REVIEWER: Guido F. Sacchi, CIO and SVP, CompuCredit.

BACKGROUND: CompuCredit is a provider of financial services to consumers underserved by traditional financial institutions. We offer one of the most helpful services that can be provided by any business to any customer - credit. In order to evaluate consumer credit data, we utilize a proprietary scoring model that runs using our data warehouse environment.

HARDWARE PLATFORMS: Netezza Performance Server (NPS) 8150z and NPS 8050z-DEV data warehouse appliances.

PROBLEM SOLVED: At CompuCredit, we were seeing data volumes grow by 50 percent each year, and our legacy Oracle data warehouse environment could not keep pace with the breadth and depth of our analytics. As one of our business analysts said, “Life before Netezza was slow - very slow.” Many of the queries that we have to run on a daily basis could take two to three hours per try in the legacy environment, with some ad hoc queries running for much longer times. This led to a significant IT bottleneck, hindering user adoption, preventing efficient execution of the requested reports and resulting in a backlog of new report requests from business users. By deploying Netezza’s NPS data warehouse appliances, we have found that every query runs between 20 and 400 times faster than before. The improvement in user adoption and satisfaction has stimulated productivity within the organization, helping the company to continue growing at a fast pace. The Netezza solution has also reduced development time for new reporting applications by 75 percent.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: The NPS appliances are utilized for our portfolio management system, called iBiz, which is used to manage customer files and daily analytics from transaction warehouse loads. Since implementing the Netezza systems, we have seen query performance increase dramatically, even though the number of users has increased 15 percent - there are currently almost 650 active users on the NPS systems - and we estimate $5 million per year in business benefits derived from the Netezza system. The investment in the new system paid off in under 12 months

STRENGTHS: Netezza’s data warehouse appliances have allowed CompuCredit to continue to expand, even as data volumes have increased and requests for business intelligence reports have grown exponentially. The NPS systems’ query performance is unbelievably fast, and they integrated seamlessly into our existing environment. We have also been able to remove the barriers that were previously limiting our users’ ability to access data.

WEAKNESSES: We are now part of the Netezza Developer Network. We are eager to expand the application of Netezza to other areas, specifically, to the transactional side - to speed up data loads in our DW environment - and to take full advantage of Netezza’s high performance by taking our “streaming analytics” platform to the next level, increasing our data mining and modeling capabilities using SAS.

SELECTION CRITERIA: We decided to engage Netezza in a 30-day on-site proof of concept (POC). Ten test cases, comprised of six Business Objects queries and four SAS queries, were conducted on an NPS 8150z. Performance results on Netezza versus the existing system during the initial POC were staggering - every query ran between 19 and 530 times faster on Netezza, with the average query improving by a factor of 140. One especially troublesome query ran 528 times faster on Netezza; it was reduced from nearly seven and a half hours to only 50 seconds. Based on these results, which were better than we expected, but just as Netezza had described, we decided to move forward with Netezza.

DELIVERABLES: The system is used for recurring and ad hoc reporting, regulatory demand reports and to query consumer credit data. The NPS data warehouse appliance also allows us to fulfill requests for portfolio information on 24 months of data by institutional investors in two days, as opposed to two or three weeks in our previous environment.

VENDOR SUPPORT: We initially engaged Netezza in a 30 day on-site POC using our own data. The company worked with us every step of the way and was very helpful as we tested its NPS data warehouse appliance. Post-implementation, customer support has been top notch from the company. Netezza is always responsive and very helpful.

DOCUMENTATION: The documentation was clear and the product is very easy to run and maintain.

Netezza Performance Server Appliance
Netezza Corporation
200 Crossing Boulevard, 5th Floor
Framingham, MA 01702
(508) 665-6811
http://www.netezza.com/

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