Fast-Growing bank gains customers, maximizes profits with Microsoft BI tools
To say that Great Western Bank is growing would be a huge understatement. The South Dakota-based bank has expanded by more than 300 percent since its 2008 acquisition by National Australia Bank. It now has 402,000 customers and 200 branches and is one of the 100 largest banking institutions in the United States.
But Great Western isn’t satisfied with that explosive growth. In fact, it wants to grow an additional 300 percent by 2014. But employees struggled with the organization’s previous third-party reporting solution, used to export data to spreadsheets for analysis. Employees had to wait as long as a week for help-desk assistance, making it hard for bank officers to cross-sell additional services or identify dissatisfied customers. “Competition for customers increases every day,” says Ron Van Zanten, Vice President of Data Quality for Great Western Bank. “Banks without insights into the profitability of specific customers and products will lag behind.”
Also, the spreadsheets that employees used for analysis couldn’t be managed centrally, so the bank wasn’t able to monitor quality. “Before regulators will allow a bank to grow past a certain size, they have to approve its data infrastructure and practices,” says Van Zanten. “Our existing data solution was a potential obstacle to our growth.”
To address its challenges, Great Western Bank deployed a data-warehousing and business intelligence (BI) solution based on Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Enterprise software. The bank used Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Integration Services to connect the new data warehouse to the bank’s disparate data sources. The data warehouse currently holds about 6 terabytes of data.
Bank workers are using Power View, a self-service BI reporting tool in Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Reporting Services that nontechnical employees can use to explore, visualize, and present data. Eventually, all 1,500 employees will use BI information from the solution, with about 300 of them regularly performing custom queries. It’s now fast and easy for nontechnical employees to get the specific information they need, such as lists of various categories of account holders for marketing campaigns. “Power View gives users an intuitive, safe environment where they can manipulate data and perform what-if analysis in minutes instead of days and without needing help-desk support,” says Van Zanten.
The solution also eases compliance for Great Western Bank. “With SQL Server 2012, we can meet the BASEL II reporting and data requirements asked of $500 billion banks, so we are well-positioned to grow to our goal of about $25 billion in assets,” says Van Zanten.
Great Western Bank now has a strong edge in its increasingly competitive industry. Van Zanten says, “Banks that try to compete against us are simply going to be at a disadvantage if they don’t have the enterprise-ready data-warehousing and BI capabilities that SQL Server 2012 and Power View give us.”
- Integrates data from disparate sources
- Provides easy reporting and what-if analysis
- Simplifies the meeting of customer needs
- Eases compliance with international banking standards
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