Peat Offers a Lab For Data Warehouses

KPMG Peat Marwick has opened a center in Radnor, Pa., where banks can use their own data to design and test different methods of data warehousing.

The center functions as a laboratory where companies can study how various computer models operate before sinking money into them, said Stephen M. Cranford, a KPMG partner who heads the New York consulting company's data warehousing practice group.

"Firms can use the lab to study design issues on our equipment, as opposed to on their own dime," he said.

Data warehousing systems can help banks perform profitability analysis and can provide a clearer picture of a bank's deposit base for marketing initiatives.

But developing these systems typically requires huge investments in equipment, software, and personnel training, said Mr. Cranford.

A one-week session with KPMG consultants, including classroom instruction and use of the equipment, costs $20,000.

Forty computer hardware equipment manufacturers and software firms have set up their systems in the center, among them Sun Microsystems Inc., Digital Equipment Corp., SAS Institute, Hewlett-Packard Co., Oracle Corp., Sybase Inc., and Prism Solutions Inc.

- Liz Moyer

Salem Five Cents Uses Web to Show Homes

Aiming for mortgage business through the Internet, Salem (Mass.) Five Cents Savings Bank has posted a World Wide Web site that shows pictures of homes for sale in New England.

The new service, Homelistings, is the latest of several on-line innovations the $750 million-assset bank has put forward. Salem Five was the first bank in New England to post a site on the World Wide Web and says the site will open for transactions this fall.

Since original the site has drawn business nationwide from customers seeking mortgages in New England, a real estate-oriented site was a natural next step, officials of the bank said.

- Jennifer Kingson Bloom

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