REVIEWER: Scott Ellison, VP-CBIS for BOK Financial Corp.

BACKGROUND: BOK Financial Corp. is an $11 billion holding company with more than 120 offices in Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arkansas. The Consumer Banking Information Services Group is responsible for CRM and database applications for the Consumer Division in all four states.

PLATFORMS: DataFuse from DataMentors, Inc., currently runs on Windows NT. A UNIX version is planned.

PROBLEM SOLVED: BOK has operated some type of householding and geocoding system since 1988. As our internal operations became increasingly sophisticated over the years (Windows OS and RDBMS databases), our householding and geocoding software had not kept pace. We needed a nonproprietary system that worked closely and easily with our existing Oracle database. We also needed an additional level of matching and householding accuracy, not just during the initial phase of householding but especially later, so that we could accurately track and report our customer information when households "break apart and come back together again."

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Mainframe extract files from various core applications are loaded into DataMentors' DataFuse along with demographic and summary level transaction details. Using a series of standard matching rules combined with custom rules designed by BOK, DataFuse analyzes each word in the name and address lines and matches the words against a series of tables to correctly identify whether the lines are name or address, while also applying country codes. Then the names and addresses are standardized, geocoding information is added and records are flagged as either an individual or business. Once the name and address lines are parsed and cleansed, the matching process begins. In addition to the standard match criteria (last name, address and SSN), we have added a customer key that extracts data from our mainframe customer information file. Even the standard match criteria is not "standard." The match rules allow for transposition of letters and misspellings through soundex and tolerance routines. This ability to customize the matching process provides us with much greater accuracy. After matching, we complete the process with deciling, which is also performed within the DataFuse product. We then load the output files into our data mart.

STRENGTHS: The software has a GUI interface that is easy to understand and navigate. It is fully parameter and table driven, so the matching rules can be edited without programming. There are no boundaries to the matching process. This provides more than enough flexibility to meet our needs. In fact, everything was set up so well initially that we have rarely needed to make changes. The few times that minor adjustments were necessary, we were able to make them easily and efficiently.

WEAKNESSES: The only suggestion we have for improvement would be to continue to expand the support available online.

SELECTION CRITERIA: We had three primary criteria for a business partner when we started evaluating new software systems and vendors: 1) a thorough understanding of our industry and our needs, 2) a consistently rapid response time, and 3) the commitment to build a long-term relationship with BOK. I have known the CEO of DataMentors since 1988 when we purchased our first system from him and his former company. Therefore, I knew that he and his staff already had a high level of understanding of how BOK does business and what we and our customers need. DataMentors has a demonstrated track record with us of superb response time. They are always accessible and extremely knowledgeable, truly reliable professionals in all aspects of customer service. As far as the third criteria, in this case, we were simply continuing our existing long-term relationship.

DELIVERABLES: A fully functional database was delivered, along with the software containing all of our customized rules and tables, within 30 days. We did not miss a beat. There was literally no down time. The entire process was remarkably fast and smooth, and everything is still running efficiently two and a half years later. In terms of accuracy, before the switch to DataFuse we were running at approximately 93-94 percent accuracy. Today we are at 98-99 percent, as close to perfect as you can get, with even greater levels of detail about our customers. We receive two new software releases per year, which guarantees that we'll stay ahead of the curve.

VENDOR SUPPORT: We have not found anyone else in the industry with a superior knowledge of data cleansing and matching or a more reliable record of top quality customer service. DataMentors' support during the sale, during the implementation phase and since has been everything that we expected.

DOCUMENTATION: The documentation meets my needs completely.

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