Experian Sharpens Competitive Edge Using Ascential’s Data Integration Solution

Experian Sharpens Competitive Edge Using Ascential’s Data Integration Solution

Business/Technology Editors

WESTBORO, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Sept. 26, 2001

World-leading e-Business Information Solutions Provider Generates

Customers’ Reports 50 Times Faster With Ascential DataStage XE

Ascential(TM) Software Corporation (NASDAQ: ASCL), the leading provider of Information Asset Management (IAM) solutions, today announced that Experian’s Business Information Solutions (BIS) group has selected Ascential DataStage(TM) XE, the industry’s leading data integration solution, to accelerate the delivery of key customer relationship management (CRM) and e-commerce information services to Experian’s global clients. By replacing an in-house developed system and leveraging DataStage XE to process more than 40 million transactions monthly, Experian is radically improving efficiency and reducing the time to transform, validate and load source data into its business database by a factor of 50 in many cases.

A leading global provider of e-commerce and CRM services with one of the world’s largest databases of consumer, business, motor vehicle and property data, Experian provides a broad range of Web-based services that help companies reach new customers and build lasting customer relationships.

“Experian’s core business is to provide timely and accurate information to organizations so they can target prospects, manage customer relationships and identify growth areas,” said Alejandro Rea, BIS project manager at Experian. “DataStage XE enables us to meet this objective by dramatically increasing the speed and automation of our daily and monthly data loading processes, allowing us to load thousands of complex flat files into our database in a fraction of the time previously required.”

Previously, Experian’s BIS group relied on an IBM mainframe running thousands of customized COBOL programs to transform complex flat files into a standard format – a process that could take up to five days to complete. “Every month our customers send us approximately 6,000 complex flat files, many of them with a different layout, multiple record formats, nested fields and as many as 15 million records,” said Rea. “In the past we wrote COBOL code to load each file, but even a small format change in a file required more programming. It was a nightmare to develop transformation programs for each data contributor. We needed a solution that could more easily extract and transform all files into a standard format, like XML, that our loading application could send to our relational database.”

With the new Ascential-based solution scheduled to go into full production this fall, Experian’s BIS team now uses DataStage XE to transform flat files containing demographic, trade payment experience, collection, judgment, and tax lien bankruptcy data into single-format XML (eXtensible Markup Language) files for exponentially faster loading into Experian BIS’s DB2 database. Once the contributors’ data is reformatted and loaded, Experian’s BIS team uses this data to provide risk management services in the form of business credit reports and scoring products. The information is also used to deliver business-to-business marketing services to help clients segment and target new prospects, define marketing programs, identify cross selling opportunities and plan new products.

According to Rea, DataStage XE will help the BIS group reduce its programming staff assigned to create and maintain conversion programs. He also expects DataStage XE to eliminate the need for nearly 2,000 COBOL data conversion programs.

“DataStage XE and the XML Pack are enabling us to break new ground in client service,” concluded Rea. “Thanks to Ascential’s best-of-breed solutions, we’re better able to help our clients grow and succeed, and our market leadership is stronger than ever.”

About Experian

A fast-growing subsidiary of UK-based GUS plc, Experian is a $1.5 billion information solutions company that uses the power of information to help clients conduct secure and profitable e-business. Headquartered in Orange, CA, with 12,000 employees at hundreds of offices worldwide, Experian boasts market-leading clients across 50 countries.

About Ascential

Ascential Software Corporation is the leading provider of Information Asset Management solutions to the Global 2000. Customers use Ascential products to turn vast amounts of disparate, unrefined data into reusable information assets that drive business success. Ascential’s unique framework for Information Asset Management enables customers to easily collect, validate, organize, administer and deliver information assets to realize more value from their enterprise data, reduce costs and increase profitability. Headquartered in Westboro, MA, Ascential has offices worldwide and supports more than 1,800 customers in such industries as telecommunications, insurance, financial services, healthcare, media/entertainment and retail. More information on Ascential Software can be found on the Web at http://www.ascentialsoftware.com.

(c)2001 Ascential Software. All rights reserved. Ascential and DataStage are trademarks of Ascential Software Corporation and/or its affiliates and may be registered in other jurisdictions. Other trademarks are the property of the owners of those marks.

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COPYRIGHT 2001 Gale Group