BACKGROUND: The story of UMB Financial Corporation is a success story in the best tradition of American free enterprise. From a storefront bank in Kansas City, Missouri, with first-day deposits of $1,100 in 1913, it has grown to a multi-bank holding company with assets of more than $6.6 billion and banks located throughout Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, Colorado, Oklahoma and Nebraska.

PLATFORMS: Compaq Proliant 6000 dual processor server, running Windows NT Server 4.0. Client access is through Windows 95 and Windows NT Workstations.

PROBLEM SOLVED: UMB had undertaken a large data warehousing initiative to bring together data from over 40 different platforms and locations. With this project largely completed, it was time to find a product that could allow ad hoc analysis of the data with a minimum of time and expense. The goal of the database marketing and strategies group was to find a product that would allow easy integration of third-party data, provide robust database marketing functions, be able to identify certain customers for marketing campaigns and cross-selling opportunities, be flexible enough to quickly turn around data analysis projects for correspondent banks, and be easy enough to use and support so as not to require any assistance from UMB's IT group.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Digital Archaeology Discovery Suite is the primary analysis tool for the database marketing team. It was originally tested against a database of over 15 million ATM transaction records. Query times are very fast, and there is little setup involved. The ATM data analysis included fraud analysis, ATM time and location utilization and detailed customer usage. We have used the product to cleanse data, join customer data to purchased demographic data, identify specific sets of customers for marketing campaigns, create custom functions and provide on-demand ad hoc analysis ­ all with no external IT support.

STRENGTHS: The main strength of the Digital Archaeology Discovery Suite is the technology behind the scenes. It allows data to be integrated without any kind of lengthy database design required. Since there is no need for an underlying database, the database marketing team has become self-sufficient in performing various types of analysis. The product is all drag and drop ­ there is no programming language, no SQL and no need for ongoing DBA maintenance or assistance. It has a relatively short learning curve and is very powerful when working with large transaction-based files.

WEAKNESSES: The product does not have very robust reporting capabilities. Once we perform our analysis, we currently export the data to Access or Excel to format reports. The upcoming release has addressed this issue by integrating the Crystal Reports engine.

SELECTION CRITERIA: The major reason for selecting Digital Archaeology was the relatively low price for all the desired functions included in a single package. We had evaluated separate products for data cleansing, querying and reporting, and campaign analysis. This product gave us all of the functionality for a fraction of the cost. One of the most frustrating aspects of evaluating numerous products in this marketplace was the vague pricing of consultant time and expense for installing and implementing the software. Digital Archaeology had no hidden costs, and they were able to prove their abilities using our data in two days.

DELIVERABLES: The Discovery Suite is being utilized to create ATM and debit card point-of-sale activity reports, demographic analysis utilizing data from Experian, lifetime value models, gravity models and various ad hoc reports and data sets for various departments at UMB.

VENDOR SUPPORT: Digital Archaeology has provided excellent support. Technical support as well as software upgrades and updates are included in the price. They have worked with me on some challenging analysis simply by e-mailing functions they had created from a sample of my data. They have provided additional training on product enhancements with each new release. They seem very eager to make sure my team is delighted with the software.

DOCUMENTATION: All of the documentation is HTML based which makes it a snap to distribute and use. It is very thorough and full of actual examples with sample data. They also informed me last month that the new release will have context-sensitive help which means I'll be able to right click on any operator to get a full description and example.

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