BACKGROUND: Dubuque Bank & Trust (DB&T) is a billion-dollar financial services company consisting of banking, leasing, trust, brokerage and insurance products. The principal part of our business is banking, servicing local communities with community-run banks in 30 locations in six states.
PLATFORMS: NewGeneration Software's NGS-IQ runs on the IBM AS/400 and includes client module support for Windows 3.1, 95, 98 and NT.
PROBLEM SOLVED: In 1997, DB&T converted to the Fiserv CBS AS/400 banking application, which provided core banking/financial service processing for the corporation. DB&T needed a reporting solution that could tie together the Fiserv databases in an easier way and give users more options for report summary selection and sorting. For performance reasons, we also wanted a secure, "one-pass" solution to reduce the number of queries being run while supporting our users' needs to easily build different views of the database.
SELECTION CRITERIA: NGS-IQ was chosen for its advanced functionality in conditional calculations, summary, formatting and selection. Other important features were NGS-IQ's ability to "set up once" any data extraction scenario to distribute to terminals, Windows users or other AS/400s and to create user-friendly front ends (data warehouses) to our Fiserv system.
PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: NGS-IQ delivers a robust, solid query solution allowing "one-pass" data extraction to our data warehouse for decision support. Simple to complex conditional calculations can all be built within a single query! Run-time prompting allows users to specify changing parameters, such as a date range, on an ad hoc basis each time they run a query. The software also lets you chain queries for sequential processing without having to write an RPG or CL program. For example, if the loan department needs fifty queries to run exactly at month end, you can specify the processing sequence within NGS-IQ. New fields can be created within one query for calculations or for new file keys. Aliases can be assigned to field names to make them easier for users to understand. Output can be previewed on screen, printed or exported to a DB2/400 or ASCII file. The RUNIQ command allows numerous options, including user report distribution, file, sort overrides and printing out a file layout of a selected file.
STRENGTHS: NGS-IQ extracts, builds, manipulates and provides views of our information the way we need it without requiring additional steps or additional tools thereby ensuring the integrity of our data. Users can easily reformat reports with numerous options or build a table report such as the top products for the month. The client module, Qport Access, allows users to download an NGS-IQ query to PC screens or popular Windows packages such as Excel, Lotus 1-2-3, Quattro Pro, Word, Access or Qport SmartView (NGS' ROLAP module for multidimensional desktop data analysis). Because of DB&T's time-dependent information, the IQDATE feature is a real benefit, allowing us to convert date fields to another format when needed for sorting or calculations. NGS-IQ provides our system administrator with tools that allow for run, file and system restriction.
WEAKNESSES: Our users would like a bigger screen/window when selecting fields with descriptions. On most screens, users are only presented with three fields. Also the ability to jump quickly to the next file is not implemented within all functions.
DELIVERABLES: NGS-IQ provides DB&T with all its reporting and data warehousing needs. Month-, quarter- and year-ends for banks are very time- sensitive, but NGS-IQ insures timely, accurate and speedy information to DB&T's employees and customers.
VENDOR SUPPORT: Installation was easy and problem-free. NGS personnel are knowledgeable and very concerned that NGS-IQ meets or exceeds customer expectations.
DOCUMENTATION: Context-sensitive on-line help and examples guide users through functions and features. The excellent tutorial is written in an easy-to- understand cookbook style.
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