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  • CU Employee Community Chair

    Hi everyone,

    I’m happy to share my own analyst's perspective regarding Information Builders and STCU's WebFOCUS implementation. We're on their v8.105, still navigating the upgrade options to the latest v8.2x.

    Everyone probably already knows that for my own ad-hoc data ferreting, I’m a big fan of open-source RStudio. But let's face it — that's no solution for formalizing hardened queries that need to run against the databases day in and day out and generate reports with a level of security and robustness that we need at an enterprise level. Once I get anywhere past my R&D "first sniffs," I'm pleased to engage IB’s WebFOCUS tools (AppStudio and Reporting Server) to operationalize whatever insights I've uncovered.

    Here are a few of the fairly unique benefits our Information Builders implementation brings to the table:

    • two query tools: InfoAssist for quick queries by business users, and AppStudio for really sophisticated reportbuilding by developers. The latter takes pretty much anything I can throw at it.
    • solid integration with Excel and CSV files. They're too deeply woven into the fabric at STCU to ignore, so we need tools that play well with them. IB does.
    • the ability (through what they call Active Technologies) to make final end-user data-rich PDF reports that are completely filterable and resortable.
    • relatively easily built self-guided reports and "InfoApps" that let employees with no BI experience at all query data in a completely self-service way.
    • really robust reportcasting of reports via email links or attachments, the latter even all the way to our external members.
    • to an R guy's delight, they've even integrated an R add-on (RStat) to operationalize the predictive and clustering work I've done in RStudio (even if I’ve only done a trial of this functionality).
    • an enterprise reporting portal that bakes in responsive design to an impressive level, for the mobile users in STCU’s future.

    STCU has succeeded in converting 250 of its most critical — read: gnarliest — enterprise reports from our previous reporting system (now retired), piloted self-service analytics to branch managers, and deployed a portal front-page with top-level fresh-daily KPIs (deposits, loans, net income) and "my reports" access personalized to each employee's functional needs. Departments continue to engage the platform to pursue their silo-specific interests.

    Our technical team is in a much better position to speak to STCU's experience administering the platform and getting technical support. But, as a power user of the Information Builders platform, it's been dreamy.

    Private message me with any questions. I'm happy to elaborate on any of the capabilities I've listed, or chat through the broader BI ambitions we expect this partnership empowers.

    — Dale Davaz, STCU R&D Strategist

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