REVIEWER: James S. McGregor, BI administrator for Zions Bancorporation.

BACKGROUND: Headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, Zions Bancorporation is a financial holding company. The company provides a range of banking and related services through its banking and other subsidiaries, primarily in Utah, California, Texas, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, Idaho, Washington and Oregon. As of December 31, 2007, Zions Bancorporation, together with its subsidiaries, owned and operated eight commercial banks with a total of 508 domestic branches. The company focuses on providing community-minded banking services by its core business lines of small, medium-sized business and corporate banking; commercial and residential development, construction and term lending; retail banking; treasury cash management and related products and services; residential mortgage; trust and wealth management and investment activities.

PLATFORMS: Oracle, SQL Server and DB2.

PROBLEM SOLVED: Zions Bancorporation has databases running on Oracle, SQL Server and DB2. We had been using different built-in SQL tools for each platform to do development, which costs time and productivity. We needed one single tool that would allow our data professionals to understand, query and report on data from all these platforms. Quest Software’s Toad for Data Analysts (TDA) allows us to connect directly to and query any database, including Oracle, SQL Server, DB2, Sybase, Excel and Access. This one tool replaced the hodgepodge of platform-specific tools we’d been struggling with.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: We use TDA to write queries against all of our different database platforms. We rely heavily on the database explorer feature, which allows us to quickly survey the data in a particular table. We also use the editor feature for developing SQL code. We found the data import and export features very easy to use, and use them frequently as well. TDA has improved our team’s productivity by about 33 percent. Rather than hopping around to different tools, I can now open TDA in the morning and don’t need to leave it. We’ve simplified data analyst work by eliminating the need for multiple tools and saved costs of licensing and maintaining separate tools for each database platform.

STRENGTHS: TDA’s ability to connect to a large variety of database types is a big strength of the product. TDA allows users to quickly access, understand, and report on data across multiple database platforms. With this one tool, you can understand data structures and relationships, join data across all platforms, and easily export data and publish reports.

WEAKNESSES: Novice users looking for a tool for reporting would find TDA somewhat hard to learn. After working with the product all day, it is very slow to shut down.

SELECTION CRITERIA: We chose TDA for several reasons. First, we saved the licensing cost of using multiple tools by adopting this one tool. Simply put, TDA was able to deliver all the functionality we needed. Also, our staff was already using Toad for Oracle, so we got the added benefit of using a tool that we were already familiar with versus having to learn the nuances of another vendor’s product. This made migrating to TDA for development against other database types very easy for us.

DELIVERABLES: TDA delivers raw data, data exports in various file formats (.html, .csv, .pdf), and ER diagrams.

VENDOR SUPPORT: Quest’s online knowledge base is very comprehensive and easy to use. Their phone and sales support is very responsive - more so than other vendors I’ve worked with.

DOCUMENTATION: The product comes with a getting started guide, release notes and a link to the online community, which makes getting up to speed with the product easy.

Toad for Data Analysts

Quest Software

5 Polaris Way

Aliso Viejo, CA 92656

(949) 754-8000


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