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Fidelity Leverages MetaCenter to Create Finance Data Library

  Product Review published in DM Review Magazine
May 2002 Issue
  By Bert Alexander
Data Advantage Group, Inc.
Review of: MetaCenter Administrator 2.0 and Metadata Management Portal 2.0 from Data Advantage Group, Inc.

CATEGORY: Analytic Applications

REVIEWER: Bert Alexander, director of corporate finance for Fidelity Investments.

BACKGROUND: Fidelity Investments is one of the world's largest providers of financial services and the largest mutual fund company in the United States that offers investment management, retirement, brokerage and shareholder services to individuals and institutions.

PLATFORMS: MetaCenter Administrator is running on Windows 2000. Metadata Management Portal is running on Sun E10K, Solaris 2.6 and iPlanet 4.1.

PROBLEM SOLVED: Business users in the Fidelity corporate finance community were encountering difficulty in identifying where and how to obtain information in the company. Book information (often stored in the form of database tables), articles, reference materials, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics and reports existed in disparate locations. Employees did not know where to look or how to find what they needed and whether an item was official or current when it was discovered. There was a need for a "card catalog" system to organize access to the information. With Data Advantage Group, we have successfully implemented and deployed a metadata management system for organizing access to information in the form of a virtual card catalog, referred to as the Finance Data Library (FDL).

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: We take advantage of MetaCenter's standalone repository functions to create customized objects. The customized objects replicate a library card catalog. The catalog references financial information, industry data, business terms/rules and offers the capability of "signing out a book." Since deploying the solution, Fidelity finance users can efficiently search the library when a topic or term raises questions; choose between one or more sources of data; and obtain synonyms, homonyms and acronyms for such data.

STRENGTHS: The customized objects support our catalog entries by taking advantage of MetaCenter's extendable and scalable structure. We were able to organize our library into a structured and logical hierarchy similar to a Windows tree structure. Furthermore, the search engine provides our users the capability of locating words or phrases in a title or in the catalog narrative.

WEAKNESSES: We must adhere to the corporate enterprise-wide standards for intranet Web publishing. As a result, it is necessary to modify the Metadata Portal's look and feel by posting legal notes, contact information and our company/project logos. In the current release, it is not possible to customize the interface without the assistance of Data Advantage Group. However, their support staff has worked with us to deliver these features.

SELECTION CRITERIA: We needed a solution in which processes could be integrated into the current systems life cycle with no added impact. The system would allow us to effectively manage and control what is already being documented. Additionally, the environment should encourage common definitions; the interface must be simple to use, navigate, manage and deploy; adding/ publishing new materials must be efficient; and searches must be simple and efficient to perform. We also wanted the ability to link unstructured documents (images, text, etc.).

DELIVERABLES: Fidelity finance users now know that there is a single location for researching and accessing data. Users can now efficiently search the library when a topic or item is in question. The FDL can search names of items as well as their metadata (author, keywords, etc.). Employees now have a reliable method for publishing/distributing new information. Users can easily add items and capture/store any type of metadata about them. The FDL is 100 percent customizable and extensible, so owners and/or authors can capture any metadata they choose. Most importantly, information is not duplicated -- original documents remain in one Web-accessible location. We leverage XEROX DocuShare to store all documents accessible through the library. Authors take responsibility for updating documents so users accessing the FDL always have the current versions.

VENDOR SUPPORT: Data Advantage Group assisted with a proof of concept addressing our predetermined business and technical metrics. Their knowledgeable technical staff has been responsive and helpful. We appreciate Data Advantage Group's customer-centric approach to adding new functionality and enhancements. When technical issues arise, we are guaranteed immediate attention from not only Data Advantage Group support staff, but also their consulting staff.

DOCUMENTATION: Our database and Web server administrators were able to follow the instructions in the installation manual for setting up and configuring MetaCenter and the Metadata Management Portal.


Check out DMReview.com's resource portals for additional related content, white papers, books and other resources.

Bert Alexander, director of corporate finance for Fidelity Investments.

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