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MGIC Staff Connects with Essbase Web Gateway

Published
  • March 01 1998, 1:00am EST

BACKGROUND: Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corporation (MGIC) is the nation's leading provider of private mortgage insurance with policies in force of $137 billion covering 1.3 million mortgages. The Milwaukee-based company has 23 offices across the U.S. and Puerto Rico and employs approximately 1,000 people.

PROBLEM SOLVED: MGIC devotes a great deal of time and resources to risk analysis, statistical modeling and studies relating to the performance of the mortgages it insures. Staff members ranging from senior management to our extensive nationwide sales force also rely on timely business reports to track the success of programs and identify new market opportunities. MGIC needed to replace an old VM-based reporting system that could not provide remote access to our relational data marts. The relational data marts are part of MGIC's overall data warehousing strategy and are populated with information from a central Oracle data warehouse that contains more than 20GB of data.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: We have used the Essbase Web Gateway to deliver both parameter-driven reports and dynamic analyses over our intranet in both static and dynamic format. Our users can drill down, pivot and select individual members from a given dimension to report upon. Essbase Web Gateway has sophisticated formatting features, including the ability to control fonts, colors, decimal places and reporting options, as well as the ability to integrate Arbor Essbase data with Java Applets. Reports can be created using HTML templates or by using the Retrieval Wizard to store report definitions on the server.

STRENGTHS: Essbase Web Gateway has many strengths: ease of deployment, rapid development, the fact that only basic HTML skills are needed to create reports, it provides fast query performance, works well over 28.8 modem dial-up access and its HTML interface works with 16-bit client operating systems (e.g., Windows 3.1) that don't yet support Java. Of course, Essbase Web Gateway also supports 32-bit operating systems.

WEAKNESSES: Due to HTML implementation, the drill-down interface is not as easy to use as it could be. Hard coding of member names is required. End users cannot create and publish their own reports.

SELECTION CRITERIA: We needed a Web solution that could be deployed on a variety of client operating systems including Windows 3.1. All of our users could immediately use Essbase Web Gateway. Also, Essbase Web Gateway has no per-user or run-time charges which saves a company like ours, with more than 100 current users, considerable money. The Essbase Web Gateway is one of 10 or more tools we can use to deploy Web-enabled OLAP applications for our Arbor Essbase OLAP servers. The Essbase Web Gateway fit our requirements for this application; other Essbase-ready products provide everything from static reporting to interactive analysis with 100 percent pure Java and ActiveX solutions for a wide range of Web-enabled applications.

DELIVERABLES: We have created an intranet/Internet system which integrates both Arbor Essbase analytic data and detail data stored in an Oracle RDBMS by utilizing Frames and multiple Web servers. By drilling down into the Oracle RDBMS data, users are able to perform detailed analysis of data relating to claims, applications, delinquencies, underwriting statistics and sales.

VENDOR SUPPORT: Arbor Software has been very helpful in meeting our needs. Many of the new features in Essbase Web Gateway 1.5 were enhancements which we had requested.

DOCUMENTATION: Most of the documentation for this product is on-line and we found it well written and replete with examples.

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