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Information Under Control

Fifth Third Bank benefits from a disciplined, organized system for managing its vast store of data.

by Monica Mehta

For the growing enterprise, frequent acquisitions can wreak havoc on IT systems. Migrating or merging various structures can cause data inconsistencies and redundancies, which hinders users from completing their tasks efficiently and can ultimately affect the bottom line.

A few years ago, Cincinnati, Ohio-based Fifth Third Bank, one of the 15 largest banks in the United States with more than US$100 billion in assets and 6 million customers, found itself in a period of rapid expansion through numerous acquisitions. As the company continuously migrated new entities, cost centers, accounts, and products into its own systems, there was no discipline to the type of information that was being entered, and no consistent process. Eventually, the bank became bogged down with more than 2 million data points in its general ledger.

With the help of Oracle's Hyperion applications and tools, that number was reduced to 750,000, and the company now has a disciplined and organized system of incorporating and managing its vast trove of information. Hyperion applications and tools have enabled Fifth Third Bank to build an enterprise performance management (EPM) infrastructure solution that helps it manage, analyze, and act on trusted data as the bank grows and thrives.

A New Business Process

Fifth Third Bank is a diversified financial services, Fortune 500 company that has been in business for almost 150 years. It operates five main businesses: Commercial Banking, Branch Banking, Consumer Lending, Investment Advisors, and Fifth Third Processing Solutions.

 

In early 2002, executives began searching for a solution to their data management crisis. They were already using Hyperion Enterprise with success, so they turned to what is now known as Hyperion Data Relationship Management to help manage and unify the data across all applications. Along with that tool, the bank invested in Oracle Financial Services Applications (OFSA) to better manage their funds transfer pricing (FTP) and IT/operations/facilities allocation processes, and Hyperion Essbase for its ability to provide multidimensional views of data.

The company had found the tools that would strengthen its EPM infrastructure. But there was still no oversight of master data hierarchy. Users were entering 30 to 40 new accounts per month. The general ledger included more than 11,000 cost centers and 2,500 accounts that represented more than 1 million company/cost center/account relationships for more than 100 companies. The master data structure was a sprawling, disorganized mess.

To solve this issue, management created a new financial systems support team whose primary responsibilities were to manage master data hierarchies and oversee new cost centers, companies, and accounts added to the general ledger or other financial systems. "We now have clearly defined ownership of the master data," says Bret Furtwengler, vice president of financial systems at Fifth Third Bank. "That's key."

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