produce with our previous reporting environment, plus we were leery about the quality of the underlying data. Now, when top managers at the bank makerequests, we can provide the answers they need instantly and we know the data is accurate.â
Following years of unrestrained spending and a failure to implement strict financial reforms, Greeceâs national debt has soared and the countryâs deficit risen. Like many financial institutions in this troubled economy, Alpha Bank has to retain adequate liquidity, preserve good banking relationships, and respond to daily requests from regulators at the CentralBank of Greece. To provide therequisite information to senior managers andregulators, the bank uses Information Builders software to analyse information about investments, mortgages, credit cards, consumer loans, leasing packages, insurance, checking accounts, savings accounts and other bank products. Authorised users depend on WebFOCUS to access a data mart of consolidated information, loaded each night by iWay DataMigrator. The data mart maintains daily income from customers, products, business units, branches, and specific accounts throughout Alpha Bankâs nine-country territory.
âInformation Builders supplied an end-to-end solution to merge all of this information into one consolidated database and then developed a way to access, manage, and analyse that information,â said George Kyriakidis, a project manager with Applied Science, an Information Builders partner that spearheaded the BI initiative. âWhen used with WebFOCUS, iWay DataMigrator delivers common metadata and an easy way to produce data dictionaries. The two products work very well together to create a common platform.â
iWayâs automated data quality functionality has enabled the bank to eliminate inconsistencies and ensure that the data mart is loaded with clean, consistent data, keeping accurate and auditable error logs for each load procedure. With all the information integrated in one place, managers can produce accurate reports to adjust interest rates on a momentâs notice. âThe more quickly we can monitor the impact of rate fluctuations on our various product offerings, the more attractive rates we can offer to customers while still maintaining a profitable spread,â explained Dassios. âDuring times of crisis, when the cost of funds can change quickly, this becomes especially important.â
Alpha Bank also relies on WebFOCUS to monitor the behaviour of its large customers, since their actions indicate trends that can impact the entire customer base. For example, if the ratio between deposits and withdrawals gets out of balance, the bank can renegotiate its terms with key customers to ensure it doesnât lose their business. Other WebFOCUS reports monitor trends related to consumer loans, providing valuable insight to internal personnel as well as bank regulators.
âAlpha Bank has discovered the power of business analytics to discern patterns andtrends in enterprise data, which can then be leveraged to facilitate faster, smarter planning and decision-making,â said Jon M. Deutsch, vice president and principal of Information Buildersâ Financial Practice. âArmed with current, accurate information, the bank can continually fine-tune its strategy and contribute fundamental insight to help with the nationâs economic recovery.â