The Challenge. A community bank with assets under $10 billion struggled with large volumes of financial data from various external and internal sources. Depending on the source, the data was formatted differently, requiring reformatting, cleansing and validation prior to use in reporting or financial modeling. These tasks were done manually without a proper process. The effort was time consuming and the results were inconsistent and not auditable. Reporting was a consequential problem, with analysts struggling to build reports in Excel. Validation of data was difficult, and without automation the effort was time consuming. Analysts spent virtually all their time creating, sharing and editing reports. There were also challenges around dimension lookup tables maintained off-line by business users. Given the frequent updates, and dispersed manual nature of the process, it was difficult to maintain accuracy, establish traceability, and be compliant with audit and SOX requirements.
The Solution. CT Global designed and implemented a SAS data hub for the bank that integrated data from various external and internal sources into a single data mart that supported all financial reporting and analysis for the bank. The data hub eliminated the need for extensive data cleansing and manipulation and met audit requirements. It enabled business users to spend more time analyzing data and less time scripting complex queries.
The data hub served as the single version of the truth for reporting purposes, with access controlled via individual or group user credentials. While business users were unable to access the data hub directly, they had unlimited access to the SAS visualization tool that allowed them to view and explore reports. If business users required their own copy of a report, the report was shared via Excel, PowerPoint or as a PDF file.