ING Direct keeps its eye on Cognos dashboard

ING Direct is ramping up its ability to analyze company performance by signing up for Cognos’ enterprise business intelligence products.

ING Direct, based in Wilmington, Del., is using an

executive dashboard concept featuring a “”red light-green light-yellow light system,”” said Brooke Somers, senior public relations specialist for Cognos in Ottawa.

Using the software, executives and senior managers can monitor each company department, which is assigned a light, she explained. “”So if sales has a red light on it one day, what they’re able to do is then drill down and see what the causes are. So if sales is not meeting its target, (it may be because) the Northeast is underperforming.””

A yellow light means an enterprise’s targets fall short of expectations but “”it’s not a major problem,”” said Somers. A green light suggests everything is running smoothly.

ING Direct is primarily using Cognos BI software in the marketing area as it relates to campaign measurement, said Tim Handley, head of management information systems for the bank.

“”They can monitor how well our marketing dollars are being spent. Decision-makers can monitor . . . a TV commercial out there, if they send direct mail, radio, if they have an event. Whatever they do, they can basically monitor what sort of telephone calls did that generate,”” as well as new accounts, customer profiles and profits related to new business, said Handley.

Since then, ING Direct, which has used business intelligence for at least six years, has extended the software to its sales, finance and credit departments.

Data drawn from more than 30 North American sources is gathered in a central data warehouse that’s updated daily, said Arline Loh, vice-president of management information systems at ING Direct.

Sources include companies that post ING Direct’s Internet ads or TV ads as well as the bank’s own internal banking systems, added Handley.

Cognos says the executive dashboard has been around for years. Only recently, though, has its profile increased in response to the spread of business intelligence across organizations, explained Somers.

“”So this is the executive getting involved and wanting a more wholistic view of the company . . . without needing to run a bunch of reports or without having to do a bunch of indepth analysis.””

ING Direct spent in the range of US$200,000 for Cognos’ system.

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