Westpac to revamp rate rise modelling

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Westpac to revamp rate rise modelling

Business intelligence project could hit 5000 users.

Westpac will simulate the impact of interest rate rises on its products from next year using business intelligence software deployed in its finance transformation project.

Project director for finance transformation and integration, Angelo Koulos, told delegates at the IBM Cognos Forum Asia Pacific that Westpac wanted the ability to model possible Reserve Bank rate movements across its business and products "to eliminate the time and energy it currently takes."

"We'll start that [project] sometime next year. We're really excited about it," he said.

Koulos described the transformation as being at "only a step two of about 220 steps".

It included setting up a financial data mart within the existing data warehouse structure from which regulatory, budget and forecast reports, balanced scorecards and dashboards could be created and delivered using software from IBM Cognos.

"It'll probably be another year or two before we look at balanced scorecards or dashboards," Koulos said.

Some Cognos-generated reports would also be surfaced in Microsoft applications such as Word or PowerPoint using Cognos 8 Go! Office.

The product eliminates the need to cut and paste or manually load Cognos report data into spreadsheets or presentations.

Westpac already had 2750 IBM Cognos users with a further "350-500" at St George, but would need to migrate a large number of users from versions seven to eight of the software to take advantage of new features.

"We'll be migrating about 2000 people from version seven to eight of Cognos," Koulos said.

"In two years we could be touching 5000 business intelligence users and we haven't even started performance [management] or planning [projects]."

Koulos said one of the challenges of the project was limiting it to what he called Westpac's "finance competency".

"Where does ‘finance' begin and end in Westpac?" he said.

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