The University of Georgia is one of the largest employers in Athens, Georgia. The employment department may have more than 300 job vacancies at any given time, with an average of 15 to 20 applicants per open position. Some vacancies may have more than 200 applicants. Our departmental mission is to ensure that all of these applications are routed and tracked efficiently throughout the screening and referral process. We keep the applicants' records active for six months, and then inactivate the data records in our system. If an applicant is hired, the applicant data is available for transfer into the employee database.

We also perform a variety of list management services, such as fulfilling requests for mailing labels. Interpreting data and providing answers to all sorts of questions raised by managers throughout the university is another segment of our service objective. For instance, a manager may require salary range data for groups of employees, or we may have to create Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) reports on hiring statistics. We want to respond to these requests quickly, accurately and cost-effectively.

We previously processed job applications and referrals for each position by hand, and we averaged about 1,200 application referrals per month. Now, we process about 4,500 application referrals per month with QMF for Windows Version 6 and DB2.

It wasn't necessary to convince the computer staff or the executives to use DB2 and QMF for Windows because other departments within the university were already using them. Top management clearly understood the benefits, but the application within the employment department represented a big change.

We've been using QMF for Windows since January of 2000, and we've quadrupled our ability to handle applications without increasing our team of four support staff and three professionals. We generate more reports at a faster rate. When we do EEO reports, we just key the name and the job number into a prepared query and get all the relevant data extracted from the DB2 tables. Previously, we had to touch every index card in the files to physically count the names.

Currently, we run against a live database, and most of our data is subject to being overwritten on a periodic basis. I can foresee that we could achieve an even higher degree of effectiveness in managing our data and in being responsive to management's demands for reports if, in the future, we take advantage of QMF for Windows Version 6's publishing capabilities to create data warehouses on the Web. With the aged reports that we could create, we would be able to do certain types of historical analyses and trend reports that would be very useful ­ particularly from our employee database.

I had several employees who were extremely uncomfortable using computers. We needed to get them to buy in, because success was based on the entire team's participation. We pulled everybody together to explain why the new implementation would be better. Getting them to understand that we were managing information instead of paper was the key, and we succeeded.

Our department has greatly benefited from using QMF for Windows. We have increased our output fourfold, and we shortened by orders of magnitude the time required for trend and analysis reports. With QMF for Windows, even staff who do not know the intricacies of QMF are able to populate data fields. Therefore, we've increased productivity by efficient use of adjunct staffing resources. We have improved our response time: the average answer to management questions about data and trends is retrieved in seconds or minutes instead of days or weeks. With QMF for Windows, we can better serve our customers. We can let applicants know where they are in the process while they are on the phone, and we can give management the answers to complex trend questions in minutes. I use QMF for Windows as a quality control tool. After my staff has entered initial data into DB2, I can use QMF for Windows to run a query that will pull out all the records with incorrectly entered data. Using QMF, I can find out where someone transposed the numbers or omitted data fields.

We decided to use an internally developed DB2 system, and QMF for Window Version 6 is the key part. The software is so much easier to use than teaching SQL to the team. The click-and-point interface with drag-and-drop decreases the learning curve and frees the professional staff to create complex queries that interpret data and show trends. We're all working at top speed, and our productivity is fantastic.

IBM's QMF for Windows is a tightly integrated, powerful and reliable query and reporting toolset for IBM's DB2 relational database management system and provides an environment that is easy for a novice to use but powerful enough for an application programmer. QMF offers extensive management and control over the enterprise query environment to protect valuable system resources. For a "try and buy" download, visit

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