PLATFORMS: The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) operates Carleton's PASSPORT data warehouse solution on a MVS/DB2 platform.

BACKGROUND: The Ohio BWC, the largest single-line insurance carrier in the United States, has a wealth of data that is essential for corporate planning, strategic development and rapid decision making. With over 300,000 new workers' compensation claims being filed each year, Ohio BWC extends its medical and compensation benefits for work-related injuries, diseases and deaths to employed individuals throughout Ohio. Because the Bureau's 3,200 employees are spread throughout the state in 21 regional customer services offices, the organization required a system that would extract incoming claims distribution data and transform the data so it could be used as a resource for strategic business planning and decision making.

PROBLEM SOLVED: Implemented to extract data from a variety of resources, departments and databases, data warehouse solutions enable individuals to transform data to report on current and past organizational activities, as well as support and justify their business decisions. For example, suppose a company's vice president requests the number of workers' compensation claims that have been filed for railroad-related back injuries in Cleveland for the past two years and needs it for a strategic planning meeting that will take place in one hour. Consequently, it was mission critical that the company implement a robust data extraction and transformation solution to routinely access and reengineer the data from heterogeneous environments to provide the warehouse with the required data rapidly and efficiently.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: PASSPORT is a comprehensive meta data driven tool used within a data warehouse to automate the process of extracting, cleansing, transforming, formatting and mapping data from source production database management systems to target database management systems. It can source data from a variety of databases, such as ADABAS, IMS, IDMS, DB/2 and AS/400. PASSPORT enables organizations to reduce schedule cost and risk in their data extraction and transformation projects.

STRENGTHS: After evaluating a number of data warehouse tools, the BWC chose Carleton's PASSPORT solution to better consolidate its data into a collective enterprise view of its entire assets. PASSPORT was chosen for the way its meta data is processed and stored as well as for the solution's ease of use, documentation and open structure.

WEAKNESSES: Problem solving can be time-consuming and/or difficult since no COBOL displays or COBOL comments are available in PASSPORT to help quickly isolate problems. The latest release, PASSPORT 5.6, provides a display feature that addresses this concern. Additionally, the program manager graphical-user interface can be enhanced with the addition of standard Windows features, such as list-box search and drag/drop functions. Also, the program manager's structured editor window should be enlarged to make it easier to use.

SELECTION CRITERIA: The Ohio BWC required a tool that reliably processed and stored meta data and was easy to use, well documented and had an open structure. PASSPORT met the Bureau's standards.

DELIVERABLES: Carleton's PASSPORT is used to extract and transform the operational data. At Ohio BWC, it produces sequential target files, load files and reports for the data warehouse.

VENDOR SUPPORT: Carleton's professional services assist in implementing their PASSPORT solution, which is a critical component of the complete data warehouse solution. Carleton's technical support and development staff provide help when problems or issues arise.

DOCUMENTATION: Though some of the documentation supplied for Passport version 5.5 has not been completely updated, new documentation is currently being developed for upcoming releases.

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