Initially, it was an application in search of a name. Now, four years after launching what it now calls its "data warehouse" project, First Interstate Bancorp almost inadvertently finds itself in the midst of the latest information technology movement.

"This was very early to start such a project in the industry," said Tim Sullivan, senior vice president of technology at the $56 billion-asset holding company, based in Los Angeles. "Two years ago, very few people even knew the term data warehouse."

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