Police Credit Union Saves Time, Money and Frees up IT Resources with Informer Operational BI
Police Credit Union (PCU), a customer of Entrinsik's Asia-Pacific Informer distributor Meier Business Systems (MBS), is one of the larger and more successful credit unions in Australia offering access to a wide range of products and services.
Prior to implementing Informer, PCU was relying on a single IT staff member with specialized skills to write basic reports in Pick programming language with each report averaging a day to write. In addition, their software vendor would charge approximately $7K per customized report plus the cost of storing the extra report since it was considered a modification.
As a result it was taking PCU significant amounts of time to write customized reports (since most were done without a program specification), and often the majority of new reports would eventually have to be rewritten. In addition, only one IT staff member had the skills necessary in proprietary report writing, so it was an operational risk to the business as well as being inefficient. "It was typical for the Executive team to expect turnaround of a week or more from report requisition until delivery," said Mr. Trevor Savin, Support Analyst at PCU.
PCU needed to remove the reliance on a single staff member for report generation so anyone would be able to quickly and easily generate ad-hoc reports as well as schedule operational, often mission-critical reports. "PCU is also going through a phase of 'print less and view more' and we needed a solution that would facilitate staff anywhere to view reports online," said Savin.
PCU chose Informer initially because it was compatible with the database engine used at PCU (UniVerse®). They realized quickly that Informer met almost every reporting need, utilized an intuitive web interface and leveraged commonly used programming tools.
PCU mentioned several features and capabilities that stood out:
- Quickly map a new data source, either U2 or SQL database
- Easily add and change field mappings
- Simply drag and drop to add/remove fields to/from reports
- Create complex reports in minutes rather than days
- Easy to use, comprehensive report scheduler
- Multiple options for report delivery (via email/exporting to directories/archiving)
- Simple and easy for staff to retrieve reports and customize views on their own
- Perform calculations on report data
- Link U2 files to other files from either their U2 or SQL databases
- View data from both U2 and SQL databases on same report
- Comprehensive security that restrict users from viewing other reports, data
To date PCU has created in excess of 300 reports, and of these a number are scheduled to run periodically, on their own.
PCU's scheduled reports consist of a number of daily data integrity check reports, other daily internal reports such as the number of new accounts opened for the day, weekly reports to external bodies (i.e. report on checkbook requests), a large number of monthly reports with mainly Financial reporting statistics and quarterly reports for external parties to look at items such as loan portfolio valuations.
"Informer has changed the way we look at data. Before Informer it was quite time consuming to load a new report to the system (especially for data accuracy as our current host stores a number of data fields in triplicate it can make reporting a real challenge)," said Savin. "As the current system did not have proper data entry validation for each field I found fault with data on almost every level in our U2 database (i.e. some fields were missing data altogether where data is required, while others stored data outside valid ranges). Through the use of informer I have been able to report on any data inconsistencies with by setting up daily reports and sending them through to our Records Management Department who update the invalid records accordingly."
With Informer, PCU has been able to save a tremendous amount of time in report development and no longer relies on expensive consultants to generate simple and even more difficult reports.
"Due to the speed of report development it has made everything so much more efficient," said Savin. "It's so easy for the staff to retrieve and total data fields. We don't have to rely on costly software development for new reports and reports can easily be viewed and customized by any IT staff member. I would highly recommend informer to others as it has made an incredible difference in the way we generate reports."