A community bank in Indiana is altering its approach to retail banking based on insight gained from a data warehousing project.

Peoples Bank and Trust Co. of Indianapolis is transforming itself to focus on high-net-worth individuals, and it is reconfiguring some of its branches to serve them better.

These changes were sparked by information gleaned from an International Business Machines Corp. data warehouse installed a year ago on the bank's IBM AS/400 computer.

"The data had always been there, but we hadn't turned it into information," said Robert R. Connors, senior vice president and cashier of the $650 million-asset bank.

Peoples first explored its data using executive information software from Ferguson, a Dallas company that works with IBM. The software, installed on IBM's DecisionEdge data warehouse platform, let the bank consolidate about 64 monthly reports generated by its commercial sales area into five that were updated daily.

Soon after, the bank added software that could organize customers according to profitability. It could do the same for units of the bank, such as branches or departments.

The profitability data highlighted differences in the types of products sold and customers served in the Indianapolis branches. As a result, Peoples is adjusting branch layouts and hiring.

For example, one type of branch has no teller line, Mr. Connors said; sales associates sit down with clients and discuss their needs, with the help of desktop software. Four of the bank's 12 branches now are more sales-oriented, Mr. Connors said.

The other branches do more traditional transaction processing, "so they're physically structured to handle it," Mr. Connors said.

Peoples plans to build branches where it knows it can attract wealthier customers and offer such products as investments and home loans, Mr. Connors said.

"We're moving to higher-end niche markets because of the information we found out," he said. "We realized that as a community bank we won't be the low-cost provider."

Though Peoples uses core banking software from Fiserv to run its bank, it opted against using that company's Enforment data warehouse product, Mr. Connors said.

IBM's DecisionEdge "is reasonably priced and you pay as you go," he noted.

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