Businesses cannot survive, let alone thrive, without ready access to information. To optimize business operations and profitability, an organization must be able to get at its data as efficiently as possible in order to produce and disseminate valuable information and knowledge. These objectives underlie MainSource Financial Group’s choice of Sequel as its real-time business intelligence solution.
When people think of banks, they typically think of money, but information is the lifeblood of all financial institutions. MainSource Bank has a 110-year history. Throughout that time, it has strived to be a force for good in its community. To achieve that goal and to maintain peak business performance, MainSource must quickly and easily access and analyze a wide variety of information on customers, accounts, mortgages, and other loans.
To that end, MainSource uses Sequel to leverage the value inherent in its data. The benefits are so pervasive that Sequel now touches all areas of the business. Quarterly bank reports, FDIC reports, SEC reports, and other regulatory reports—not to mention internal operational reporting and analysis—are all done with the help of Sequel Data Access.
User-Friendly Data Access
In the past, data access, reporting, and analysis was done using IBM Query for i. In contrast, “Sequel is so much more user friendly,” said Cameron Glenn, Senior Accounting Officer. “Sequel’s GUI is much better than the old IBM Query/400 green screen. Everything is right there. You see the big picture—your joins, your files and fields, and your expressions —right there in front of you.”
A large part of the value of Sequel comes from its ability to simplify the job of using data. “I use Sequel daily for data manipulation,” said Butch Patton, Programmer. “I can write scripts on the fly, and it’s a much quicker way for me to get and sort the data I need. Because of that, I get a much better turnaround time for my work.”
MainSource’s Fiserv banking applications run on IBM i, but the bank also uses other platforms that host important business applications. Sequel provides value throughout this multiplatform environment. For example, Patton uses Sequel to pull data from a combination of sources—not only IBM DB2 for i, but also Microsoft SQL Server. “I don’t have to write RPG code to do what needs to be done. I just connect to the database on the fly, use the GUI to create a new table with all of the data, put it out on the 400, and then my RPG programs work on that.”
MainSource also has a Sybase application. Patton doesn’t use Sequel to access that data regularly, but he has tested the Sybase interface and it worked successfully.
Code-Free Data Presentation
Brian Coy, Core Systems Technology Manager VP, gave a concrete example of the power of Sequel. “We use a lot of Julian dates,” he explained. “Sequel allows us to convert them to dates that users can truly understand, without the need for any coding.”
MainSource amplifies the value it receives from Sequel by using Esend, which integrates with Sequel. Esend allows MainSource to distribute reports automatically throughout the company. “We use it a lot,” said Coy. “In fact, if someone turns Esend off they get a call within the hour to ask why.”
Explaining how he uses Esend, Brian Heilers, Financial Analyst, said, “I take a weekly data dump of loan portfolios. That goes out automatically by email to all of the commercial brokers. We also send new money and production reports to the retail side so they can gauge where they are having traction on their personal and branch goals.”
MainSource employees also appreciates the support they receive from Fortra. “As a programmer, I’m someone who believes that the wheel has already been invented and there’s always someone smarter than I am, so I’ll call support whenever I have a question,” said Patton. “Any time I call, there’s always someone who quickly has an answer. And they’ll take the time necessary to walk me through what needs to be done.”